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

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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.