With the first-round of the NHL playoffs in full swing, fans of non-playoff teams have been eagerly awaiting the evening of Tuesday, May 10th in hopes of etching some certainty into their offseason dialogue. It’s time for the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery.
A main event for Ottawa Senators fans over its last five iterations, the discourse surrounding this year’s lottery is understandably quiet when you compare the storylines from years prior:
- 2018 — Thought of as a minor clause at the time given the grandiose nature of the trade, Pierre Dorion’s decision to top-10 protect the first-round pick he traded to Colorado in exchange for Matt Duchene set up an interesting conundrum for the lowly Senators, who finished with the second-worst record in the league after a dashing run to the Eastern Conference Finals just a year prior. After dropping two spots in the lottery after Carolina (11th to 2nd) and Montréal (4th to 3rd) moved up, the Senators opted to keep their pick to draft future Captain, Brady Tkachuk, fourth overall.
- 2019 — Entering the 2019 Draft Lottery with the best odds of selecting first, Sens fans were in a state of dread, thinking that the Colorado Avalanche might select Jack Hughes with their first-overall pick. However, the most likely outcome happened — the 50.6% chances of the pick being fourth overall came to fruition after New Jersey (3rd to 1st), the New York Rangers (6th to 2nd), and Chicago (12th to 3rd) all won the lottery. The Avalanche selected defenceman Bowen Byram, a player who might not be of the same calibre as Hughes, but will likely fight with Detroit’s Moritz Seider as the top defenceman of his class over the course of his career.
- 2020 — Unlike 2019, Sens fans were full of excitement heading into the 2020 Draft Lottery. Not only did they have the second-best odds with their own first-round pick, they also had the third-best odds thanks to the collapse of the San Jose Sharks and Dorion’s acquisition of an unprotected first-round pick in the Erik Karlsson trade. This lottery was surrounded with intrigue to the mysterious nature of Teams A through E — placeholders representing clubs eliminated in the qualifying round that began after the season resumed after an extended pause from the COVID-19 pandemic. “Team E” — the New York Rangers — moved up from 12th to 1st, while the Los Angeles Kings went from 4th to 2nd. San Jose’s first-round pick occupied the 3rd spot, allowing the Senators to draft Tim Stützle, while their own pick moved from 2nd to 5th.
- 2021 — The year most similar to our current one in many ways, the Senators entered the lottery with the 10th best odds. From 2012-13 to 2020-21, the top three picks were able to be secured by lottery, but this season, the rules changed to only allow the first two picks to be drawn. Moreover, teams were restricted from moving up by more than 10 spots, and teams could not win the lottery more than twice in a five-year period. Adding the expansion Seattle Kraken to the mix meant that there was a fair amount of change for the first 32-team draft in league history. Buffalo kept the first overall pick while Seattle moved from third to second.
Here’s a look at where we stand in 2022:
The rules are similar as 2021: teams cannot move up more than 10 spots, so San Jose — with three-percent odds — has the worst odds for the first overall and Columbus is in the same situation for second-overall. The Montréal Canadiens are sadly guaranteed to pick no later than third. Moreover, the draft lottery will be conducted remotely this year, with management groups virtually reacting from their respective locations.
All of the fun starts at 6:30pm ET on Sportsnet or TVA in Canada and ESPN in the United States.
While you patiently wait for us to ramp up our draft coverage here at Silver Seven, I can tell you that it’d be a surprise to see centre Shane Wright from the local Kingston Frontenacs not taken with the first-overall pick on July 7th in Montréal — let’s just hope it’s not to the Habs.