Well, here we are again.
For the fifth time in six years, the Vancouver Canucks and their fans anxiously await their fate ahead of the NHL draft lottery. The annual event for non-playoff teams goes today at 4 pm PT on Sportsnet.
The Canucks finished with the eighth-worst record in the NHL this season, but they will have the ninth-best odds to win the lottery, as the expansion Seattle Kraken begin play next season.
Vancouver has approximately an 11.1% chance to land a top-two pick, and a 5.4% shot to win first overall for the first time in team history. Their odds are a little better than listed below, as the Arizona Coyotes have forfeited their pick (i.e., if Arizona wins, they will redraw).
The most likely outcome (58.6%) for the Canucks is to stay where they are, in ninth position.
New draft lottery rules
The NHL is changing a few rules relating to the draft lottery.
For starters, only the top two picks are up for grabs — previously, the top three selections were decided by the lottery. That means that teams can only drop a maximum of two spots.
More changes are on the way beginning next year, including new wrinkle that teams can only move up a maximum of 10 spots. Teams will no longer be allowed to win the lottery more than twice in a five-year period, but that rule also doesn’t begin until 2022.
The draft is expected to be a bit of a crapshoot this year given so many junior-aged players had their seasons cut short, if not cancelled entirely.
The 2021 NHL Draft will be held virtually on July 23-24. Most believe that 6-foot-6 University of Michigan defenceman Owen Power will be the top selection, though Quinn Hughes’ younger brother Luke — a 6-foot-2 defenceman with the US National Development Program — is also one of the top prospects.
Canucks have never won the lottery before
The Canucks have been among the NHL’s unluckiest teams when it comes to the lottery.
Vancouver has never moved up in selection before, and in their last four draft lottery appearances, they’ve dropped in the order. In 2016, the Canucks fell from third to fifth, and in 2017 when they had the second-best odds, they fell three spots. They also fell one spot in 2018 and again in 2019.
Will their luck finally change this year? If history is any indication, prepare to be disappointed!