NHL Draft Lottery to be held April 9

The 2018-19 NHL regular season will come to a close in less than a month, and over the next few weeks the playoff hopes of many teams will fizzle out and their eyes will turn to the draft lottery in hopes of winning the chance to select either Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko.

For the last four years, the draft lottery has taken place during the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The NHL announced on Wednesday that it is going back to the old way and holding it the night before the opening round begins — April 9th.

The draft lottery will feature the 15 teams that did not make the playoffs. This year, if they find a way to get into the postseason, could also see the Colorado Avalanche take part as they hold the Ottawa Senators’ first-round pick this season.

Per the NHL, here’s how it will work:

The 2019 NHL Draft Lottery will consist of three drawings: the 1st Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting first overall, the 2nd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting second overall and the 3rd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting third overall.

The odds for the remaining teams will increase on a proportionate basis for the 2nd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 1st Lottery Draw, and again for the 3rd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 2nd Lottery Draw.

The 12 clubs not selected in the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery will be assigned 2019 NHL Draft selections 4 through 15, in inverse order of regular-season points.

From Thursday’s latest Playoff Push update, here’s how the race for Hughes/Kakko looks:

Senators – 18.5 percent*
Red Wings – 13.5 percent
Kings – 11.5 percent
Devils – 9.5 percent
Ducks – 8.5 percent
Canucks – 7.5 percent
Rangers – 6.5 percent
Oilers – 6 percent
Sabres – 5 percent
Blackhawks – 3.5 percent
Avalanche – 3 percent
Panthers – 2.5 percent
Wild – 2 percent
Flyers – 1.5 percent
Canadiens – 1 percent
(*OTT’s 2019 first-round pick owned by COL)

The Avalanche are currently three points behind the Wild for the last wild card spot in the Western Conference, so they could very well have two chances at one of the top picks this season if they miss. That should go over well in Ottawa.

The 2019 NHL Draft will take place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The first round will be held Friday, June 21. Rounds 2-7 will take place Saturday, June 22.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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