When is the NHL Draft lottery? Best odds for No. 1 pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Sporting News
All in for Rasmus Dahlin? Sporting News keeps track of each team's chances to win the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and the right to select the generational Swedish defenseman.

NHL Draft lottery odds: Each team's chances to pick Rasmus Dahlin in 2018

All in for Rasmus Dahlin? Sporting News keeps track of each team's chances to win the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and the right to select the generational Swedish defenseman.

As the 2018 NHL Draft approaches, 15 teams are counting their ping-pong balls ahead of the draft lottery drawing.

The race for Rasmus Dahlin, the presumptive No. 1 pick in June's entry draft, will reach the finish line April 28, with the Sabres, Senators and Coyotes the best odds to win the No. 1 overall pick and the opportunity select the generational Swedish defenseman as a salve for their pitiful seasons.

The "All in for Dahlin" movement didn't gain as many supporters as its tanking predecessors. And recent history suggests most anyone with a lottery pick — from the Canucks and Canadiens to the Red Wings or (gasp) Blackhawks — could swoop in and disrupt the order.

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Remember: The NHL's cruel, anti-tank odds allocation means nothing is guaranteed, rendering the great tankathons of 2014 and 2015 a dying art. The biggest "loser," aka whichever team finishes dead last, has only an 18.5 percent at picking first overall — or an 81.5 percent chance of losing the lottery — and a 50/50 shot at falling out of the top three all together. That club can drop no lower than No. 4, but the talent disparity drops off shortly thereafter.

In 2017, the Devils (8.517 percent), Flyers (2.204 percent) and Stars (5.812 percent) stunningly bumped the Avalanche, Canucks, Golden Knights and Coyotes (tied) from the top three, winning the rights to Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick. In 2016, the Jets nabbed Patrik Laine with the No. 2 pick despite holding the fifth-best odds.

This year, the NHL and NHLPA agreed to a slight increase in lottery percentages for bottom teams to win the No. 1 overall pick. Note that the odds for a top-three pick are via Micah Blake McCurdy, whose model at Hockeyviz.com shows the probability for every lottery slot. The NHL does not disclose official expanded odds.

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When is the 2018 NHL Draft lottery?

The NHL Draft lottery drawing will take place Saturday, April 28 in Toronto, with representatives from all 14 lottery teams in attendance (the Islanders hold two picks). Fans can watch on NBC Sports Network (time TBD). Then it's off the the scouting combine May 27-June 2, hosted in Buffalo, N.Y., for a fourth straight year.

The 2018 NHL Draft begins June 22 in Dallas. Rounds 2-7 will be held June 23.

Odds to win the 2018 NHL Draft lottery

New York Islanders (via Flames) 84 points 2.5% 8.2%

Points vs. No. 1 overall % vs. top three %

Buffalo Sabres

62 points

18.5%

49.4%

Ottawa Senators

67 points

13.5%

38.8%

Arizona Coyotes

70 points

11.5%

33.9%

Montreal Canadiens

71 points

9.5%

28.8%

Detroit Red Wings

73 points

8.5%

26.1%

Vancouver Canucks

73 points

7.5%

23.3%

Chicago Blackhawks

76 points

6.5%

20.4%

New York Rangers

77 points

6.0%

19.0%

Edmonton Oilers

78 points

5.0%

16.0%

New York Islanders

80 points

3.5%

11.4%

Carolina Hurricanes

83 points

3.0%

9.9%

New York Islanders (via Flames)

84 points

2.5%

8.2%

Dallas Stars

92 points

2.0%

6.6%

Philadelphia Flyers (via Blues)

94 points

1.5%

5.0%

Florida Panthers

96 points

1.0%

3.3%

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