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2018 NHL Draft Lottery: First overall reveal — Start time, TV schedule, procedure, odds, and how to watch

Everything you need to know about tonight’s lotteries to determine draft positioning.

2008 NHL Draft Drawing Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images for the NHL

The second round of the NHL post-season is under way, allowing the fanbases of the eight remaining teams at least one more week to cheer for their teams.

For the 15 clubs that missed out on that excitement, they get an opportunity to celebrate tonight, should their team be the one to win the 2018 NHL Entry Draft Lottery. Picks 15-4 are now known, with the order of the top three left to be revealed.

How to watch

Start time: Approximately 9:50 PM EDT / 6:50 PM PDT
In Canada: CBC, Sportsnet, Sportsnet Now (English), TVA Sports (French)
In the USA: NBC
Elsewhere: Rogers NHL Live/

As has been the case for the last few years, there are actually three lotteries, with the first overall selection determined first, with separate lotteries for the second and third picks determined afterward.

Any of the 15 non-playoff teams has a chance to win the first overall selection, with the worst team having the highest odds of winning, and the team that finished just outside the playoffs having the lowest. The chances of each team claiming the first overall pick are as follows:

2018 NHL Draft Lottery - Odds of winning #1 pick

Team Odds
Team Odds
Buffalo Sabres 18.5%
Ottawa Senators* 13.5%
Arizona Coyotes 11.5%
Montreal Canadiens 9.5%
Detroit Red Wings 8.5%
Vancouver Canucks 7.5%
Chicago Blackhawks 6.5%
New York Rangers 6.0%
Edmonton Oilers 5.0%
New York Islanders 3.5%
Carolina Hurricanes 3.0%
New York Islanders (via CGY) 2.5%
Dallas Stars 2.0%
St. Louis Blues* 1.5%
Florida Panthers 1.0%

* conditional pick from a previous trade; team has option to move this pick ahead of the 2018 draft

The odds determine how many of 1000 possible combinations of four balls from a 14-ball lottery machine a team wil be assigned. The team that wins the first lottery will have its remaining combinations distributed proportionately to the remaining 14 teams.

The actual process of the lotteries taking place will not be televised. Instead, once the positions have been determined in a private session, the selections will be revealed in reverse order. Selections 15 to 4 will be unveiled in the pre-game show, with the order of the final three revealed in the second intermission of Saturday’s Game Two between the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights. At that point the winners of the lotteries will be known, with their order to be revealed, and the winner of the first overall pick announced.

NHL Draft Lottery Reaction part two

Will the Montreal Canadiens land the first overall pick? Stick around and find out!

Posted by Habs Eyes On The Prize on Saturday, April 28, 2018