The NHL Draft Lottery is tonight, and though the Dallas Stars have a very low likelihood of winning it and moving up from their current draft position, it’s still fun to consider the possibilities of last year’s Stanley Cup Finalists getting a top draft pick this season.
Well, fun if you’re not the Buffalo Sabres, anyway.
The results of the draft lottery will be televised tonight at 6 PM CDT on both NBCSN and NHL Network. Stars fans won’t have to wait long to see if the team will move up in the draft. Given the finish the team had in the standings at the end of the year, the Stars are currently slated to draft at 15th overall. Since tonight’s draft lottery will set the stage for the first 16 picks of the draft, it’ll be pretty early on that the Stars’ fate will be known.
The draft lottery is conducted in a fairly easy-to-understand way: balls numbered 1 to 14 are put into a little machine, and then a sequence of four balls are drawn to get a sequence. The combination is then matched to whichever team is assigned that sequence of numbers, regardless of the order in which the four numbers were drawn. Each team is assigned a number of sequences proportionate to their overall odds of winning the draft lottery.
In 2017, the Stars were slated to draft 8th overall, before moving to 9th with the results of the first two draft pick lottery winners slotting them back a spot. Then, the team was drawn to pick third overall, with the winning combination for them that year being 2-6-11-13. That sequence was for the third overall draft pick, and the Stars moved up to draft cornerstone franchise defenseman Miro Heiskanen.
One reason not to hold your breath on the Stars winning this season is that their odds are slightly lower than in other seasons because of the entry of the Seattle Kraken into the league this year. They were slotted into the third overall place and given the same odds as the number four overall team. Seattle is guaranteed to draft no lower than fifth overall, with winners for the first and second overall picks only being drawn this year.
The Arizona Coyotes must forfeit their first round pick this season due to sanctions the league imposed as a result of some sketchy prospect testing practices in the past. If their winning combination is drawn for either of the first two picks, then the machine will re-draw a new sequence of numbers to determine a winner for that pick.
Here are the odds for tonight’s NHL draft lottery. Dallas’ chances are slim. But there’s still a chance....and with Buffalo holding the top chances, wouldn’t it just be a fairytale ending if Dallas “stole” yet another thing from them, like they claim the team did in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals?