blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: 2017 NHL Draft Lottery Results

Saturday, April 29, 2017

2017 NHL Draft Lottery Results

Tonight Bill Daly presented the NHL Draft lottery results live on CBC, with the top overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, to be held on June 23-24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois, being awarded to the New Jersey Devils. The actual lottery was conducted 30 minutes earlier in Sportnet's Hockey Central Studio in Toronto. This video below describes the process.
Designed to guard against teams purposely losing regular season games to improve their draft position, the weighted lottery system implemented prior to the 1995 NHL Entry Draft provides weaker teams with a greater chance of a higher pick without any guarantees for poor performance.

Until 2013, only the league's five worst regular season teams were eligible for the top overall pick, allowing teams to advance up to four spots and fall only one spot in the lottery. That changed in 2013 with all non-playoff teams eligible for the top overall pick albeit with their statistical likelihood directly tied to their final regular season standing. Though, a team could still only fall one spot in lottery position.

In 2014, additional changes were implemented for the lottery to reflect the competitive balance of the league, with more balanced odds being introduced in 2015 and separate draws starting in 2016 for the top three positions (as opposed to just for the top overall pick), allowing the league's worst regular season performer to slip as low as fourth overall (as opposed to just second overall under the prior regime).

The added wrinkle to this year's offering is the introduction of the Vegas Golden Knights. This expansion team is participating in its first draft and has been accorded the same starting probabilities as the 28th place finisher (i.e., Arizona Coyotes). If neither Las Vegas or Arizona win any of the three lotteries (i.e., 1st pick, 2nd pick, 3rd pick), then Vegas shall pick immediately before Arizona.

This year lottery defied the odds, delivering top picks to underdogs New Jersey (1st, 8.5%), Philadelphia (2nd, 2.4%) and Dallas (3rd, 6.4%), moving up four, eleven and five spots, respectively. Colorado, Vancouver and Vegas were the biggest losers of this lottery, each dropping a historic three spots to select 4th, 5th and 6th, respectively. The previous largest drop in NHL draft lottery history was two spots, displacing Edmonton from 2nd to 4th and Vancouver from 3rd to 5th in 2016

The chart below shows final draft position by team with accompanying odds of selecting first, second or third overall, along with their most likely seeding in the lottery.

Draft Position 1st Pick    2nd Pick    3rd Pick    Likely Pick
1. New Jersey  
8.5%
8.6%
8.8%
   6th (33.0%)
2. Philadelphia
2.2%
2.4%
2.6%
   13th (84.4%)
3. Dallas
5.8%
6.1%
6.4%
   9th (38.0%)
4. Colorado
18.0%
16.0%
14.1%
   4th (51.9%)
5. Vancouver
12.1%
11.8%
11.3%
   4th (34.1%)
6. Vegas
10.3%
10.3%
10.1%
   5th (39.3%)
7. Arizona
10.3%
10.3%
10.1%
   6th (34.6%)
8. Buffalo
7.6%
7.8%
8.0%
   8th (39.7%)
9. Detroit
5.8%
6.1%
6.4%
   9th (51.8%)
10. Florida
5.4%
5.7%
6.0%
  10th (32.8%)
11. Los Angeles       
4.5%
4.8%
5.1%
   10th (56.4%)
12. Carolina
3.2%
3.4%
3.7%
   11th (67.7%)
13. Winnipeg
2.7%
2.9%
3.2%
   12th (75.6%)
14. Tampa Bay
1.8%
2.0%
2.2%
   14th (91.2%)
15. New York Islanders
0.9%
1.0%
1.1%
   15th (97.0%)

Per HockeyViz math wiz Micah Blake McCurdy, the lowest seven finishers (i.e., 24th to 30th overall) are more likely to fall one spot in the draft than to move up under the current draft lottery mechanism.

Remaining NHL Entry Draft positions are set after the playoffs with the Stanley Cup champion and runner-up picking 30th and 29th, respectively. Conference finalists (28th, 27th) as well as division winners and wildcard teams (26th through 15th) are then ordered among their respective subgroup based on regular season standings, positioning teams with better regular season records to pick later than their peers.

* See also 2016 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2015 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2014 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2013 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2012 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2011 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2010 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2009 NHL Draft Lottery Results.

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