2024 NHL draft
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NHL Draft Lottery: new completely different format coming?

Published May 10, 2024 at 11:57 PM

The NHL Draft Lottery has its shortcomings, and many people are grumbling. It exists for a specific reason, but that reason doesn't serve much purpose.

Indeed, teams that might deliberately lose by not putting effort into dressing a competitive lineup are supposed to be discouraged by the lottery, but that's not the case.

It's even ridiculous sometimes. The Sharks and the Blackhawks are a good example, and even the Canadiens over the past three years.

Martin Leclerc has a proposal to counter this, and it's quite interesting. First, here's what he had to say:

"The lottery is supposed to have been invented to discourage team executives from sabotaging their lineup to get their hands on the best available draft talent. But that's not what's happening. Clearly, the Blackhawks are perfectly comfortable with this concept. Like Mike Grier and, let's say, like Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton, they seem very enthusiastic!" - Martin Leclerc

Leclerc further proposed the same principle of the wheel that the Celtics owner had done about a decade ago.

"This concept, called the wheel, automatically eliminated any incentive to tank in the standings. It forced management teams to assemble the best possible teams. The wheel would also allow management teams from all organizations to benefit from excellent draft picks at regular intervals and to plan for the longer-term development of their lineup. The wheel would also allow for the precise measurement of the value of a draft pick." - Martin Leclerc

With the concept of the wheel, teams would know their selection order in advance. They would have a top 8 pick guaranteed for 4 years, and three top 12 picks guaranteed every 8 years.

Years 1 to 8: selections 1-32-13-20-8-25-12-21
Years 9 to 16: selections 3-30-15-18-6-27-10-23
Years 17 to 24: selections 2-31-14-19-7-26-11-22
Years 25 to 32: selections 4-29-16-17-5-28-9-24

This means that each team would be assured of having a top 8 pick every four years;

And that each team would be assured of holding three selections in the top 12 every eight years."

So, all teams would be assured of having the first overall pick at age 32. It's not much, but it would avoid a lot of frustrations.

May 10   |   179 answers
NHL Draft Lottery: new completely different format coming?

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