Each of those teams will have the maximum three balls in the
lottery barrel while the other 26 teams will have either two or one
The lottery is expected to be held next week at an NHL board of
governors meeting to ratify the tentative collective bargaining
agreement reached Wednesday between the NHL and the players'
A prominent player agent told ESPN The Magazine's E.J. Hradek that the draft lottery will be held July 21, with the entry draft being held July 30 in Ottawa.
Each team will have a chance at drafting first overall -- a
departure from recent years when only the bottom five teams in the
league from the regular season were involved in the lottery for the
No. 1 pick.
This time around, teams' chances are weighted according to the
Each team starts with three balls and loses one for each
playoff appearance in the last three years but only to a maximum of
two, assuring each team will have at least one ball.
The teams which had the first overall pick in each of the last
four drafts also lose a ball. Florida loses two for having the
first pick twice -- in 2002 and 2003 -- even though the Panthers
traded the first pick in both cases, and Washington (2004) and
Atlanta (2001) lose one each.
That puts a total of 48 balls in the barrel with New York,
Buffalo, Columbus and Pittsburgh each having a 6.25 percent chance
of landing the first pick. Anaheim, Atlanta, Calgary, Carolina,
Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville and Phoenix
each have two balls and a 4.17 percent chance. The remaining 16
teams have one ball each and a 2.08 percent chance.
Clubs will draft from 1 to 30 in the order the balls are picked.
The first-round order will be reversed for the second round and
flip on an alternating basis through the nine rounds.