Tomorrow is the beginning of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Once again, the New Jersey Devils are not involved. They finished 27th in the NHL, they were nowhere near making the postseason. Since Las Vegas is joining the league and has been granted the third highest chances, the Devils will have the fifth highest odds to win the first overall pick in the NHL Draft Lottery.
Elliotte Friedman’s report on April 8 at Sportsnet was correct. The National Hockey League confirmed today that the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery will take place on April 29. The results will be revealed on NBC, CBC, and TVA starting at 8 PM EDT. The format of the lottery is the same as last year’s. There will be three lotteries, each for the top three picks in the draft. This means the Devils can pick as high as first overall - their odds and as low as eighth overall.
According to Tankathon - a site that’s for the Sherman Abrams fans in the NHL, NBA, and NFL - the Devils’ odds for where they will pick in the first round are as follows:
- First overall - 8.5%
- Second overall - 8.7%
- Third overall - 8.8%
- Fifth overall (stay the same position they finished in) - 7.2%
- Sixth overall - 33%
- Seventh overall - 28.7%
- Eighth overall - 5.2%
Yes, the highest probability for the Devils is to pick lower than where they finished in the standings. Do not fret. Every team’s probability of falling in position is higher than picking in the top three. Even Colorado has a higher percentage at picking at fourth than in the top three spots. It’ll all come down to who gets fortunate in the lottery.
Do also note that there’s no way for the Devils to draft fourth overall unless they make some kind of trade. So if you don’t see the Devils’ name called by fifth overall on April 29, then you can get really excited.
Speaking of excited, with draft odds and draft lotteries come the related discussion of draft prospects. We’re going to begin determining who we will profile in the near future and how we’ll structure it around other offseason posts in the coming two months soon. In the meantime, Central Scouting Services revealed their final rankings for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Surprising to me, at least, is that Nolan Patrick was named the #1 skater among North American-based prospects. I figured with the injuries that kept him away from the World Junior Championships and the WHL playoffs along with shortening his regular season, he’d fall in the rankings. Their people still like him the most. Other services may tout Nico Hischier (#2 by CSS) and perhaps Casey Mittelstadt (#3 by CSS) over Patrick instead. We’ll see more about that in the near future; after the World Under-18 tournament and when other services reveal their profiles and rankings. The European-based skaters are led by Klim Kostin and Elias Pettersson. Do keep an eye on defenseman Miro Heiskanen (#4E by CSS); he’s been playing big minutes for the HIFK squad in their playoffs. A young defender in a men’s league is impressive enough, receiving significant minutes in their postseason is just amazing.
The offseason is truly here and the next event is defined. Please discuss the draft lottery, the odds, and the CSS list in the comments. We’ll have a separate discussion post for any open chat during the playoffs, also known as the I Hope Carey Price Wails On the Blueshirts postseason.