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NHL Draft Lottery set for May 7th

The potential for Macklin Celebrini to become a Seattle Kraken is low, but not zero.

The day for that to become a reality is now set.

The NHL announced today that the NHL Draft Lottery, which sets the order of the First round of the NHL Entry Draft’s first 16 picks, will take place on May 7th on ESPN, SportsNet, and TVAS. The time will likely be announced later on next week, though personally I would be shocked if it were any time before 4pm PT.

As a reminder, the Kraken’s current position in the draft order is 8th, and their odds to move all the way up into the 1st overall spot are currently sitting at 6%. Not great odds, but don’t be discouraged; the Kraken will have a great opportunity to move up, as the difference in odds between Seattle and Ottawa or even Montreal is thinner than you might imagine. Even if 1st overall is a pipe dream, 4th or even 5th overall is very possible. It’s also been shown throughout the years that keeping your first overall spot at the end of a season is VERY hard; of the last 20 years; only 8 lotteries have ended with the team that was projected to go first overall at the Draft actually staying there.

As for why it’s currently being done like this? Well, the Lottery itself is pretty old; being implemented in 1995 to keep teams from tanking (pause for laughter), it’s current ruleset specifically was done to keep 1st overall picks from clamoring up on the same team for years and years, and to be be mildly more fair to teams in the top 5, who had to watch as the New York Rangers shot all the way up from the middle of the draft to first overall in 2020. You can read the current full format for the Draft Lottery here.

As for how fair it actually is? Well, there are definitely some teams who’ve been burned badly by the lottery over the years like the Red Wings and the Ducks, but the Kraken haven’t been waylayed by the lottery balls yet in their history, so it’s impossible to say it’s bad entirely. Hell, given their drafting luck, it seems like moving could put them in the unusual position of taking players before they get passed on this time.

In all seriousness, the lottery is probably not the best way to assign draft picks, but at this point I think the NHL likes the engagement of furious fans. Screaming about the lottery is still screaming about hockey, after all.

That said, we’ll happily update our opinion from “ambivalent lesser of a million different evils” to either “perfectly fair and just system brought down from heaven specifically to make sure all is good in the world.” or “Gary Bettman’s final blighted crime on the game we love so dear done specifically to spite us.” depending entirely on the results of the lottery. So you’ve got two weeks to get ready!

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