After a loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night, the Maple Leafs are now guaranteed a top-five pick in the Entry Draft for the second year in a row and the third time in five drafts (2012-2016).

A regulation loss ensures the Maple Leafs cannot catch the Blue Jackets for 28th overall, meaning the Leafs cannot finish higher than second last. Therefore, even if the lottery draws for picks number one, number two, and number three do not draw the Leafs, Toronto cannot finish lower than fifth in the draft order.

The Edmonton Oilers broke a three-game losing streak against the Vancouver Canucks tonight, dropping the Leafs into sole possession of 30th overall and 20% odds of winning the draft lottery. A Leafs loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night would guarantee a last-placed finish and the top lottery odds going into the final game of the regular season due to the Oilers’ superior regulation-overtime wins total (tie breaker).

The only way the Leafs could now be unseated for the top lottery odds is by collecting three or more points in their final two games versus the Flyers and Devils combined with an Oilers regulation loss in their final game against the Canucks on Saturday. Two points or fewer for the Leafs in their final two games, or an Oilers win on Saturday, ensures a 30th-placed finish for the first time since 1984-85 (Toronto subsequently selected Wendel Clark in the draft).

PlaceTeamGPPointsPoints %ROWLottery Odds
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Alec Brownscombe is the founder and editor of, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He's published five magazines on the team entitled "The Maple Leafs Annual" with distribution in Chapters and newsstands across the country. He also co-hosted "The Battle of the Atlantic," a weekly show on TSN1200 that covered the Leafs and the NHL in-depth. Alec is a graduate of Trent University and Algonquin College with his diploma in Journalism. In 2014, he was awarded Canada's Best Hockey Blogger honours by Molson Canadian. You can contact him at