2019 NHL Draft, NHL Draft Lottery, NHL Entry Draft

2019 NHL Draft Lottery – What You Need to Know

While many teams are jockeying for position and looking forward to the NHL playoffs, others have resigned themselves to early tee times. The only thing they can look forward to is the NHL Draft Lottery, set for April 9 in Toronto.

In past seasons, lottery results are both determined and revealed on a Saturday during the first round of the playoffs. This year it will happen on a Tuesday, one day before the start of the NHL playoffs.

Top Prospects

The consensus top-ranked prospects include Jack Hughes from the US National Development Program and Kaapo Kakko from TPS in Finland.

Jack Hughes

Jack Hughes is expected to go first overall at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

Hughes is a 17-year-old, US-born center who skates like the wind. He has incredible vision and tremendous play-making abilities. Right behind him is Kakko, an 18-year-old right winger who’s been ripping up the Finnish Elite League. He stands 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds. His 36 points (21 goals, 15 assists) in 44 games exceeds the point production of players like Patrik Laine and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, two prospects who were drafted out of the Finnish Elite League in prior years.

Eligible Players

Players born between Jan. 1, 1999 and Sept. 15, 2001 are eligible for selection in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Also eligible are: any undrafted, non-North American players born in 1998 and those players who were drafted at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft but have not signed an NHL contract and who were born after June 30, 1999.

Odds of Landing the First Pick

Every non-playoff team will have a chance at first-overall pick. The team with the worst record in the 2018-19 season will have the best odds (18.5 percent) of winning the lottery.

Since 2013, the odds have been weighted for teams not qualifying for the playoffs to receive a greater chance at winning the first-overall selection.

Starting with the 2014-15 NHL season, the odds of winning the draft lottery for the four lowest finishing teams in the league decreased, while the odds for the other non-playoff teams increased.


The 2019 NHL Draft Lottery Odds are the same as last year.

Three separate draws are conducted to assign the first, second and third-overall picks. Since no team can drop by more than three positions, the last-place team will pick no worse than fourth overall. The 12 clubs not selected for spots one through three will be assigned selections four through 15, in inverse order of regular-season points.

For anxious fans, there are several draft simulators and lottery odd sites that can be visited.

Stipulations for Several Teams

While the order of the 2019 Entry Draft order is determined by a series of number draws, some teams have already traded their picks.

Here are a few notable first-round notes:

  • The Colorado Avalanche hold the Ottawa Senators’ first-round pick, courtesy of the 2017 Matt Duchene trade that sent him to Ottawa. Currently, the Sens are firmly in the basement of the standings, which gives the Avs an 18.5 percent chance of winning the lottery. Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic must be giddy.
Blue Jackets center Matt Duchene

Blue Jackets center Matt Duchene (Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)

Brandon Montour, Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres acquired Brandon Montour in exchange for a first-round pick in 2019. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

  • The Senators will receive the Sharks’ first-round pick if the Sharks fail to qualify for the 2019 Playoffs. Given the current standings, this pick will be deferred until 2020.
  • The Ducks will receive St. Louis’ or San Jose’s first-round pick in 2019 if the Blues’ first-round pick in 2019 is between picks 20–31, then Anaheim will have the option to take either first-round pick. If Anaheim does not receive this pick, then the Sabres will retain this pick per the following conditions: the Buffalo Sabres will receive a first-round pick in 2019 if the Blues’ first-round pick is outside of the top 10 selections. If the Blues’ pick is inside the top 10, the first-round pick will defer to 2020.
  • The New York Rangers will receive the Winnipeg Jets’ first-round pick in 2019 if the Jets’ first-round pick is outside of the first three selections. If the Jets’ pick is inside the top three selections, the first-round pick will defer to 2020.
Winnipeg Jets Kevin Hayes

The Jets sent their first as part of a package for forward Kevin Hayes in February. (Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

The 2018 Entry Draft

The 2018 NHL Entry Draft was held in June last year at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Sabres won the top pick after finishing with the worst record and selected defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. Andrei Svechnikov was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes with the second pick and Kotkaniemi went to the Montreal Canadiens with the third.

Buffalo Sabres Rasmus DahlinJason Botterill

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with Sabres GM Jason Botterill. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Two years ago, the New Jersey Devils won the lottery despite having just the fifth-best odds. They selected center Nico Hischier.

Watch the Lottery Live

A one-hour show beginning at 8 p.m. EST will kick off the broadcasted show. The results of the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery will take place live on NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports. The Vancouver Canucks and the city of Vancouver will host the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on June 21-22, 2019 at Rogers Arena.

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