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What Latest Draft Lottery Proposal Could Mean For Anaheim
By Michael Walters
Since the National Hockey League was halted back in March, the league has continued to work to find a way to resume the 2019-20 season. The focus has mainly been on how to finish the 189 regular-season games if possible and/or how to award the Stanley Cup.
Another concern for the league has been when to hold the NHL entry draft. League officials appear to be gearing up to have the draft in June in a memo sent out last Friday.
Under the current rules, all the teams in the draft lottery would have a chance at one of the top three draft picks. Since the league could resume after the draft, there has been a concern that a team could win the draft lottery and the Stanley Cup. It’s not likely to happen, but if the league includes more than 16 teams in the playoffs it’s a possibility.
Here is a chart of the current odds by Travis Yost and Micah Blake McCurdy. Note Ottawa also has the third pick which they acquired in a trade from San Jose.
With the proposed change there would only be one draft lottery winner. The NHL would pick just one winner for the top spot only, with those odds probably determined by regular-season points percentage. The draft order would be ranked by using points percentage and the 15 non-playoff teams would participate in the Draft Lottery.
Some changes include that the winning team could only move up a maximum of four spots. As a result, a team can only be bumped down one spot. Under this scenario, only Detroit, Ottawa, Los Angeles, and Anaheim would have a shot at the first overall pick. Detroit would also be guaranteed the 1st or 2nd pick. Ottawa would be guaranteed two picks out of the top fourth. Here is the updated chart.
So what could this mean for Anaheim?
Well, it could be good or bad. Under the current system, the Ducks could land anywhere between 1st and 8th except for the 4th pick. The Ducks would have a chance at a top-three pick, but would also have a chance at being bumped from 5th to a 6th, 7th, or 8th pick instead. They are most likely to land at 6th with a 35% chance or 7th with a 27% chance based on the current draft lottery.
In the revised version, the Ducks would still have a chance at 1st overall, but they would not have a chance at the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th pick. On the plus side, they couldn’t finish any lower than the 6th overall pick. In this scenario, the Ducks would most likely land the 5th pick with a 67% chance or the 6th pick with a 25% chance.
Under either scenario, the Ducks would have a 9% chance to win the 1st overall pick.
No Decision On June Draft Yet
The league had a Board of Governors conference call today, but there wasn’t a decision if the draft would take place in June or not. The decision could come later this week or at the latest next week.
If it does happen in June, then this proposal could be the new draft order and lottery design. The league will also have to figure out how to handle trades with conditional picks and make a determination if any trades can be conducted during the draft if the season is to conclude afterward.
Statement From DucksNPucks
This event is bigger than the Anaheim Ducks and sport of hockey. It affects the entire sports industry and the world as a whole. Our sympathies and concerns go out to anyone affected by this worldwide incident. This will be a trying time for the world, but the triumph of the human spirit will get us through this.
Stay strong, stay safe, be kind, and love one another.
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May 4th, 2020