The NHL lottery explained

Canadiens fans will be watching the draft lottery closely on Tuesday night. This is how it will work.

The 16 teams that did not make the playoffs are eligible for the draw.

Two balls are drawn: the first for the very first choice, the second for the second, and so on.

The 14 teams not selected will receive their draft rankings in reverse order from the final regular season rankings.

The Habs are guaranteed to fish in the top 3. As the worst team in the regular season, Montreal has a 25.5% chance of getting the very first pick.

The team technically has an 18.5% chance of winning the first choice lottery, but you have to add the 7% that teams 12 through 16 have if they win the lottery. That means if the Blue Jackets, the Islanders, the Jets, the Canucks, or the Golden Knights are drawn first, the Canadians will pick first.

The odds for the first draft pick:

Canadians from Montreal: 18.5%
Arizona coyotes: 13.5%
Seattle Octopus: 11.5%
Philadelphia Flyers: 9.5%
New Jersey Devils: 8.5%
Chicago Blackhawks: 7.5%
Ottawa Senators: 6.5%
Detroit Red Wings: 6.0%
Buffalo Saber: 5.0%
Anaheim Ducks: 3.5%
San Jose Sharks: 3.0%
Columbus blue jackets: 2.5%
New York Islanders: 2.0%
Winnipeg Jets: 1.5%
Vancouver Canucks: 0.5%
Vegas Golden Knights: ** 0.5%

Among the top hopes for the next draft, Kingston Frontenacs center Shane Wright remains at the top of the North American skaters, just ahead of American Logan Cooley.

Internationally, Slovakia’s Juraj Slafkovsky is the best hope, having been named best player at the last Olympic tournament with 7 points in as many games.

Some observers believe the 2022 vintage will be on the weak side compared to next year, which will be dominated by sensation Connor Bedard.

Clarification that a team cannot win a lottery draw more than twice in a 5-year period. The good news for CH fans: even if the team drafts first this year, they can still win the lottery next year… provided they miss the playoffs, of course.

Consolation takes place on July 7th and 8th at the Bell Centre. Therefore, teams have 2 months to evaluate the hopefuls, especially during the evaluation tests, which take place from May 29th to June 4th in Buffalo. It will be a very important practice given a crucial draft for the Montreal Canadiens.

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