The Draft Lottery: What are the Odds?

With the 2014-2015 season coming to a close and the NHL draft getting closer and closer, it is almost time to start thinking about the draft lottery and which player may be selected by which team. The NHL Draft Lottery will occur on Saturday, April 18 at 8 PM EST. The NHL draft will occur on June 26 and 27 at our very own BB&T Center in Sunrise (the COTP staff hopes to see you all there). Click the button below to read more.

The Breakdown

The Draft Lottery is quickly approaching and I’m sure you are all anxious to know who will get that coveted first pick. Each team has been assigned four-number combinations with the lower seeded teams receiving more than the higher seeded, non-playoff teams.

The lottery machine will discharge four balls with one number one each, and if the combination that is released equals the combination that a team has, that team will win the draft lottery and pick first overall in June. The Panthers own 30 combinations out of a total 1,001 possible combinations  Could they take home the first overall pick again? Take a look at the chart below (credit to CBSSports) to find out:

Buffalo Sabres 20.0% 20.0% 80.0%
Arizona Coyotes 13.5% 20.0% 66.5%
Edmonton Oilers 11.5% 33.5% 55.0%
Toronto Maple Leafs 9.5% 45.0% 45.5%
Carolina Hurricanes 8.5% 54.5% 37.0%
New Jersey Devils 7.5% 63.0% 29.5%
Philadelphia Flyers 6.5% 70.5% 23.0%
Columbus Blue Jackets 6.0% 77.0% 17.0%
San Jose Sharks 5.0% 83.0% 12.0%
Colorado Avalanche 3.5% 88.0% 8.5%
Florida Panthers 3.0% 91.5% 5.5%
Dallas Stars 2.5% 94.5% 3.0%
Los Angeles Kings 2.0% 97.0% 1.0%
Boston Bruins 1.0% 99.0% 0.0%

Click here to access an NHL Draft Lottery Simulator (feel free to simulate the lottery 10, 20, or even 100 times — it’s addictive)

The Prospects

So, now you know that the Panthers do have a chance of getting one of the top draft picks, but don’t get your hopes up. Yet, even if the Panthers do not get McDavid or Eichel, there are still many players that would be a perfect fit for the team. The Panthers already have an abundance of young centers and defensemen who are ready or soon will be ready to play in the NHL. What the team really needs is a couple of wingers and possibly a goalie. Let’s take a look at the top 30 draft picks (credit to MyNHLDraft):

2015 NHL Draft Prospect Rankings
RK Central Scouting
North American
Apr. 8th
Central Scouting
Apr. 8th
Craig Button
Apr. 7th
Apr. 6th
1 Connor McDavid Mikko Rantanen Connor McDavid Connor McDavid
2 Jack Eichel Gabriel Carlsson Jack Eichel Jack Eichel
3 Noah Hanifin Jacob Larsson Dylan Strome Noah Hanifin
4 Dylan Strome Joel ErikssonEk Mitchell Marner Dylan Strome
5 Lawson Crouse Michael Spacek Ivan Provorov Mitchell Marner
6 Mitchell Marner Oliver Kylington Zach Werenski Zachary Werenski
7 Ivan Provorov Denis Gurianov Kyle Connor Mikko Rantanen
8 Pavel Zacha Robin Kovacs Brock Boeser Ivan Provorov
9 Zachary Werenski Filip Ahl Timo Meier Lawson Crouse
10 Timo Meier Jens Looke Thomas Chabot Travis Konecny
11 Mathew Barzal David Kase Lawson Crouse Mathew Barzal
12 Jakub Zboril Jonas Siegenthaler Noah Hanifin Kyle Connor
13 Kyle Connor Sebastian Aho Nick Merkley Pavel Zacha
14 Travis Konecny Roope Hintz Mikko Rantanen Jérémy Roy
15 Jansen Harkins Julius Nattinen Evgeni Svechnikov Daniel Sprong
16 Thomas Chabot Erik Cernak Jansen Harkins Timo Meier
17 Evgeny Svechnikov Alexander Dergachyov Anthony Beauvillier Nick Merkley
18 Filip Chlapik Sebastian Aho Mathew Barzal Yevgeni Svechnikov
19 Jake Debrusk Jesper Lindgren Thomas Novak Oliver Kylington
20 Daniel Sprong Denis Malgin Jakub Zboril Colin White
21 Jeremy Roy Kevin Stenlund Jeremy Roy Thomas Chabot
22 Noah Juulsen Artem Volkov Jake DeBrusk Jakub Zboril
23 Nicholas Merkley Lukas Jasek Nicolas Meloche Brandon Carlo
24 Ryan Pilon Mikhail Vorobyov Travis Konecny Paul Bittner
25 Brandon Carlo Veeti Vainio Paul Bittner Jansen Harkins
26 Paul Bittner Vladislav Gavrikov Daniel Sprong Jeremy Bracco
27 Brock Boeser Yegor Rykov Erik Foley Jake DeBrusk
28 Thomas Novak Jan Dufek Filip Chlapik Brock Boeser
29 Colin White Kirill Kaprizov Oliver Kylington Jacob Larsson
30 Dennis Yan Dmitri Yudin Pavel Zacha Anthony Beauvillier

Who Will The Panthers Pick?

Well, as of right now, it is difficult to tell. From recent scouting evaluations, we find that there are not any goalies in the top 100 or even in the top 200. So, the Panthers will probably go with a right or left wing. If all remains unchanged, the Panthers will end up with the 11th pick, and there is slight chance for a higher or lower ranking.

In short, we will probably be looking at Mikko Rantanen, Pavel Zacha, Lawson Crouse, Kyle Connor, and Timo Meier.

The COTP staff will analyze those players in more detail closer to the time of the draft.

Once again, the NHL Draft Lottery will occur on Saturday, April 18 at 8 PM EST. The NHL draft will occur on June 26 and 27 at the BB&T Center.

Be on the lookout for a draft lottery recap, a draft summary, possible draft pick evaluations, and much more on Cats on the Prowl.

The NHL’s press release regarding the draft lottery can be found here. You read about the lottery procedure in-depth here.


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