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2015 NHL Draft Lottery rules and full odds

Everything you need to know about the 2015 and 2016 NHL draft lotteries, as the league moves towards a less-weighted, more chance-driven system.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2015 season officially come to a close, 14 non-playoff teams turn their attention to the annual draft lottery. And despite the consistent coverage in media hotbeds like Toronto, there are still equally as consistent questions that surface about the ins and outs of the draft system, particularly as to its changes in 2015, and again in 2016.

Traditionally, each non-playoff team was given a weighted chance at winning the lottery, which used to mean that no team could move up more than four spots. This meant that only the worst five teams in the NHL had a chance at the coveted first overall selection, almost encouraging teams to "tank" in order to finish in the bottom five.

In order to amend this issue, the league has slowly began to shift towards a system where each team could move up and select first overall, slowly pushing the odds of the lowest finishing teams back. In 2014, the 30th place team was given a one-in-four or 25 per cent chance at the first overall pick (Aaron Ekblad). In 2015, the league is scaling back these odds yet again, lowering the 30th place team's odds to one-in-five or 20 per cent.

When two teams tie in points, the team with more wins in regulation or overtime (ROW), excluding the shootout, finishes higher in the NHL standings and thus has lower odds in the draft lottery. It is important to note that this lottery is only held for the first overall selections. This means there are only three scenarios for each non-playoff team. First, they can win the lottery, selecting first overall. Second, another team ahead of them can win the lottery, leaving their position in the draft unchanged. Third, another team behind them can win the lottery, pushing them back one spot.

Under the new system, the lowest finishing teams have seen their odds reduced, increasing the odds of the other teams.

2015 NHL draft lottery odds

Non-Playoff Team (Rank)
2015 Draft Lottery (Old Odds)
Odds of Staying Put Odds of Falling
Buffalo (1) 20% (25%) 20.0% 80.0%
Arizona (2) 13.5% (18.8%) 20.0% 66.5%
Edmonton (3) 11.5% (14.2%) 33.5% 55.0%
Toronto (4) 9.5% (10.7%) 45.0% 45.5%
Carolina (5) 8.5% (8.1%) 54.5% 37.0%
New Jersey (6) 7.5% (6.2%) 63.0% 29.5%
Philadelphia (7) 6.5% (4.7%) 70.5% 23.0%
Columbus (8) 6.0% (3.6%) 77.0% 17.0%
San Jose(9) 5.0% (2.7%) 83.0% 12%
Colorado (10) 3.5% (2.1%) 88.0% 8.5%
Florida (11) 3.0% (1.5%) 91.5% 5.5%
Dallas (12) 2.5% (1.1%) 94.5% 3.0%
Los Angeles (13) 2.0% (0.8%) 97.0% 1.0%
Boston (14) 1.0% (0.5%) 99.0% -

The 2015 NHL Draft Lottery will be held on April 18 at 8 p.m. and will televise the selection process for the first time on CBC.

For the playoff teams, the Stanley Cup Champion drafts 30th, preceded by the Stanley Cup Finalist, the conference finalists and each of the regular season's divisional winners (Pacific, Central, Metropolitan, Atlantic). The rest are arranged by their finish in the regular season, starting with the club with the lowest point total, and so forth.

In order for a player to be eligible for the draft, he must be 18 on or prior to September 15 of the year of the draft.

In 2016, the lottery will be held for the first three picks of the NHL draft. Consequently, a team can fall up to three spots (the 30th place team could in theory end up with the fourth overall pick). After each draw, the remaining teams will re-adjust on a proportional basis. The 11 selections not selected in the lottery will be given picks four through 14 based on points.