By now, anyone who cares is aware that the Canadiens finished the season third from the bottom in the overall league standings.   That means third, in the drawing that will take place tonight to establish the order of  the first round of the June 27th entry draft.

At the end of the night, the Canadiens will hold either first, third or fourth pick.  Betting on anything other than the third pick is going against pretty long odds.  Here they are –  Probability of Canadiens winning the lottery – 14.2%.  Retaining third – 70.3%.  Chance of winding up with fourth pick  –   29.7%.   That can only happen if one of the 4th through 8th seeded teams wins the lottery.

Anything’s possible.  In the 16 years of the draft, the third seed has won four times.  Granted, the sampling is a small one but 25% does fly in the face of the calculated 14.2%.  Gr  Going from third to first are  – Tampa Bay – 1998 (they drafted Vincent Lecavalier); Atlanta – 2001 (Ilya Kovalchuk); Florida – 2002 (pick traded to Columbus who chose Rick Nash) and Washington -2004 (Alexander Ovechkin).

Place your bets.

For those who missed it earlier, we’ll repeat the form chart.

2012-DRAFT DRAWING PROBABILITY CHART (final standings –  April 9,2012)

Current ————-   PERCENTAGES OF ————-
Non-Playoff Club * Draft Pos. Pts If Selected Winning Getting 1st Dropping Not Dropping
Columbus 1 65 Retain 1st pick 25.0% 48.2% 51.8% 48.2%
Edmonton 2 74 2nd to 1st 18.8% 18.8% 39.2% 60.8%
Montreal 3 78 3rd to 1st 14.2% 14.2% 29.7% 70.3%
NY Islanders 4 79 4th to 1st 10.7% 10.7% 22.6% 77.4%
Toronto 5 80 5th to 1st   8.1%   8.1% 17.2% 82.8%

Winning – percentage chance of winning the Draft Drawing (see above, ‘If Selected’)     Getting 1st – percentage chance of being awarded the first overall pick as a result of the Draft Drawing        Dropping – percentage chance of moving down in the draft order as a result of the Draft Drawing        Not Dropping – percentage chance of not moving down in the draft order as a result of the Draft Drawing

There will be only one “winner” of the lottery.  It could be any one of fourteen teams but if one of the teams outside the top five wins, the rules state they can only move up four places, leaving Columbus holding number one overall.  Last year, eighth seeded New Jersey, with a 3.6% chance,  won the lottery and moved to fourth overall and in June drafted Adam Larsson.  Edmonton, retaining number one, took Calder Trophy candidate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Results of Previous Draft Drawings

Year     Selected Effect On Draft Order Player Selected
1995 Los Angeles Moved from 7th to 3rd D Aki Berg
1996 Ottawa Retained 1st selection D Chris Phillips
1997 Boston Retained 1st selection C Joe Thornton
1998 Tampa Bay Moved from 3rd to 1st via trades C Vincent Lecavalier
1999 Chicago Moved from 8th to 4th RW Pavel Brendl *
2000 NY Islanders Moved from 5th to 1st G Rick DiPietro
2001 Atlanta Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Ilya Kovalchuk
2002 Florida Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Rick Nash **
2003 Florida Moved from 4th to 1st G Marc-Andre Fleury ***
2004 Washington Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Alex Ovechkin
2005 Pittsburgh n/a C Sidney Crosby
2006 St. Louis Retained 1st selection D Erik Johnson
2007 Chicago Moved from 5th to 1st RW Patrick Kane
2008 Tampa Bay Retained 1st selection C Steven Stamkos
2009 NY Islanders Retained 1st selection C John Tavares
2010 Edmonton Retained 1st selection LW Taylor Hall

* San Jose was selected, but Tampa Bay held the right to exchange first round selections with the Sharks. ** NY Rangers obtained Chicago’s pick in a trade (via Vancouver and Tampa Bay). The Rangers selected RW Pavel Brendl fourth overall. *** Columbus obtained Florida’s pick in a draft table swap of first and third overall picks. The Blue Jackets selected LW Rick Nash first overall. ^ Pittsburgh obtained Florida’s pick in a trade. The Penguins selected G Marc-Andre Fleury first overall. ^^ Due to a work stoppage, the draft order was not based on the previous seasons standing; all 30 teams were eligible for the first-overall selection.