Now that the 2021 NHL regular season is officially over, the 15 teams not competing in the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs can set their sights on finding their next NHL star. But they won’t be the only franchises looking to the future; the Seattle Kraken are now officially official and the NHL’s 32nd franchise will be selecting its first draft class this summer.
Before the draft commences in July, there’s the NHL Draft lottery to determine which team will snag the all-important No. 1 spot. Unlike the past few years, who that will be in 2021 is anyone’s guess despite the draft being just a little over two months away. (Sadly, there was no “Lose for Hughes” campaign in 2021). Will it be the United States’ Matty Beniers or Luke Hughes? Or will Canada’s Owen Power go first overall? Those three are just a sliver of the guys who can take the top spot.
Although we don’t know who will go first overall, or which team will be the one to make that tough decision, now that the Flames and Canucks have finished their slate of regular-season games we know the lottery odds. The Sabres, who selected Rasmus Dahlin first in 2018, have the best odds to be the first team to make a virtual selection. Granted, as we’ve seen — remember the Rangers sneaking into the first spot in 2020 and snagging Alexis Lafrenière? — odds are not always in the favor of the team with the best ones.
When is the 2021 NHL Draft lottery?
The NHL Draft lottery drawing will take place Wednesday, June 2, from NHL Network’s studios in Secaucus, N.J. On Friday, July 23, the NHL Draft will begin with the first round, followed by Rounds 2-7 on Saturday, July 24. As in 2020, the 2021 draft will be virtual.
How many draws will there be?
This year’s draft lottery will have two draws:
- Draw 1: To determine who will select first overall
- Draw 2: To determine who will select second overall
The Kraken were given the same odds as the third-worst team in the 2021 season, which is similar to the odds the Golden Knights received when they entered the league in 2017. Vegas ended up picking sixth overall and selecting Cody Glass. Seattle cannot select lower than fifth in 2021.
What happens if the Coyotes are selected?
The Coyotes had to forfeit their first-round pick in 2021 after violating NHL rules regarding the draft combine by conducting physical testing on 2019 draft-eligible players prior to the combine. Commissioner Gary Bettman ruled that the Coyotes had to forfeit their second-round pick (49th overall) in 2020 and their first-round pick in 2021.
If the Coyotes are selected in either lottery draw, there will be a redraw.
Odds to win the 2021 NHL Draft lottery
|1. Buffalo Sabres||37||16.6|
|2. Anaheim Ducks||43||12.1|
|3. Seattle Kraken||—||10.3|
|4. New Jersey Devils||45||10.3|
|5. Columbus Blue Jackets||48||8.5|
|6. Detroit Red Wings||48||7.6|
|7. San Jose Sharks||49||6.7|
|8. Los Angeles Kings||49||5.8|
|9. Vancouver Canucks||50||5.4|
|10. Ottawa Senators||51||4.5|
|11. Arizona Coyotes||54||3.1|
|12. Chicago Blackhawks||55||2.7|
|13. Calgary Flames||55||2.2|
|14. Philadelphia Flyers||58||1.8|
|15. Dallas Stars||60||1.4|
|16. New York Rangers||60||1.0|