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Montreal Canadiens

How Close The Canadiens Came To Winning The 1st Overall Pick



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens walked out of the NHL Draft Lottery with the 5th overall pick, but it was very close to going another way.

During every NHL Draft Lottery, there are 1001 numbered combinations of four bingo balls that determine the winner of each of the two lotteries. One by one, the balls are selected from the pool and tallied next to each other, with the four-ball combination at the end of the draw determining the winner.

Teams are awarded a number of combinations according to where they finished in the standings, with the Montreal Canadiens being awarded 85 combinations, giving them an 8.5% chance of winning, due to finishing 28th overall in the NHL Standings.

When all was said and done, the Montreal Canadiens maintained their rank at 5th overall, while the Chicago Blackhawks jumped up to claim the 1st overall pick.

The winning combination for the 1st overall selection was set at 4-5-9-13; a four-ball combo that could have made a few other teams, including Montreal, very happy had the last number not been “13”.

Montreal Canadiens

The Vancouver Canucks had the 4-5-9-12 combination, while the Columbus Blue Jackets held the 4-5-9-10 and 4-5-9-14 combinations.

The Montreal Canadiens were also just one ball away from winning the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery, as they had the 4-5-9-11 combination; coming oh so close to running away with one Connor Bedard.

It wasn’t meant to be this year for the Canadiens, after winning the Draft Lottery last year for the right to select Juraj Slafkovsky at 1st overall in the 2022 NHL Draft.

The Montreal Canadiens only had a 24.5% chance of staying at 5th overall, with the odds heavily suggesting that they could have in fact slid to 6th overall (44%) or 7th overall (14.2%).

The Habs are still in line to get a very good player at their current rank, but one can never help but wonder how things could have turned out if that last lottery ball could have come up with a slightly different number.

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Now, I’m sad. But hopefully we can get mitchkov and he will be here in a year or two if we can get him out early.


Ah man, that’s a tough pill to swallow. So close!

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