Sabres, Panthers have best odds for 2014 NHL draft lottery

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With their seasons now complete, non-playoff teams can start looking forward to one of the biggest dates on their offseason calendars — the annual draft lottery.

This year’s lottery will take place tomorrow (Tuesday, Apr. 15), determining the order of the first 13 picks of the ’14 Draft, which will be held in Philadelphia on June 27-28 at the Wells Fargo Center. The lottery will air on NBCSN, beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

As for rules and specifics:

— All teams in the lottery are eligible to win the No. 1 overall pick, a practice the NHL implemented for the first time last season. Colorado “won” the ’13 draft lottery, capturing the first overall pick despite having the second-best odds (edging out Florida in the process). The Avs went on to select Calder Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon with the No. 1 pick.

— Odds are determined by 2013-14 regular season point totals:

Buffalo Sabres – 25.0%
Florida Panthers – 18.8%
Edmonton Oilers – 14.2%
Calgary Flames – 10.7%
New York Islanders – 8.1%
Vancouver Canucks – 6.2%
Carolina Hurricanes – 4.7%
Toronto Maple Leafs – 3.6%
Winnipeg Jets – 2.7%
Anaheim Ducks (from Ottawa) – 2.1%
New Jersey Devils – 1.5%
Nashville Predators – 1.1%
Phoenix Coyotes – 0.8%
Washington Capitals – 0.5%

— Thirteen of the 14 clubs that failed to make the playoffs are in this year’s lottery. New Jersey is out, due to the league’s reduced penalty for the Ilya Kovalchuk contract, and will select 30th overall. Here’s the fine print on the Devils situation…

To ensure that the odds of all 13 Clubs eligible to win the Draft Lottery are enhanced equally to reflect the Devils’ situation, the Draft Lottery this year is being modified as follows: the Devils will still be included in the Draft Lottery drawing on the same basis and with the same odds that would have normally been assigned to the Club based on and consistent with its regular-season finish. However, in the event the Devils win the Draft Lottery, an immediate re draw will be conducted to select a different recipient of the first overall selection in the First Round. The same process will be conducted as many times as necessary to ensure that the first overall selection is awarded to a team other than New Jersey. The Devils will be entitled to the 30th selection overall in the 2014 NHL Draft (the last pick in the First Round). The Devils are not permitted to trade or transfer their right to the 30th overall selection.

— The remaining first round spots will be decided by the results of the Stanley Cup playoffs.