Colorado Avalanche: 2018 NHL Draft Lottery Guide

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: (L-R) Head coach Jared Bednar, draft team member, draft team member, fourth overall pick Cale Makar, general manager Joe Sakic, director of reserve list scouting Brad Smith and director of amateur scouting Alan Hepple of the Colorado Avalanche pose for a photo onstage during Round One of the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 23: (L-R) Head coach Jared Bednar, draft team member, draft team member, fourth overall pick Cale Makar, general manager Joe Sakic, director of reserve list scouting Brad Smith and director of amateur scouting Alan Hepple of the Colorado Avalanche pose for a photo onstage during Round One of the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Though the Colorado Avalanche don’t have a stake in this year’s Draft Lottery, the NHL has added a little bit of suspense worth watching.

The Colorado Avalanche lost the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery. You can talk all you want about how we got a good player in defenseman Cale Makar — the team wanted defenseman Miro Heiskanen. And their worst record status should have given them a top-three pick.

That’s all water under the bridge now. And this year, since the Avalanche made the playoffs, they’re not even eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery. The 15 teams who didn’t make the playoffs will get the chance to win one of the top three picks in this franchise-making draft lottery.

This is the Rasmus Dahlin Sweepstakes. And one lucky team that either suffered through a soul-crushing year (for example, the Buffalo Sabres — ask Ryan O’Reilly*) or had their soul crushed at the very end (for example, the St. Louis Blues — our bad) will win that sweepstakes.

I think we can all agree on two things. We’re delighted the Minnesota Wild aren’t eligible, and we all hope the Edmonton Oilers don’t win yet another first-overall pick. I daresay, all of Avs Nation would prefer it if no Western Conference, or especially Central Division, team won that pick.

*Non-snarky comment. Poor ROR really did appear to have his soul crushed this season.

Odds of Winning the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery

Here are the 15 teams competing for that first-overall pick and their odds of winning it or any top-three pick:

TeamNo. 1 oddsTop 3 odds
Sabres18.5%49.4%
Senators13.5%38.8%
Coyotes11.5%33.9%
Canadiens9.5%28.8%
Red Wings8.5%26.1%
Canucks7.5%23.3%
Blackhawks6.5%20.4%
Rangers6.0%19.0%
Oilers5.0%16.0%
Islanders3.5%11.4%
Hurricanes3.0%9.9%
Islanders (via Flames)2.5%8.2%
Stars2.0%6.6%
Blues1.5%5.0%
Panthers1.0%3.3%

Personally, I like the Ottawa Senators and would love to see them win the sweepstakes. However, the Islanders, Hurricanes, or Panthers winning it wouldn’t hurt my feelings.

2018 NHL Draft Lottery Format

Date: Saturday, April 28
Start Time: 5:30 pm MT
Networks: Sportsnet, CBC and Sportsnet NOW

Here’s how the Draft Lottery Works

Related Story: Key Points for the Draft Lottery

More from Mile High Sticking

Last year, the NHL unveiled all 15 picks in one segment. We all watched as first the Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars got skipped over, indicating they had moved to a top-three position.

When the #27 New Jersey Devils also got skipped, meaning the 48-point Avs had gotten screwed… well, we only had to wait a few minutes to discover in what order the usurpers were getting to choose in the 2017 NHL Draft.

The NHL is going to prolong the potential pain this season. Picks 15 through 4 will be announced during the 5:30 pm MT lottery. However, the league will wait until the second period of the San Jose Sharks-Vegas Golden Knights game to announce the order of the top three picks.

The game starts at 6:00 pm MT, so we could all have to wait until around 8:00 pm MT to find out the top-three order.

Since the Colorado Avalanche, who will presumably pick at #16 based on the standings, have no stake in the game, it’s a delightfully wicked format. Imagine being one of the teams picking in the top-three but not knowing if you’re actually going to win the Rasmus Dahlin Sweepstakes.

Imagine if there’s a team, such as the Oilers or worse-for-us, Chicago Blackhawks/St. Louis Blues/Dallas Stars, that makes the top-three. We’ll have to wait two hours to know if Dahlin will be in our division!

Ok, that’s less fun. I think I’d rather see the Oilers win — all three of those Central Division teams are tough enough to beat without the addition of a franchise-maker such as Dahlin.

What adds a little bit of filip to the proceedings for Avs fans is the fact that the Ottawa Senators could choose this year’s first rounder to give to Colorado as fulfillment of the Matt Duchene trade. It’s highly unlikely they’ll do so. They get to postpone handing over the pick this year if they are in the top-10, and the lowest they can drop is #4.

But, you never know when their management might lose its final marble.

Next: Playoffs Takeaways for the Avs Youngsters

It was a dream, fantasizing about Rasmus Dahlin on the Colorado Avalanche. I’m glad we made the playoffs. That was way more fun than a losing season or even falling out of contention at the last minute. Was it the best possible outcome for the Avs long-term, though? I guess only time will tell.