The NHL holds its annual Draft Lottery (8 p.m.) tonight and it’s challenging for Detroit Red Wings fans to muster to any interest in the proceedings.
Move along. Nothing to see here.
The Red Wings, based on their 24th place finish in the final standings, only have a 5.0% chance of winning the No. 1 pick. They have a 5.2% shot at winning the No. 2 pick.
More importantly, the Red Wings haven’t had any luck in the NHL Draft Lottery. Three years ago, Detroit owned the NHL’s worst record and wound up drafting fourth overall. Through the lottery, the Red Wings have lost eight spots in the draft since 2016.
General manager Pat Verbeek’s Anaheim Ducks had the NHL’s worst record this season and only have an 18.5% shot at winning the lottery and a 25.5% of staying at No. 1. The Buffalo Sabres (2021) and Montreal Canadiens (2022) were in that position and ended up with the No. 1 pick.
But what makes this draft even more interesting is that the No. 1-rated player is Regina Pats sensation Bedard who has been compared to Steve Yzerman. Bedard could speed up Detroit’s rebuilding. That’s why fans are drawn to it. He’s a generational player.
“Maybe we get some luck in the lottery, maybe not,” Yzerman said.
Odds Say Detroit Stays at No. 9
The rules changed in 2021. Now, the team with the worst record can only fall as low as the third pick. All non-playoff teams are eligible for the Draft Lottery, but the winner can only move up 10 places. That means only teams with the 11 worst records have a shot to pick No. 1. There is a second lottery for the No. 2 pick. The No. 2-rated player is University of Michigan’s Adam Fantilli.
The Red Wings have a 64.4% chance of staying at No. 9, which is where they would be if there were no draft lottery.
This is considered a deep draft in terms of overall talent, and the Red Wings also have the New York Islanders’ No. 18 pick. They acquired it from the Vancouver Canucks in the Filip Hronek trade. The Canucks received it from the Islanders in the Bo Horvat transaction.
Detroit also has three second-round picks: their own, plus the St. Louis Blues’ and Vancouver Canucks’ second-round pick.
Here is the Montreal Hockey Now two-round rankings of 2023 Draft Prospects.