By John Vogl
PHILADELPHIA -- The NHL is ready to implement a pair of changes to its Draft Lottery, which obviously has a big impact on the future of the Sabres.
The league, according to a Buffalo News source with knowledge of the situation, would like to:
1) Increase the number of selections determined by the lottery system.
2) Give all 14 non-playoff teams a more even chance of winning the first overall pick.
The NHL board of governors approved the changes today, but the league's player association will have a chance to weigh in.
Under the present system, the lottery is used to determine only the No. 1 overall pick. The rest of the first round goes in reverse order of finish, so the 30th-place team is guaranteed to pick no worse than second.
That could change as soon as the 2016 Draft. While it's not yet clear how many spots will be determined by a lottery, previous reports suggested the top five selections could be up for grabs. Under that scenario, the team that finishes 30th could pick as low as No. 6.
Buffalo finished last this year, lost the lottery and will pick second Friday in Wells Fargo Center. The Sabres figure to be near the bottom again next year and have an oft-stated plan to rebuild the franchise by selecting at the top of the draft.
The other change to the lottery process, according to the source, would narrow the odds between the 30th- and 17th-place clubs. At present, the chances of winning the Draft Lottery are as follows:
30th place: 25 percent
29th: 18.8 percent
28th: 14.2 percent
27th: 10.7 percent
26th: 8.1 percent
25th: 6.2 percent
24th: 4.7 percent
23rd: 3.6 percent
22nd: 2.7 percent
21st: 2.1 percent
20th: 1.5 percent
19th: 1.1 percent
18th: 0.8 percent
17th: 0.5 percent
While the proposed new odds were unavailable, they will be compressed and lessen the gap between the last-place club and the 17th-place team as soon as next year, when franchise Connor McDavid is available.
The changes would discourage "tanking."
taggedNHL Entry Draft