As promised in the final Weekly Metropolitan Division Snapshot, this is a post all about the NHL Draft Lottery. In this past week, the New Jersey Devils secured the sixth worst record in the conference. Therefore, it's been known that the Devils have a 7.5% chance to win the weighted lottery for the right for the first overall pick of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. With the way the lottery is structured, if the Devils don't win the lottery, then they will either stay at sixth overall or drop a spot to seventh overall. The odds of the Devils staying in place are 63%, or the cumulative probability of the five teams behind them in the standings of winning the lottery. The Devils can only move down if one of the eight teams ahead of them in the standings wins the lottery; the cumulative probability of that happening is 29.5%. Again, the Devils' first round pick will either be #1, #6, or #7.
For the sake of completion, here is the full odds for all fourteen teams that will make the lottery. It took this last week to cement where teams would end up, creating some drama. Buffalo secured their desired goal of finishing dead last. Ditto for Edmonton and Toronto securing their spots. Florida's win over the Devils pushes them down a few spots. Los Angeles and Boston failing to stay in the playoff picture results with them bringing up the rear on this list. The final position to do be decided was Colorado, who moved down two spots with their late win last night. It really came down to the wire, but here are all of the probabilities for each team.
According to this article by Ken Campbell at The Hockey News, the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery will be held on April 18. The plan is to air it on that day as opposed to giving it's own special on TV in the hopes of drawing more interest from people who would be watching playoff games. The hype surrounding Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel has only intensified with each passing month, and so there is likely going to be interest among all NHL fans just to see where each are likely to go.
Edit: The time of the lottery has been announced and confirmed by Tom Gulitti. It'll be at 8 PM EDT on April 18. NBC, CBC, and TVA Sports will have the results live before the start of Game 2 of the Penguins-Rangers series.
Those are the not the only changes Campbell has revealed. There are two other significant differences. First, the NHL will make the video of the whole process publicly available. The league has made video of the lottery available after the fact in the past. Furthermore, the process is overseen by a third-party. With so much interest in determining who will get the right to pick Connor McDavid (or Jack Eichel), the league is clearly taking extra care to ensure everything is on the level. Not that this will stop conspiracy-minded fans anyway. Second, the lottery will be held at the Rogers Sportsnet studio in Toronto. In past years, it was in the NHL offices in New York City. The selection will be in a separate room with no communication devices allowed and only one of the people in the room allowed to bring the result to Bill Daly.
Regardless, the main pieces of information are as follows: the lottery will be on Saturday, April 18. Devils have a chance at winning it, but they are far more likely to be picking sixth and more likely to be picking seventh than first. While there's a lot of time before draft, it would be wise for the Devils' scouting department to compile their information for potential first rounders on the assumption the team will be picking sixth or seventh overall. Should they win it, they can just write a simple note stating "Remember to make a nameplate for McDavid," focus more energy on the second and following rounds. It's certainly more constructive than hoping and praying #1 goes to your team. Yeah, it would be amazingly awesome and will speed up the rebuild that has to happen for New Jersey (a lottery could actually put some of the better teams over the top instead of just getting in), but a 7.5% chance isn't enough to lean on.
We'll have a separate lottery post on Saturday to discuss the results. As the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin on Wednesday, we'll have an open post for discussion of those events as well. Tomorrow, there should be our own site's team awards. Spoiler alert: Cory Schneider was the best.