The 2022 NHL Draft Lottery is upon us, and this year there are new rules that fans are going to want to know about.
Unlike past years, the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery will only be doing a draw for the first two picks in the NHL Draft. This means that, even in the worst-case scenario, the Montreal Canadiens would be selecting, at worst, 3rd overall. Understandably, the goal is to get the top pick and draft the best player available in this draft to better assist the Canadiens for the next decade, but the benefit of finishing dead last for the Canadiens is an assured shot at the top tier of prospects in the 2022 NHL Draft.
The Montreal Canadiens would likely be able to pick one of Shane Wright, Logan Cooley, Simon Nemec, David Jiricek and Juraj Slafkovsky, who are seen as the best young players of this crop of rapidly developing youngsters. The Canadiens and their fans have gone through a lot of hardship over the last few months, but there will be a lot to be excited about very soon. The Canadiens have now ensured their ability to select a high-end player to join the team’s future core with Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki down the road, continuing to add to what will surely become a young and exciting offensive team.
Top Odds to Win Draft Lottery
According to the NHL, that means that the Montreal Canadiens have an 18.5% chance of winning the lottery, which is an increase from last year at 16.6% for the last-place Buffalo Sabres. To give you an idea of how much higher Montreal’s odds are compared to their peers, the Arizona Coyotes, who finished 31st overall, will have a 13,5% chance of winning the lottery. The Seattle Kraken, which finished 30th overall, has 11.5% odds of winning the lottery, and the rest continues in descending order. Here is the complete list of odds below:
A Change In the Draft Lottery Could Favour Montreal Canadiens
However, unlike other years, a new rule has been implemented this season that will help the Canadiens increase their chances of getting the 1st overall pick. Effective in the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery, no team can increase their rank by more than ten spots. This means that the 12th to 16th seeds cannot win the first overall pick, so adding their probability of winning the lottery to the Canadiens’ odds is what differentiates the Canadiens’ ability to win the lottery against their ability to land the 1st overall pick. The math is more straightforward than it seems:
Add the Montreal Canadiens’ 18.5% odds to the odds of the teams ranked 12 to 16 (2.5% + 2%+1.5%+0.5%+0.5%= 7%), which gives you a 25.5% chance of the Montreal Canadiens winning first overall.
What does all this math mean? The Montreal Canadiens may have an 18.5% chance of winning the NHL Draft Lottery, but they actually have a 25.5% chance of landing the first overall pick, which would be the highest probability of winning the Lottery in quite some time. To compare, the Buffalo Sabres, who had the highest odds to win the 1st overall pick in 2021, only had a 16.6% chance of winning the first selection in the draft. That 9% increase in probability could prove extremely valuable for the Montreal Canadiens come May 10th.