The first key date of the off-season for the Anaheim Ducks, and all other non-playoff teams, is the NHL Draft Lottery. Let’s take a look at the “what, when, and where.”
What: At 5:00 PM PST tonight the Anaheim Ducks, and the other non-playoff teams, will find out their fate as they hope the Hockey Gods shine favorably on them and their ping-pong ball is selected for one of the coveted top 3 selections.
Each of the top 3 selections in the draft will be determined by the lottery, with the 4th-15th selections being determined by placement in the standings by points. The Ducks finished the season with the 8th worst record in the entire league, thus putting them in the 8th best position to win one of the lottery picks.
When: April 9th, 2019 at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST
Where: The Draft lottery will take place in Toronto, the results will be broadcast on the station which owns the NHL’s national broadcasting rights in your respective country. For the USA you can find the lottery on NBCSN, in Canada it’s Sportsnet except in French Canada where it can be viewed on TVA Sports
What to Expect During the Draft Lottery
Now for a bit of a breakdown of what to expect. In finishing with the 8th worst record in the league the Ducks will have a 6.0% chance of winning the first overall draft selection in the upcoming draft. Roughly 3x worse odds than that of the worst record in the league Ottawa (who’s pick is owned by Colorado) who has an 18.5% chance at receiving the first overall pick.
The top two selections in the draft are expected to be Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, you can read up more on them regarding their play style, how likely it is we take them, and their NHL comparable here, as well as some of the other potential picks we could see heading to Anaheim.
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So, let’s take a look beyond the numbers a bit, and take a look at the history of the current format of the draft lottery. The current format of the draft lottery was introduced in 2016, prior to this only one pick was decided through the lottery. Before the 2014-15 season, it wasn’t even necessarily a lottery for 1st overall as you could only move up 4 spots, meaning if the Ducks won the draft lottery, and it was under 2013 rules, the Anaheim Ducks would win the 4th overall pick, not the 1st overall pick.
Adding this wrinkle to the lottery made it less appealing to tank, as not only are you not guaranteed a top 3 pick, you have a slightly higher chance of NOT getting a top 3 pick than receiving one (49.4% chance to get a top 3 pick with the worst record in the league, 50.6% chance to not get a top 3 pick.)
In 2016 the Toronto Maple Leafs won the draft lottery, they were the 30th overall club and did not move up or down because of this, using their pick to select their franchise center Auston Matthews. The second overall pick was won by the Winnipeg Jets, using their 7.8% chance to win the 2nd pick to move up from 6th overall and become the first team to profit from the current lottery system, selecting Patrik Laine. The 3rd overall pick was won by the Columbus Blue Jackets who moved up slightly from 5th overall to 3rd overall, going off the board a bit to select Pierre-Luc Dubois and making it 2/3 of the lottery picks being won by teams who were initially outside of the bottom 3 in the standings.
The Results of the Draft Lottery from the Past Few Seasons
The 2017 draft lottery saw even more crazy results. The first overall pick was won by the New Jersey Devils who only had an 8.5% chance moving up from 5th overall to get the first overall selection to select Nico Hischier. The Philadelphia Flyers made the biggest leap in the history of the draft lottery moving up 11 spots from the 13th overall pick into the top 3 where they selected Nolan Patrick.
The Dallas Stars moved up from the 8th overall slot (The same spot the Anaheim Ducks currently occupy) to claim the 3rd overall pick where they selected Miro Heiskanen. That makes 5/6 of the lottery picks going to teams that are not in the bottom 3 after two years.
Finally, we come to 2018, the Buffalo Sabres became the 2nd team in 3 years to maintain their position in the lottery, finishing worst in the league, and keeping the top overall slot with their 18.5% chance, which they used to select Rasmus Dahlin. The 2nd overall pick was again a crazy one as the Carolina Hurricanes moved all the way up from 11th overall with only a 3.7% chance to move up to select Andrei Svechnikov.
The Montreal Canadiens rounded out the top 3 as they moved up slightly from 4th overall to 3rd overall (12.5% chance) to select Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Making that 7/9 of the draft positions being won by teams who did not originally occupy them.
Overall the Ducks have a 6.0% chance to win the first overall pick, they also have a 19% chance overall to move into the top 3 by winning one of the 3 lottery picks. History shows that the lottery is no longer even remotely close to a sure thing and anything can happen.
The one thing that we can say for certain is that the Anaheim Ducks will not be picking any lower than 11th overall, plus they have another 1st round pick which is currently slated at 20th overall. With a little luck on their sides, the Ducks could end up being another team who beat the odds and was rewarded with a higher pick than they were expecting.
What do you predict will happen? Will the Ducks move into the top 3? Will they drop any spots? Who would you like to see the Ducks select? Let us know in the comments below!
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