The 2014 NHL Draft Lottery is tonight and after 82 games of suffering the Sabres hold the most lottery balls.
Buffalo will have a 25% chance at retaining the first overall pick with the rest of the non-playoff teams making up the other 75% of the chances. If you’re playing along at home that means that the Sabres have a better chance at picking second than they do of picking first.
The precise draft odds are on the internet now that the NHL released all of the pertinent information for tonight’s drawing, and this is how the breakdown looks for the 14 teams who missed the playoffs:
Buffalo Sabres – 25.0%
Florida Panthers – 18.8%
Edmonton Oilers – 14.2%
Calgary Flames – 10.7%
New York Islanders – 8.1%
Vancouver Canucks – 6.2%
Carolina Hurricanes – 4.7%
Toronto Maple Leafs – 3.6%
Winnipeg Jets – 2.7%
Anaheim Ducks (from Ottawa) – 2.1%
New Jersey Devils – 1.5%
Nashville Predators – 1.1%
Phoenix Coyotes – 0.8%
Washington Capitals – 0.5%
Once again, the Sabres hold the most lottery balls due to their 30th place finish, but they still face long odds on actually keeping that pick. For example, the Panthers, Oilers and Flames have a combined 43.7% chance of winning the lottery, so the Sabres aren’t a shoo-in for the first pick just yet.
Of course, if the Sabres lose the lottery they only drop one spot in the draft order. So the Sabres are guaranteed to pick no worse than second overall this year. It’s not a bad consolation prize, particularly in a draft where there isn’t necessarily a clear cut number one prospect.
Regardless of how things transpire tonight the Sabres are all but assured to end up with either Ekblad, Bennett or Reinhart.
I think I’m going to go with The Field in this case, but who are you taking? The Sabres or The Field.