Tag: draft lottery

Jonathan Huberdeau

Draft lottery odds are set, Panthers have best shot at top pick


For the first time in league history, the NHL Draft Lottery will give all non-playoff teams a shot at the No. 1 pick and everyone’s fate lies in how the ping pong balls decide to bounce. Everyone from the league’s worst team (Florida) to the last team out of the playoffs (Columbus) will have a chance to climb into the driver’s seat.

How do the odds of landing the No. 1 pick shake out for each team? Here’s the rundown:

Florida Panthers – 25.0%
Colorado Avalanche – 18.8%
Tampa Bay Lightning – 14.2%
Nashville Predators – 10.7%
Carolina Hurricanes – 8.1%
Calgary Flames – 6.2%
Edmonton Oilers – 4.7%
Buffalo Sabres – 3.6%
New Jersey Devils – 2.7%
Dallas Stars – 2.1%
Philadelphia Flyers – 1.5%
Phoenix Coyotes – 1.1%
Winnipeg Jets – 0.8%
Columbus Blue Jackets – 0.5%

Teams with poor odds have won the lottery in the past only to be prevented from grabbing the top pick thanks to the old rules. Think back to 2011 when the New Jersey Devils vaulted from 8th to 4th where they grabbed defenseman Adam Larsson.

Should someone other than Florida win the lottery, they’ll move to the top and everyone else will slide back by a pick. Advanced congrats to the Panthers on being No. 1 or No. 2.

This year’s top choice is likely to be defenseman Seth Jones but others like forwards Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, and Aleksander Barkov present excellent options for those teams to improve their future.

You can watch the lottery live on NBCSN tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET.

2012 lottery: Oilers get top pick for third year in a row

Chicago Blackhawks  v Edmonton Oilers

Brian Burke had some rather pointed things to say about the Pittsburgh Penguins “model” – which essentially came down to being very bad for a very long time to stock up on draft picks – but the Edmonton Oilers have a chance to prove or disprove it in a big way. The Edmonton Oilers won the 2012 NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday, giving them the No. 1 overall pick for three consecutive seasons.

The Oilers moved up from second place in the draft positioning, beating out the Columbus Blue Jackets, who held a 25 percent chance to take the top spot after recording the worst record in the NHL. Here’s what the draft will look like – at least before trades and other maneuvering takes place.

1 – Edmonton
2 – Columbus
3 – Montreal
4 – NY Islanders
5 – Toronto
6 – Anaheim
7 – Minnesota
8 – Carolina
9 – Winnipeg
10 – Tampa Bay
11 – Washington (via COL)
12 – Buffalo
13 – Dallas
14 – Calgary

In 2010, the Oilers opted to draft winger Taylor Hall instead of center Tyler Seguin. In last year’s draft, Edmonton chose slick playmaking center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins instead of defenseman Adam Larsson.

Which direction should the Oilers go in this year, then? Should they pick Nail Yakupov, the widely-held No. 1 prospect? Should Edmonton instead address the most obvious area of need by adding the best defenseman available? Or perhaps the Oil might be wisest to trade the pick for multiple choices or an immediate improvement?

We’ll have more on this subject soon, but in the mean time, let us know what you think Edmonton and the rest of the lottery teams should consider.

Blue Jackets, Oilers, Habs, Isles and Leafs have a shot at first pick


The vast majority of Saturday’s focus was on the playoffs, but to some fan bases, the biggest wins came in defeat. The 2012 NHL Entry Draft lottery takes place on Tuesday, so if you want a rundown of the rules, click here. The actual positioning has been determined since then, though, so take a look at the rundown via NHL.com.

Odds of winning the draft lottery (Note: I put teams in the running for the first pick in bold)
1 – Columbus – 25.0%
2 – Edmonton – 18.8%
3 – Montreal – 14.2%
4 – NY Islanders – 10.7%
5 – Toronto – 8.1%
6 – Anaheim – 6.2%
7 – Minnesota – 4.7%
8 – Carolina – 3.6%
9 – Winnipeg – 2.7%
10 – Tampa Bay – 2.1%
11 – Washington (via COL) – 1.5%
12 – Buffalo – 1.1%
13 – Dallas – 0.8%
14 – Calgary – 0.5%

NOTE: No team can move up more than four spots, or move down more than one.

One could argue the most interesting scenario might be if the Washington Capitals’ 11th pick (via Colorado in that Semyon Varlamov trade) jumps all the way to the seventh one. Another interesting possibility might come if the lowly Edmonton Oilers receive a third consecutive first overall pick, which is only slightly less than a one-in-five chance.

Here’s a goofy but fun question to chew on: which of the bottom five teams “deserves” the No. 1 pick the most in your mind? Should the sad sack Blue Jackets get the blue chip to start a post-Rick Nash era? Would it be cool to see the Oilers get a trio of unos? How about giving the new Montreal Canadiens GM a great stuff with a first pick, the Islanders another boost in their rebuild or even the Maple Leafs a chance to shake off the Tyler Seguin talk?

Oilers claim they’re making “progress”

Edmonton Oilers v Los Angeles Kings

If you look at some of the Edmonton Oilers front office’s moves, there’s a strange sense of “keeping the band together” even though they’ve mostly hit foul notes. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that the team told Robin Brownlee of The Canadian Press that they’re making progress (and not just toward another lottery pick, one would assume).

“I think we’ve already made progress to tell you the truth, regardless of what happens,” Shawn Horcoff said. “We’ve had great leaps and strides forward with our young guys and we’re going to get another good (draft) pick. We’re going to be older and a little more experienced next year. I think experience goes a long way.”

After finishing 30th overall in back-to-back seasons with 62 points, the Oilers face the Ducks in their final home game with a record of 32-39-9 for 73 points. At worst, the Oilers will be 11 points better when they’re done with the Ducks and the Canucks.

While it’s reasonable that the Oilers continue to build around an improving nucleus of young offensive players, re-upping with flawed veterans such as Andy Sutton and Ales Hemsky* seems a bit perplexing.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are cemented in last place in the NHL – the Oilers’ former cozy home – so technically some progress has been made. Still, in a salary cap age full of rapid turnarounds (particularly with teams who stock up on high-end draft picks), Edmonton seems relegated to the New York Islanders category of baby step improvements.

Much like the Islanders, the Oilers’ front office has its strange quirks, as GM Steve Tambellini has made his fair share of strange decisions.

Still, when games open up to allow Ryan-Nugent Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall to take over, it can be a beautiful sight. Let us know in the comments if those brief moments of glory – not to mention Sam Gagner’s historic run – are just a mirage or are instead a sign of better things to come.

(And be specific about how much better, if you don’t mind.)

* – I like Hemsky and I know he isn’t that old, but he’s basically a poor man’s Marian Gaborik because of his near-constant presence on injury reports. It’s a bit surprising that Edmonton’s brass wants to deal with more of that IR drama.

Leafs officially eliminated from playoffs, but Burke might keep his job

Brian Burke

With a 3-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the seemingly inevitable became official: the Toronto Maple Leafs have been eliminated from the playoffs.

Now the obvious question for the free-falling Leafs is: what’s next? If you believe Dave Shoalts’ unnamed sources, embattled (and profoundly entertaining) GM Brian Burke will be there to shape the team in 2012-13.

Efficient may not be a popular word right now when it comes to the Maple Leafs and their general manager, Brian Burke, but the board has no plans to fire him.

The MLSE insider, who did not want to be identified because he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the company, also does not expect this to change when BCE Inc., and Rogers Communications Inc., officially become the owners of 75 per cent of MLSE some time this summer. He can’t say that for sure, of course, but he also said he has no reason to think either communications giant will demand Burke’s head before his contract expires at the end of the 2013-14 NHL season.

Shoalts goes on to detail some of the wins and losses of Burke’s tenure, although I must play the devil’s advocate on the Phil Kessel deal to some extent. Yes, Dougie Hamilton could be a good-to-great NHL defenseman and Tyler Seguin is beginning to show his promise with 61 points this season, but Kessel was absolutely outstanding for most of this season. (Yes, Kessel might have his flaws, yet it might be time to downgrade that trade from the “awful” category.)

There is one “benefit” from the Maple Leafs plummeting ways (whether Burke is there to take advantage or not): Toronto is tanking its way to a possible lottery pick. NHL Network provided this helpful look at the lottery situation, which I’ll share in text form:

Tank watch

Anaheim: 6 games left, 75 points
Islanders: 6 games left, 75 points

Lottery Teams as of this writing
Toronto: 5, 75 (8.1 percent chance for the top pick)
Minnesota: 6, 72 (10.7 percent)
Montreal: 6, 72 (14.2 percent)
Edmonton: 6, 71 (18.8 percent)
Columbus: 6, 55 (48.2 percent )

(Boy, the Islanders must feel great about smiting the Pittsburgh Penguins, right?)

The Maple Leafs haven’t made the playoffs in the post-lockout era, so “wait til next year” is the sort of phrase that likely sends Toronto fans to the nearest pub, but the team should be able to add a nice prospect to try to turn things around.

It just remains to be seen if Burke will get another year or two to try to steer that ship.