The NHL will hold a draft lottery on Monday in which, for the first time ever, all 14 participants will have a chance at winning the first overall selection.
This marks a dramatic shift in the drafting process.
In previous years, the NHL lottery only allowed teams to move up a maximum of four spots and down a maximum of one.
Under the new structure, the NHL has trended towards the lottery process favored by the NBA, which has yielded some crazy results.
(Exmaple: In 1993, Orlando won the No. 1 pick despite finishing the ’91-92 season with a .500 record, holding just a 1.52 percent chance of winning the lottery.)
Here are the likelihoods (in percentages) of each team getting the first pick at Monday’s lottery:
30th place — 25.0%
29th — 18.8%
28th — 14.2%
27th — 10.7%
26th — 8.1%
25th — 6.2%
24th — 4.7%
23rd — 3.6%
22nd — 2.7%
21st — 2.1%
20th — 1.5%
19th — 1.1%
18th — 0.8%
17th — 0.5%
As for the teams “vying” for the best odds?
At the time of writing, Florida sits dead last in the NHL with 34 points.
The only way the Panthers could move out of 30th is by winning their final two games of the year (against Toronto, Tampa Bay) and have 29th-place Colorado, currently with 37 points, fail to earn any from its final two games (against Phoenix, Minnesota).
Should both teams finish with 38 points, Colorado would “win” the tiebreaker by way of more regulation and overtime victories — so, the likelihood is that Florida will finish in 30th and Colorado 29th.
Where things get interesting is with the teams sitting 28-24th.
Standings currently look like this:
The real wildcard here will be Calgary who, in addition to its own pick, also hold St. Louis’ and Pittsburgh’s first-rounders in 2013.
The Flames aren’t exactly tanking for better odds for No. 1 — they’re 6-4 in their last 10 — but could still drop all the way to 28th by season’s end, and hold 14.2 percent odds to win Monday’s lottery.
Another team to watch will be Edmonton.
The Oilers have plummeted in the standings thanks to a 1-9 mark over their last 10, and are in the mix to pick first overall for the fourth year in a row.
If that happens, Edmonton will become the first team in NHL history to pick No. 1 for four straight years. Previously, the only other team to do it three times in a row was Quebec, from 1989-91 (Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan and Eric Lindros).