After Saturday’s season finale against the Maple Leafs, the Canadiens’ next big date comes Tuesday when the NHL stages what everyone calls the Draft Lottery, but what the league calls the “Draft Drawing,” to determine the order for the top picks in June’s Entry Draft.
The Draft Drawing involves the 14 clubs that did not qualify for the playoffs, or the clubs that have acquired the first-round draft pick from one of those non-playoff clubs.
The rules of the Draft Drawing are that one team from the 14 is picked and the winning club moves up as many as four positions in the draft order. If the winning club is one of the clubs with the five lowest regular season point totals (or another team that acquired one of those picks in a trade), they move to first overall and everyone else moves down one spot.
The drawing is weighted, so that the worse record a team had during the season, the better chance they have of being selected in the lottery.
This means if the Canadiens remain in the 28th spot, they would have a 14.2 percent chance of winning the draw. If they do, they would move to first overall.
If one of the two teams with a worse record wins the drawing, it would not affect the Canadiens draft position.
If a team with a better record than the Canadiens wins the drawing, they move up four spots and could supplant the Habs, depending on their final standing during the season. A team that finished between 27th and 24th overall would move up four spots and bump the Canadiens back one pick. For what it’s worth, that exact scenario has only happened once, the first year of the lottery system in 1995.
Based on team finish, the percentage chance of being selected in the Draft Drawing is:
30th place team – 25.0%
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%
The history of NHL draft lottery can be found here on the TSN Website. TSN will televise the Draft Drawing for Canadian viewers on Tuesday at 8 pm. The program will be show in the U.S. on the NBC Sports Network, formerly Versus.
The NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau will release its final rankings of draft eligible players on Monday.
Here’s the NHL website for the Entry Draft, which will be in Pittsburgh on June 22 and 23.