The 2017 Draft Lottery takes place tomorrow night at 7:30 PM in Toronto, and it will be followed by Game 2 of the Stanley Cup playoff series between the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. American viewers can watch on NBC, while Canadian viewers can watch on both CBC and Sportsnet. The 2017 entry-level draft itself takes place June 23-24 at the United Center in Chicago.
There are 15 lottery teams this year in contrast to the usual 14; the Vegas Golden Knights have the same odds as the third-lowest team (the Arizona Coyotes, this year). The Devils have the fourth-best odds of picking first overall at 8.517%. The Avalanche have about an 18.0% chance of picking first (they finish with just 48 points. The Canucks are next with a 12.1% chance; they finished with 69 points (nice). The Coyotes and Devils fall next (ignoring Vegas for a second) but Arizona has better odds (10.3%) even though both teams ended up with 70 points (the Coyotes had two more regulation losses).
Here’s an awesome chart of each team’s complete odds, courtesy of Sportsnet:
There is a handy NHL lottery simulator here http://nhllotterysimulator.com if you’re interested in going through it over and over again to see how the Devils (and other teams) might pick. It’s a good way to combat boredom (or waste time). Personally, I don’t expect the Devils to pick first overall but Top 3 would be nice as would Top 5.
Just for fun, I ran the simulator 100 times (during class) this morning and these were the results:
The Devils picked first six times, second ten times, and third six times so they picked Top 3 22% of the time (I’m okay with those odds).
The Devils do have 10 picks in this year’s draft, including seven in the first four rounds.
Nolan Patrick will likely go first overall, with Nico Hischier going a close second. The next several picks aren’t as certain but there are a few players who could go anywhere in that range: Gabriel Vilardi, Michael Rasmussen, Cody Glass, Nick Suzuki, and Owen Tippett. Yes, there may be no generational talents in this draft but they’re still talented kids and can help teams out tremendously. A lot of analysts talk about the “lack of talent” in this year’s draft and that’s just not true. They need some development but they can become pretty decent NHLers.
Here’s to hoping the Devils get to pick Top 3.