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2018 NHL Draft Lottery Preview

As Round 2 of the NHL Playoffs gets underway, another crucial date in the NHL calendar is nearly here. The 2018 NHL Draft Lottery will take place on Saturday, April 28.

As ever, the outcome of the NHL Draft Lottery will determine the fate of a number of teams next season.

This year, the format of the lottery will be changed to build the suspense. Up until now, the order of the first 15 selections was announced all at once. On Saturday, the NHL Draft Lottery will be spread over the course of the evening.

Selections 15 through 4 will be revealed before the start of the second-round playoff series between Vegas and San Jose. The top three picks will then be revealed during the second intermission of that game.

The changed format means that some teams will be disappointed early, and others will hold their breath until the end. We will see this dynamic play out among the several Canadian teams who are in the running for Rasmus Dahlin.


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The Buffalo Sabres have the best chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick. After finishing last for the third time in 5 years, they have an 18.5% shot. The team cannot drop lower than 4th in the draft order. Meanwhile, all 15 teams who didn’t make the playoffs have a chance to land the top 3 picks.

The Ottawa Senators have the second highest lottery odds, at 13.5%. They are closely followed by the Montreal Canadiens, who have a chance of 9.5%. It is likely that Montreal will drop below it’s 4th place spot.

The Vancouver Canucks have a 7.5% chance at the first overall pick after finishing bottom 6th last season.

The 2018 NHL Draft will take place at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The first round will be held Friday, June 22. Rounds 2-7 will take place Saturday, June 23.

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