The NHL Draft Lottery will be held Saturday at 5:00 p.m. PT in Toronto (NBC / CBC / TVA Sports), and there is a 2.0% chance that the Los Angeles Kings will claim the top selection. There is also a 97.0% chance that they’ll select 13th overall and a 1.0% chance they’ll move down one spot into the 14th slot.
This is noteworthy, of course, because there are two players seen as generational-type talents atop the draft board in Connor McDavid (OHL-Erie) and Jack Eichel (Hockey East-Boston University).
Overall chances of winning the Draft Lottery:
Buffalo Sabres – 20.0%
Arizona Coyotes – 13.5%
Edmonton Oilers – 11.5%
Toronto Maple Leafs – 9.5%
Carolina Hurricanes – 8.5%
New Jersey Devils – 7.5%
Philadelphia Flyers – 6.5%
Columbus Blue Jackets – 6.0%
San Jose Sharks – 5.0%
Colorado Avalanche – 3.5%
Florida Panthers – 3.0%
Dallas Stars – 2.5%
LOS ANGELES KINGS – 2.0%
Boston Bruins – 1.0%
Here’s a lottery simulator. On the way home from Calgary, it took us 31 tries before the simulator produced LOS ANGELES KINGS. This morning, the Kings appeared on the sixth refresh. In real life, neither result foretells a June Connor McDavid press conference at Staples Center. The 2015 NHL Draft will be held June 26-27 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.
The selection is available to the Kings because the first round pick traded to Carolina in the Andrej Sekera exchange was lottery-protected, meaning that the Kings would retain ownership of it if they failed to make the playoffs in 2014-15, and instead trade their 2016 first round selection to the Hurricanes to complete the trade.
Balls numbered 1 to 14 will be put into a lottery machine that selects four balls to provide a four-number combination. That will be matched to a chart containing all possible four-number combinations that have been assigned to each of the 14 teams on the basis of their percentage chance to win the lottery.
The Buffalo Sabres, who finished with the fewest points in the regular season, have a 20.0 percent chance of winning the lottery. If they don’t win the No. 1 pick, they are guaranteed No. 2, because the rules dictate no team can move back more than one spot.
The balls selected by the lottery machine will be shown on television. Combinations that will make lots of Kings fans very, very happy: 2-3-4-6, 2-4-5-12, 2-4-7-8, 2-4-7-11, 2-6-8-11, 2-7-9-11, 2-8-9-12, 3-4-5-11, 3-4-5-12, 3-4-6-11, 3-4-9-13, 3-6-7-12, 3-6-7-14, 3-6-8-13, 3-6-13-14, 4-6-12-14, 5-9-10-11, 6-8-13-14, 7-8-10-12 and 9-10-11-14. If the balls produce a sequence of 11-12-13-14, there will be a re-draw.
Some recommended reading: Sean McIndoe’s Draft Lottery Power Rankings at Grantland will make you laugh. Here’s another primer on how the lottery will work, with links to Central Scouting’s prospect lists and PDFs of various lottery ball combinations.
Obligatory Lloyd Christmas analysis: