Every hockey fans’ favourite lottery is just over two weeks away, as the NHL announced has announced that the annual Draft Lottery will be held on Saturday, April 29th in Toronto.
Television coverage will begin at 4:30 pm PT on CBC, with results being announced shortly after 5 pm.
For the second straight year, the results of the lottery will be of supreme importance to the Vancouver Canucks, who desperately need a franchise centre to replace Henrik Sedin in the not too distant future.
While the likes of Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine aren’t available this time around, there are a couple of good centres in Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier available who would be important building blocks for the future.
With a 12.1% chance to land the first overall pick, the Canucks will have the second-best odds to win the lottery.
Every non-playoff team, plus the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, have a chance to land the first overall pick:
- Colorado Avalanche 18.0%
- Vancouver Canucks 12.1%
- Vegas Golden Knights 10.3%
- Arizona Coyotes 10.3%
- New Jersey Devils 8.5%
- Buffalo Sabres 7.6%
- Detroit Red Wings 6.7%
- Dallas Stars 5.8%
- Florida Panthers 5.4%
- Los Angeles Kings 4.5%
- Carolina Hurricanes 3.2%
- Winnipeg Jets 2.7%
- Philadelphia Flyers 2.2%
- Tampa Bay Lightning 1.8%
- New York Islanders 0.9%
Just like last year, the top-three picks will be decided by a lottery, while the remaining picks will be dished out based on placement in the standings. Vancouver could finish as high as first, or as low as fifth, depending on how the ping pong balls bounce.
The Canucks, who are seemingly well overdue for some good luck, will hope that a repeat of last year (when they dropped two spots and Trevor Linden looked on in horror), doesn’t happen this time around.
Still, odds are that the Canucks will pick outside of the top-three, as the following chart from Statsmaster @Sir_Earl shows:
Despite having the second-best odds, Vancouver has just a 35.2% chance of picking in the top-three. The most likely scenarios involve them picking fourth (34%) or fifth (31%).
The Golden Knights will be afforded the same lottery odds as the third-worst team this season, and are guaranteed to pick no lower than sixth.
The 2017 NHL Draft will take place at the United Center in Chicago on June 23 and 24.