We simulated the NHL draft lottery 1000 times. The results are…

One of the most stressful moments of the Canadians’ season comes tomorrow night.

It’s going to be the NHL’s draft lottery!

Since we couldn’t wait any longer, we decided to use the Tankathon website and simulate the draw.

Not once. Not a hundred times. no We’re more intense than this at Balle Courbe.

1000 times.


Canadians officially have an 18.5% chance of winning the lottery. But unofficially it’s 25.5% since teams 12-13-14-15 and 16 can’t advance more than 10 ranks. Overall, these teams have a 7% chance of winning, but since they cannot decide first place, that 7% is added to the Canadians.

Photo credit: Tankathon

Here are some highlights of our activity (which took a lot longer than we thought!):

  • In the first simulation, the Coyotes took first place
  • Despite its high percentage, it took 43 simulations for the Kraken to get the first choice
  • After 50 simulations, the Canadians had won 11 times
  • After 100 simulations, Montreal was initially able to select 24 times and Anaheim only once
  • On exactly the 250th simulation, the order was maintained and no one moved up or down a single rank (this happened 22 times out of 1000 times).
  • Draw #355 was absolutely insane as the Blue Jackets and Islanders both climbed 10 spots

Photo credit: Tankathon

  • After 500 simulations, the Canadiens had 130 picks for first place and the Ducks only 11 picks
  • There was a streak of 23 draws in which the Canadians did not take first place between simulations 531 and 553 (inclusive).
  • After 700 simulations, Montreal was named first choice 181 times, Arizona 102 times, and Seattle 84 times

Final Results

So, without further ado, here are the results Balle Courbe obtained after running 1000 simulations of the draft lottery. The number of times a team received the first pick is given in parentheses.

  1. Montreal (251)
  2. Arizona (143)
  3. Seattle (127)
  4. New Jersey (95)
  5. Philly (91)
  6. Chicago (63)
  7. Ottawa (58)
  8. buffalo (56)
  9. Detroit (50)
  10. San Jose (36)
  11. Anaheim (30)

Some other interesting points to note:

  • The Blue Jackets were drafted 2nd or 3rd overall 58 times out of 1,000 simulations
  • The Islanders won the lottery 24 times to eventually finish 3rd overall
  • The Golden Knights have moved from 16th to 6th place out of 1000 5 times, which is exactly their tiny 0.5% chance of winning the lottery (401, 620, 740, 948 and 956 draws).

But we know that there is only one lottery that matters and that is the one that will take place tomorrow.

Who will design Shane Wright?

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