With the Montreal Canadiens not part of this year's playoff action, the draft lottery is the next exciting event on the calendar for Habs fans. Though they are far from guaranteed to win one of the big prizes, they definitely have a shot at moving up in the draft.
The last time the Canadiens had a top-three selection was the 2012 draft, when they used the third-overall pick to bring Alex Galchenyuk. Before that, you'd have to rewind all the way to the 2005 draft to find the last time Montreal benefitted from the draft lottery, that particular case giving all 30 teams eqaul odds after the NHL lockout. Of course, that year they grabbed the fifth-overall pick, and used it on some guy named Carey Price.
Start time and how to watch
Date: April 30, 2016
Time: TV coverage starts at 7:00 PM EDT, 4:00 PM PDT on CBC, TVA Sports, and NBC. The actual lottery takes place at 8 PM EDT.
The lottery will be broadcast ahead of Saturday night's playoff action, just prior to Game Two between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. It can be seen on CBC and TVA Sports in Canada, and will be shown on NBC in the USA.
Rules and Odds
It is a rather simple format. The top three picks of the draft are up for grabs, with the league's last-place team having the most entries. Once the first three selections are awarded, the rest of the picks from four to 14 are awarded in descending order to the remaining teams on the list below.
For each lottery, balls numbering from 1 to 14 will be placed in a machine, and four will be selected. Teams will be randomly assigned a varying number of the 1000 available combinations, depending on their final standing and corresponding odds. For example, the Canadiens have a 5% chance of winning the first pick, which means 50 out of 1000 possible combinations.
Here is the complete list of teams involved in the lottery, complete with their percentage chances of winning.
|Toronto Maple Leafs||20.0%||17.5%||15.0%||47.5%|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||9.5%||9.7%||9.8%||3.1%||27.3%||33.2%||7.4%|
|New Jersey Devils||3.0%||3.3%||3.6%||73.6%||15.9%||0.6%||0.003%|
The only way that Montreal won't be drafting at ninth overall is if they (or any of the teams below them on the odds list) get rather lucky in the lottery. If you're interested in testing out how the lottery works, you can check out the lottery simulator, which factors in the odds pictured above.
We'll have to wait until Saturday to find out which franchise is rewarded the most for their failures, and gets a major boost to its talent pool.