While much of the NHL is preparing for the playoffs, several teams are gearing up for the complete, total opposite -- the NHL Draft. The first step prior to that draft is the NHL Draft Lottery, or as they're calling it this year, the NHL Draft Drawing. It'll always be the lottery to us, though.
All non-playoff teams have a crack at moving up in the draft in the event, which airs on TSN in Canada and Versus in the United States at 8 p.m. Eastern, but teams cannot move up more than four positions. That means that only the bottom five teams in the NHL standings have a chance at grabbing the No. 1 overall pick.
The Edmonton Oilers have the best chance at landing that pick, as they did a year ago, ultimately selecting Taylor Hall with that selection. Colorado, Florida, the New York Islanders and Ottawa all have chances at that position too, depending on how the luck falls.
Edmonton's chances sit at 25 percent, Colorado has an 18.8 percent chance, Florida sits at 14.2 percent, the Islanders at 10.7 percent and Ottawa at 8.1 percent. Atlanta, Columbus, New Jersey, Boston, Minnesota, Colorado, Carolina, Calgary and Dallas are also included in the lottery.
Boston's pick comes via the Toronto Maple Leafs, who for the second straight year won't be involved in the Lottery despite finishing in a position that would have qualified them. Colorado's second first-round pick, currently slated for the 11th slot in the draft, comes via trade with the St. Louis Blues.
The final 16 spots in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft will be determined by the order of finish in the Stanley Cup Playoff, which begin Wednesday.