By John Vogl
The NHL has conducted 18 draft lotteries. The last-place team has won it just six times.
The Sabres hope to become No. 7.
The league will announce the result of the weighted lottery at 8 p.m. Tuesday on NBCSN. Last-place Buffalo has a 25 percent chance of winning the lottery and keeping the first overall pick.
Florida, which finished 29th, has an 18.8 percent chance. The odds for the remaining non-playoff teams are: Edmonton (14.2 percent), Calgary (10.7 percent), New York Islanders (8.1 percent), Vancouver (6.2 percent), Carolina (4.7 percent), Toronto (3.6 percent), Winnipeg (2.7 percent), Anaheim, from Ottawa (2.1 percent), New Jersey (1.5 percent), Nashville (1.1 percent), Phoenix (0.8 percent) and Washington (0.5 percent).
Though New Jersey is in the lottery, it is not eligible to select first overall as part of its discipline for giving a salary cap-circumventing contract to Ilya Kovalchuk. If the Devils win the lottery, another will be conducted.
If the Sabres fail to win the lottery, they will drop to No. 2 in the draft, which will be held June 27 in Philadelphia.
The last-place team hasn't won the lottery since 2010, when Edmonton retained the No. 1 pick. The other bottom-feeders to win were Ottawa (1996), Boston (1997), St. Louis (2006), Tampa Bay (2008) and the Islanders (2009).
The Islanders have until June 1 to decide whether to give their 2014 or 2015 first-round pick to the Sabres as part of the Thomas Vanek trade.