NHL draft lottery, with Connor Bedard on the line, set for May 8

The NHL draft lottery that could very well determine which team will have the chance of claiming Connor Bedard with the No. 1 pick, is set for May 8.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement on Wednesday after the NHL general managers’ meetings. The lottery will be broadcast on Sportsnet beginning at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT as part of coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The 16 teams that failed to make the playoffs will be included in the draft lottery, with weighted odds for those teams toward the bottom of the overall league standings.

The NHL Draft this year is scheduled to be June 28-29 in Nashville. The consensus No. 1 pick this year is, of course, Regina Pats superstar Bedard.

The draft lottery underwent a couple of tweaks to its format in 2021. Not only was there the addition of a 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken, but the NHL downsized to two lotteries instead of three. There had been separate draws held for each of the top three picks from 2016 to 2020.

Two new changes went into effect last year and the main alteration is a big one. Teams now are restricted from moving up more than 10 spots in the pre-draft order. This means that unlike in the preceding years, not all teams participating in the lottery are eligible to win one of the top two picks. The main purpose for this change was to ensure the team that finishes last in the standings in the regular season won’t be slated to pick any worse than third overall.

Also going forward, no team can win the top pick in the draft lottery more than twice in a five-year span.

Other key dates announced by the NHL Wednesday include:

Monday, April 17: Start of 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Saturday, June 3: Tentative start of 2023 Stanley Cup Final

Sunday, June 4 – Saturday, June 10: 2023 NHL Scouting Combine presented by Adidas in Buffalo

Monday, June 26: 2023 NHL Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville

Wednesday, June 28: Round 1 of 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft (7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT on Sportsnet) at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Thursday, June 29: Rounds 2-7 of 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft (11 a.m. ET/ 8 a.m. PT on Sportsnet) at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.