clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The most fair possible NHL draft lottery option

New, comments

Circle 2743 on the calendar, Montreal fans!

We must protect our precious national team resources!
We must protect our precious national team resources!
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With the trade deadline looming, there is a renewed focus on draft picks. And with talk about draft picks, you've got to have some talk about the draft lottery. There have been a lot of proposals that attempt to keep things fair - "the wheel" and the every-team-out-of-playoffs-does-flat-lottery are two favorites. However, I have a proposal for a lottery that's the most fair possible. Here it is, and I think you'll agree that it's as simple as it is fair.:

  1. Add together Team's first overall picks and Stanley Cups as "draft value"
  2. Arrange draft order from least draft value to most, every year.

This is probably the most fair way to do it. The draft is supposed to help bad teams become good ones, after all. For example, the San Jose Sharks haven't drafted first overall OR won a Stanley Cup, ever. Neither has, say, Nashville. So, both of those teams would end up either winning a cup or drafting first overall in the next few years. Makes sense, right? I thought so. Obviously, the "draft value" would change year-to-year as teams drafted or won. I've created a handy chart to show each team's draft value, and a calculation for how long until they get to pick first overall again:

Team 1st overalls Cups Draft Value Years until pick
Minnesota Wild 0 0 0 0
Nashville Predators 0 0 0 0
San Jose Sharks 0 0 0 0
Vancouver Canucks 0 0 0 0
Anaheim Ducks 0 1 1 4
Calgary Flames 0 1 1 4
Carolina Hurricanes 0 1 1 4
Arizona Coyotes 1 0 1 4
Columbus Blue Jackets 1 0 1 4
St. Louis Blues 1 0 1 4
Buffalo Sabres 2 0 2 14
Florida Panthers 2 0 2 14
Winnipeg Jets 2 0 2 14
Los Angeles Kings 1 2 3 27
Philadelphia Flyers 1 2 3 27
Ottawa Senators 3 0 3 27
Washington Capitals 3 0 3 27
New Jersey Devils 1 3 4 44
Dallas Stars 3 1 4 44
Tampa Bay Lightning 3 1 4 44
New York Rangers 1 4 5 64
Pittsburgh Penguins 3 3 6 85
Colorado Avalanche 4 2 6 85
Chicago Blackhawks 1 6 7 108
New York Islanders 4 4 8 132
Boston Bruins 3 6 9 157
Edmonton Oilers 4 5 9 157
Toronto Maple Leafs 1 13 14 292
Detroit Red Wings 3 11 14 292
Montreal Canadiens 5 24 29 727

Granted, this would be unfortunate for the Bruins. But any system which keeps Montreal at the bottom of the pick list for the next 700+ years is fair, right?