Just six years ago, the Oilers won their last draft lottery. It seems like yesterday when Bill Daly pulled that Willy Wonka golden ticket from the number 3 envelope to allow the Oilers to select Connor McDavid first overall at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Anyways, fast forward to 2021. The Oilers aren’t in the lottery for this year’s entry draft, but the Sabres are again, so are the Ducks, and the brand new Seattle Kraken fill out the top three slots. Clubs who failed to make the 2021 NHL postseason are eligible ton win this year’s entry draft. Buffalo has the best chance at just under 17%, as they finished this season with the fewest points in the NHL.
The draft lottery will take place at 5 MST on Sportsnet.
The rules are a little bit different this year. Instead of three separate drafts, there will be two. The first draft lottery will determine who selects first overall. The second draft lottery will determine who selects second. After that, the board plays. No team will select more than two spots lower than their end of season placement.
The NHL schedule was a weird one this year due to the pandemic, this rang true for junior hockey schedules as well. Some leagues played only a very short time like the WHL, others not at all. It’s going to be an extra challenge this year to nail down the top prospects after say, the first two or three.
I imagine it’s going to be quite a lot like a dartboard as the first round comes to a close.