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NHL Draft Lottery Preview

May the odds be in your favor

2008 NHL Draft Drawing Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images for the NHL

This evening, the 15 teams that did not qualify for the NHL Playoffs - and Seattle - will find out who gets the opportunity to draft Owen Powers 1st overall!

Or Matthew Beniers 1st overall!

Or Simon Edvinsson 1stoverall!

Or Jesper Wallstedt 1st overall!

Or Brandt Clarke 1st overall!

This years draft doesn’t have a true top prospect like many previous drafts, or like the 2022 or 2023 do. So pinpointing a top prospect for this class is difficult. Add Kent Johnson to the players above, and one from that group should be selected first (my money is on Beniers).

The NHL announced new rules and stipulations for the draft lottery both this year and next. New this year is that the lottery will be drawn for the first and second picks. This means that the team with the highest draft odds cannot fall below third in the drafting order. This year that team is the Buffalo Sabres.

Two more rule changes that will be in place for the 2022 draft lottery are: 1) A team cannot jump more than 10 spots in the lottery. So the top bottom 11 teams have a shot at first and the bottom 12 have shot at second. 2) Teams cannot win the lottery more than twice in a 5 year span.

The NHL said the changes will reduce the likelihood of the worst-finishing team dropping in the draft order and not retaining the right to the No. 1 pick; reduce the magnitude of any possible drop in draft order for the worst-finishing team; limit the number of teams eligible to win the No. 1 pick (based on final regular-season standings); and limit the number of times the same team can benefit from winning a lottery drawing.

These new rule make the NHL draft lottery look a lot more like the one held annually by the NBA.

It’s worth noting that if the Arizona Coyotes win the lottery there will be a redraw. This is because they have to forfeit their 1st round selection due to the NHL investigation for violating the leagues combine testing policy. They also had to forfeit a 2nd round pick in the 2020 draft.

The 2021 NHL Draft Lottery will be drawn this evening at 7pm ET.

Here are the Draft Odds going into the Lottery:

Buffalo - 16.6

Anaheim - 12.1

Seattle - 10.3

New Jersey - 10.3

Columbus - 8.5

Detroit - 7.6

San Jose - 6.7

Los Angeles - 5.8

Vancouver - 5.4

Ottawa - 4.5

Arizona - 3.1

Chicago - 2.7

Calgary - 2.2

Philadelphia - 1.8

Dallas - 1.4

New York Rangers - 1

Come Wednesday the clock will be ticking on one of these teams, as the NHL Entry Draft 1st round will be held virtually on July 23, with second to seventh rounds on July 24th.