Neither the math, nor the odds, are with general manager Steve Yzerman tonight when the Red Wings participate in the NHL’s annual Draft Lottery.
The lottery hasn’t been kind to Yzerman since he became Detroit’s general manager in 2019. Not only hasn’t Yzerman won the lottery over the last three attempts, but he lost five spots in the draft in his first two tries. Yzerman stayed at No. 6 last season. That was a moral victory.
The Red Wings will start tonight’s lottery (6:30 p.m., ESPN) with the No. 8 pick based on their record. They have a 54.4% chance of staying there. They have an 84.4% chance of ending up with the No. 8 or No. 9 pick for the NHL draft scheduled July 7-8 in Montreal. The odds of falling to No. 10 are 3.2%. A team now can only fall two spots.
Their chances of finishing with the No. 1 pick? Six percent. That’s the deal. Kingston standout Shane Wright is this year’s consensus No. 1 pick. He put up 94 points in 63 games for the Frontenacs this season.
This year’s draft lottery has some tweaks: There will be a second lottery for the No. 2 pick. The Red Wings have a 6.4% chance of securing the No. 2 pick.
Nobody in the Red Wings’ organization is holding their breath.
Cooley vs. Slafkovsky
The consolation prize for No. 2 is subject to debate. Some believe it is U.S. National Development Program center Logan Cooley. He has been compared to Trevor Zegras.
Others believe it is 6-foot-3, 220-pound Slovak left wing Juraj Slafkovsky who was dominant performer at the recent Olympic Games. He has the potential to play in the NHL next season.
Draft Lottery Reminder: These two draft picks are lottery protected
1. CHI [Owned by CBJ]
2. VGK [Owned by BUF]
If either of those picks win a lottery selection tonight, their original team will reclaim them. https://t.co/950OhwVqcp
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) May 10, 2022
The good news for the Red Wings has been that Yzerman has found draft success no matter where he has drafted. Yzerman’s four first-round picks are Moritz Seider (No. 6, 2019), Lucas Raymond, (No. 4, 2020), Simon Edvinsson (No. 6, 2021) and Sebastian Cossa (No. 15, 2021).
Draft experts says the Red Wings will find talent in the No. 8-No. 10 positions. The Red Wings should find some scorers available, including Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Frank Nazar, Conor Geekie, Jimmy Snuggerud and Isaac Howard. Nazar, Snuggerud and Howard play for the U.S. National Development team. Lekkerimaki is Sweden’s best prospect this season. Geekie has registered 70 points in 63 games for the Winnipeg Ice of the Western Hockey League.