Some are calling the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery the biggest day in Toronto Maple Leafs’ history since Game 7 of the 1993 Western Conference Final.

While that’s equal parts melodramatic and sad, Leafs fans everywhere are hedging tonight’s outcome with reassuring refrains like, “we’re getting a good young player no matter what” (true), while secretly throwing up into a bucket in the minutes before Bill Daly reveals the cards. Does tonight’s result totally make or break the rebuild? Of course not, but we all know there is a lot riding on the dumb luck of the draw tonight.

To his credit, Brendan Shanahan has done his part to fix the Leafs‘ juju by eradicating the Keon curse this past season, but he correctly points out the timing for the NHL’s lottery rule change — new this year, dictating that last place only guarantees the fourth pick — is terrible (tinfoil hat wearers among us might even call it suspicious):

My timing is terrible! I go get a coach and a GM the one year that there’s actually compensation for doing such a thing. And then our first year we are in 30th since Wendel Clark came to town is the year that you could actually finish with the fourth pick. It’s horrible timing on my part.

Here is the rundown of probabilities for the 2016 Draft Lottery as far as the Leafs are concerned:

  • The Leafs have 20% odds of winning the lottery — best of any team, but the lowest odds of picking first for a last-placed team in NHL history.
  • The Leafs have 47.5% odds of picking fourth — the likeliest outcome statistically.
  • The Leafs have a 17.5% chance of selecting second overall.
  • The Leafs have 15% odds of selecting third overall.

What is a certainty: The sun will rise tomorrow, and the Leafs will have a top-four pick to add to their burgeoning group of prospects.

Important 2016 Draft Lottery Information

When is the big reveal? The results show will begin at 7 p.m. EST on CBC and NBC (with the actual reveal happening about an hour later), starting with the 14th pick and working its way up to the lottery winner.

How does it work? Balls numbered from 1 to 14 are placed in a machine and four are selected. Teams are assigned a varying number of the 1000 possible combinations, depending on their positioning in the standings and the corresponding odds. The Leafs have a 20% chance of winning the first pick, giving them 200 out of 1000 possible combinations.

This year, in accordance with the new rules, there will be three lotteries taking place for the first, second and third overall selections.

What are each team’s odds at the 2016 Draft Lottery?

New Jersey3.00%


2016 NHL Draft Lottery Live Show Schedule

Draft Ranking Resources:

2016 NHL Draft Profiles

  1. Auston Matthews
  2. Patrik Laine
  3. Jesse Puljujarvi
  4. Matthew Thachuk
  5. Alex Nylander

2016 NHL Draft Prospect Video Highlights

Auston Matthews

Patrik Laine

Jesse Puljujarvi

Matthew Tkachuk

Alex Nylander