• PRINT
  • RSS

Breaking Down the NHL Draft Lottery

Wednesday, 03.12.2008 / 10:53 AM CT / Features
By Kevin Wilson  - Nashville Predators
X
Share with your Friends


Breaking Down the NHL Draft Lottery
With the Predators receiving Florida’s first-round selection at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft as some of the compensation in exchange for goaltender Tomas Vokoun last summer, Preds fans should keep a close eye on the Panthers’ place in the standings down the home stretch, as they are currently positioned 11th in the Eastern Conference and 24th in the NHL. If they fall just two spots lower, Florida’s pick (which now belongs to the Predators) will be in play for the first overall selection, thanks to the draft lottery system. Here is how it works:

All the picks that originally belonged to teams who do not make the 2008 postseason, 14 in all, seven from each conference will be determined by the draft drawing, which is a weighted lottery system using numbered ping-pong balls, just like you see every night in the Powerball drawing. For example, Florida’s pick now belongs to Nashville and Edmonton’s first choice was dealt to Anaheim, but the positioning of Florida and Edmonton will determine what spot the other teams will draft from.

No pick can move up more than four spots, or down more than one spot in the drawing, and therefore only the bottom five picks have the opportunity to move into the coveted number-one spot.

From the NHL’s draft documents which detail the process:
“Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, are placed in a lottery machine. The machine expelled four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls are matched against a probability chart that divided the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs.”

The probabilities break down like this (based on the combinations assigned):
30th –place team: 25% chance of winning
29th –place team: 18.8%
28th –place team: 14.2%
27th –place team: 10.7%
26th –place team: 8.1%
25th –place team: 6.2%
24th –place team: 4.7%
23rd –place team: 3.6%
22nd –place team: 2.7%
21st –place team: 2.1%
20th –place team: 1.5%
19th –place team: 1.1%
18th –place team: 0.8%
17th –place team: 0.5%

But, even if the 17th place team wins the lottery (which is slim at only one-half of one percent), they can only move up four spots, to 10th from 14th. Only twice since the lottery was put into place in 1995 has a team outside the top five won.

Since only the top five can move into the first spot, if they or any of the other nine teams that can’t get the number-one pick, and they can’t move down more than one spot, the 30th-place team has a 48.2% chance of retaining the pick.

Works cited: NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement and NHLSCAP.com

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 54 11 27 -3 38
F. Forsberg 54 17 18 -7 35
S. Weber 54 14 21 -5 35
M. Ribeiro 54 6 27 2 33
J. Neal 54 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 54 6 18 3 24
R. Ellis 53 6 16 2 22
C. Smith 54 11 7 -2 18
C. Jarnkrok 53 9 8 0 17
C. Wilson 37 4 12 -1 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 7 .903 2.54
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36