The addition of the 31st franchise in the NHL has changed the layout of the 2017 NHL Draft. Since 1995 the league has used a lottery system to determine the order of selection in the first round for all non-playoff teams. It’s an effort to make it less appealing to give up at the end of the season in hopes of getting a higher pick in the draft.
The lottery has done just that. Sometimes teams keep the top overall pick, sometimes a team jumps up a slot or two to the front of the line, and even the team that finished closest to the playoffs has the slimmest chance to find itself selecting in the top three. (The NHL conducts three lotteries using the same odds to determine the top thee picks. Then teams are slotted in from 4-15 based on record)
There’s no debating the lottery’s effectiveness on curbing tanking. But there is a debate on this nugget from TSN.
The one problem for the Devils – or any other team interested in improving their odds – is that tanking has been slightly disincentivized this year with the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights. –Frank Seravalli, TSN
Exact odds have not been released yet for the 2017 lottery including Vegas, but the projections take the word slightly literally.
In 2016 the last place team, Toronto, had a 20% shot of winning the lottery and getting Auston Matthews. It happened. The second to last place team, Edmonton, came in at 13.5% with Vancouver behind them at 11.5%.
The Expansion Rules indicate that Vegas will have an equal chance in the lottery as the third worst team. Last year that would have meant 11.5%, but in adding a team the odds must change a bit. Again, the numbers have not been released yet, so these are just speculation, but the guess is the worst team will have a 17.9% chance, with 2nd worst 12.1% and Vegas/3rd worst tied at 10.3%.