NHL Draft Lottery to take place day before 2019 playoffs

Sam Cosentino explains why Kaapo Kakko has taken over the top spot on his best NHL draft prospects list.

The 2019 NHL Draft Lottery is set to take place April 9, one day prior to the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the league announced Wednesday.

Typically, lottery results are both determined and revealed on a Saturday during the first round of the post-season but this year it will happen on a Tuesday when no games will be scheduled. It will occur in Toronto despite the draft itself taking place in Vancouver beginning June 21.

The lottery, which will air on Sportsnet in Canada, is a weighted system designed to determine the draft order of the 15 teams that did not qualify for the playoffs – or the teams that own the rights to those team’s first-round picks. For example, the Colorado Avalanche hold the rights to the Ottawa Senators’ first pick in addition to having their own pick, so even if Colorado makes the playoffs they’ll have plenty invested in the lottery results.

Three separate draws are conducted to assign the first-, second- and third-overall picks. The team that finishes with the worst record in the regular season will have the best odds, as you can see from this chart provided by the NHL.

Last year the Buffalo Sabres won the top pick after finishing with the worst record. The year prior the New Jersey Devils won the lottery despite having just the fifth-best odds.

Whichever team ends up with the No. 1 overall selection this year will in all likelihood choose between American Jack Hughes and Finland’s Kaapo Kakko, the consensus top two eligible prospects.

More details regarding the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery will be revealed in the coming weeks, according to the league.

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