Tanking for Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in the 2015 NHL draft won’t be as easy as anticipated, thanks to a few changes the league has made to the lottery system.
The odds of winning the top pick have decreased for the teams with the four worst records, including the worst team having a 5 percent less chance of landing the No. 1 selection. Teams finishing fifth through 14th have slightly better odds of winning the lottery under the new system.
Here’s an updated view of the lottery odds, compared to the old format (via NHL.com):
Starting in 2016, the NHL will copy the NBA for its draft lottery system in that there will be a drawing for the first three picks. Under the system being used in 2015, the worst team cannot finish with worse than the second pick. In 2016, the worst team could get the fourth pick.
Why would the league make these changes?
The main reason is to combat tanking, and with a loaded 2015 draft class that features several potential franchise players, teams that start to fall off the pace toward the beginning of the season might give up on making the playoffs in favor of securing a top pick.
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