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Just 12 More Days Until The 2018 NHL Draft Lottery

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Here come the Oilers.

Canada v Sweden: Gold Medal Game - 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship
Swedish defenceman Rasmus Dahlin is this year’s likely first overall pick.
Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

It’s that time of year again. Time for our Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, and Grey Cup wrapped up all into one.

You know what I’m talking about. It’s time for the NHL Entry Draft Lottery. It’s coming up sooner than you think. April 28th is less than two weeks away, and you’ll need to be prepared for the eventual Oilers victory when the lotto balls pop up just right.

With Edmonton making an unlikely playoff run last season, it was easy to forget about the draft lottery. This year, they’re back and ready to make a significant impact at the draft table. The rules have changed a little bit since the Oilers drafted Connor McDavid first overall in 2015 and Jesse Puljujarvi fourth overall in 2016.

Statistics say the Oilers have just a 5% chance at winning the lottery. I laugh at these mortal numbers. While 5% odds winning it all may be a stone cold fact, the Devils won the lottery with an 8.5% chance last season and got the chance to draft Nico Hischier first overall. What do these two independent events have to do with each other? Nothing, except to give fans of every other team around the draft table some serious nerves when the Oilers are there. Yeah, New Jersey won it last year with 8% odds. Here come the Oilers.

Even if the Oilers don’t hit lightning in a bottle right off the bat, there’s still a chance to draft second or third overall, as there are three separate drafts for the top three picks that the Oilers can cash on. The Oilers have nearly a 50/50 shot of staying at their current rank of ninth. They could finish first, second or third with some draft lotto luck, they have about a 50/50 shot of hanging out at ninth. If a team with a longer shot wins any one of the top three picks (like the Islanders, Panthers or Blues), the Oilers could pick either tenth, eleventh or twelfth depending on how many long shots come in.

A draft lottery victory would surge the Oilers to the top of the draft board, no doubt delighting fans of the Oilers as much as every other fan from every other NHL market. We’ve only got twelve more days until it all happens. Be ready.