Skip to content

Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format

Aug 20, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

Bill Daly lottery Getty Images

If your favorite team is hoping to tank next season to land Connor McDavid in the 2015 NHL Draft, just know their chances of landing the top pick just got worse.

The NHL announced changes to the NHL Draft Lottery that will see the odds of landing the top pick change slightly in 2015 and the lottery process change even more in 2016.

The league says the odds will be adjusted to “more appropriately reflect the current state of competitive balance in the League.” That means if your team has the worst record next season, their chances of landing the No. 1 pick in the lottery go from 25 percent to 20. That in itself is a 20 percent drop in chances to earn the top pick.

As for how the percentages change for all picks, here’s a handy chart via NHL.com:

source:

As you can see, finishing with one of the three worst records no longer pays off as well in the lottery. Meanwhile, the other 11 non-playoff teams all see their chances of landing the No. 1 pick get a boost.

The team most obviously affected by these changes are the Buffalo Sabres. They’re expected to be one of, if not the, worst teams in the league and may stand the best chance of landing McDavid. Now if they wind up with the worst record, their chances of winning the lottery have gotten worse.

Then again, if the Sabres want to look on the bright side of things, if the New York Islanders and/or St. Louis Blues miss the playoffs, their chances of stealing the top pick have improved slightly since they own both of their first-round picks.

Keep those odds in mind because when it’s time for the 2016 Draft Lottery, there will be a drawing for each of the top three picks, not just the first overall selection. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s how the NBA handles their draft lottery.

That means if you have the worst record in the league then, you’re not guaranteed either the first or second overall pick and that team could pick as low as fourth overall.

If teams are going to tank to land McDavid or Jack Eichel, they might find out doing so may not work out the way they intended while burning a season trying not to win too much.

Latest Posts
  1. Watch Live: Capitals at Islanders

    Apr 19, 2015, 11:35 AM EDT

    John Tavares Getty Images

    Puck drop is at 12 p.m. ET on NBC.

  2. Sens turn to Anderson for Game 3

    Apr 19, 2015, 11:06 AM EDT

    Craig Anderson Getty Images

    Neil replaces Chiasson on Ottawa’s fourth line.

  3. ‘We never quit fighting,’ says Pardy with Jets down 2-0 to Ducks

    Apr 19, 2015, 2:51 AM EDT

    Winnipeg Jets v Anaheim Ducks - Game Two Getty Images

    It will be interesting to see what happens as this series heads to Winnipeg.

  4. Video: Kesler catches Myers with illegal hit to the head

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:56 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Anaheim’s veteran forward received a minor penalty on the play.

  5. Eichel understands Murray’s disappointment, but ‘extreme competitor’ has ‘a lot to offer’

    Apr 18, 2015, 11:13 PM EDT

    BU's Jack Eichel A Standout At World Junior Training Camp Getty Images

    “I think I bring a really good winning attitude and I have a lot to offer offensively.”

  6. Video: Sidney Crosby strikes twice to bust personal playoff scoring slump

    Apr 18, 2015, 10:20 PM EDT

    Had one goal in 19 playoff games prior to Saturday.

  7. Video: Rangers’ Stepan opens scoring with perfect shot top corner

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    These teams combined for eight shots in the opening period.

  8. So…what do the Oilers do now?

    Apr 18, 2015, 9:08 PM EDT

    Craig MacTavish. AP

    Craig MacTavish has some decisions to make, now that he’s won the Connor McDavid sweepstakes.

  9. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action

    Apr 18, 2015, 7:33 PM EDT

    AP

    Can the Penguins and Jets even things up?

  10. Babcock to go with Mrazek for Game 3

    Apr 18, 2015, 7:01 PM EDT

    AP

    Not wasting any time.

  11. Tarasenko’s hat trick has the Wild singing the Blues

    Apr 18, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT

    AP

    This series is all tied up at 1-1.

  12. Hartley fined $50,000 after brawl between Flames and Canucks

    Apr 18, 2015, 5:44 PM EDT

    Deryk Engelland’s game misconduct for instigating was rescinded.

Featured video

Sens need to control emotions after Subban slash
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Pacioretty (4011)
  2. K. Letang (3166)
  3. R. Nash (2954)
  4. P. Kane (2917)
  5. M. Stone (2601)