NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly reveals that the Edmonton Oilers won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery. See how you fare by playing an NHL Draft Simulator yourself
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly reveals that the Edmonton Oilers won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery. See how you fare by playing an NHL Draft Simulator yourself

Published: April 26th, 2016

Canadian hockey fans this weekend will be on pins and needles hoping their favourite team wins the draft lottery and have a shot at choosing Auston Matthews, a generational talent that will no doubt be the No. 1 overall selection in this year’s NHL Draft. (The NHL has not yet updated its draft lottery site but you can look at last year’s version)

Since no Canadian team made the NHL playoffs all seven franchises will have a chance to win the rights to draft Matthews starting with the Toronto Maple Leafs who have the best odds since they finished dead last in the league this year.

The NHL Draft is being held on June 24th this year in Buffalo, N.Y., which also happens to be the home to one Rob Zaenglein.

Zaenglein is a PHP developer and a big fan of the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres this year have an even six per cent chance of winning the draft lottery and the golden opportunity of placing the 18-year-old phenom Matthews on their roster.

He is also a bit of analytics geek and developed the NHL Lottery Simulator. You can play the simulator yourself on his Web site: nhllotterysimulator.com.

Zaenglein tweeted ITBusiness Sports that the Web app was built using various tools but mainly NodeJS server on Express, Mongodb nosql, and AngularJS on the front end. Zaenglein produced the NHL Lottery Simulator for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft where two generational players were up for grabs in Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. The Edmonton Oilers won the McDavid sweepstakes, while the Sabres end up with Eichel.

The NHL changed the rules of the Draft Lottery shortly after the 2015 Draft in an attempt to prevent teams from tanking their seasons to get the first overall selection.

So in turn Zaenglein made changes to his lottery simulator to address the new NHL rules. For example, in this year’s draft there will be a lottery held for the first, second and third pick. And, the draft odds will change for each team accordingly. Last year there was only one lottery held for the first pick.

Here are the lottery odds of winning the first overall pick for each NHL team who missed the playoffs.

  1. Toronto Maple Leafs – 20 per cent
  2. Edmonton Oilers – 13.5 per cent
  3. Vancouver Canucks – 11.5 per cent
  4. Columbus Blue Jackets – 9.5 per cent
  5. Calgary Flames – 8.5 per cent
  6. Winnipeg Jets – 7.5 per cent
  7. Arizona Coyotes – 6.5 per cent
  8. Buffalo Sabres – 6 per cent
  9. Montreal Canadiens – 5.5 per cent
  10. Colorado Avalanche – 3.5 per cent
  11. New Jersey Devils – 3 per cent
  12. Ottawa Senators – 2.5 per cent
  13. Carolina Hurricanes – 2 per cent
  14. Boston Bruins – 1 per cent

I played the NHL Lottery Simulator and my results are as follows:

No.  1 Vancouver Canucks (Auston Matthews)

No. 2 Columbus Blue Jackets

No. 3 Montreal Canadiens.

Under this scenario my beloved Maple Leafs get the fourth overall pick.

But the good news is that if you don’t like these results play again and again by hitting the reset button until the Maple Leafs win or your own favourite team.

Try it for yourself: nhllotterysimulator.com.

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