NHL proposes changes to draft lottery format in memo to clubs

The New York Rangers' win of Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery. (Mike Stobe/Getty)

The NHL has proposed multiple changes to its draft lottery format, presenting them to the league’s 31 clubs via a memo circulated Monday, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports.

Per Johnston, the changes would be as follows:

• Teams would be limited to no more than two lottery wins in a five-year period
• Teams would only be allowed to jump 10 spots with a lottery win
• There would be a reduction in the number of picks decided by the lottery, from three to two

Any changes to the draft lottery format would be subject to approval by the NHL’s Board of Governors. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman added that the first two potential changes listed above would not take effect until 2022 if approved, while the third would take effect this year. As well, previous lottery results would not count towards teams’ totals, in regards to changes such as the first listed above.

The draft lottery was first introduced in 1995, but a version resembling the current format was put in place since 2016. That format allows for any team that misses the playoffs to move up into the top three picks of the first round, using a draw of random number combinations.

The 2021 NHL Draft is tentatively scheduled for July 23-24, although there have been some discussions about delaying it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Monday that a final decision on whether to postpone or not could come in the next few days.

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