Draft Lottery Analysis: Where do the Wild Stand?

The Wild are now officially out of the playoffs, but in reality, all of us considered the Wild out since the trade deadline. After sending veteran defensemen Nick Schultz and Greg Zanon away, we knew it was going to be a long trip to the end of the season.

Well, its here, and there's one good thing. At least we're no longer in limbo, going for playoffs but needing a high pick.

FAIL FOR NAIL!

So since we're in the draft mood (although there is still three months until the draft), I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at the draft lottery,

For those who still do not fully understand the lottery, here's a quick explanation.

The National Hockey League Draft Lottery is a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the Draft. The Draft Drawing involves clubs that did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs, or the clubs that acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff clubs.

Per NHL rules, the club selected in the Draft Lottery may not move up more than four positions in the draft order. Thus, the only clubs with the opportunity to receive the first overall selection are the five teams with the lowest regular-season point totals, or the clubs that acquired an eligible club's first-round draft pick.

No club will move down more than one position as a result of the Draft Lottery.

So the Minnesota Wild are currently the fourth worst team in the league, and that is a position where you go "yay, we're terrible!" In a draft like this where the top nine is pretty much set in stone. Here are my current rankings

Ranking Name Position
1 Nail Yakupov RW
2 Mikhail Grigerenko C
3 Ryan Murray D
4 Filip Forsberg C
5 Jacob Trouba D
6 Matt Dumba D
7 Alex Galchenyuk C
8 Morgan Reilly D
9 Griffin Reinhart D

Of course, this is just my own rankings, not a mock. In addition, there will some fallers and risers, the latter including Radek Faksa, Cody Ceci, and Brendan Gaunce. But in any case, the Wild will end up with a top prospect that could immediately demand the #2 top Wild prospect ranking right after Mikeal Granlund.

However, remember the last time we got the#4 pick? Mr. Benoit Pouliot. IMO the worst first round pick the Wild have made in terms of disappointment (yes, over A.J Thelen).

So its in the team's best interest to win the lottery. Although we have tons of talented forwards, no really have game-breaking abilities other than Granlund. With Granlund being a magician playmaker, imagine acquiring an explosive scorer like Yakupov to alongside him.

Here are the percentages of winning the lottery:

Rank at End
of Regular Season Percentage of Selection
30th 25.0%
29th 18.8%
28th 14.2%
27th 10.7%
26th 8.1%
25th 6.2%
24th 4.7%
23rd 3.6%
22nd 2.7%
21st 2.1%
20th 1.5%
19th 1.1%
18th 0.8%
17th 0.5%

10.7% seems like a fairly decent percentage, considering there are 14 teams in the lottery. However, not all have the ability to win the first overall. To put it in perspective, look at the below winning percentages.

Here are the percentages of winning the 1st overall pick, with the teams at their current standings

Rank at End
of Regular Season Percentage of Selection
30th (Columbus Blue Jackets) 48.2%
29th (Montreal Canadians) 18.8%
28th (Edmonton Oilers) 14.2%
27th (Minnesota Wild) 10.7%
26th (New York Islanders) 8.1%

Now, 10.7% versus 48.2% is the real way to look at it, and the more depressing way as well. Our chances look very, very slim. But then again, percentages are just numbers. They don't mean anything, only results do. So since the lockout, what has happened?

Here are the past results since the Crosby draft:

Year Worst Team
Winner Movement First Overall Pick
2006 St. Louis
St. Louis Retained 1st selection D Erik Johnson
2007 Philadelphia
Chicago Moved from 5th to 1st RW Patrick Kane
2008 Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Retained 1st selection C Steven Stamkos
2009 NY Islanders
NY Islanders Retained 1st selection C John Tavares
2010 Edmonton
Edmonton Retained 1st selection LW Taylor Hall
2011 Edmonton New Jersey
Retained 1st selection C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

So in the past six seasons, the first overall team won 4 out of 6 times, retaining their 1st overall pick. The other two times, Chicago and New Jersey won. Chicago moved from 5th and New Jersey moved from 8th to 4th. Chances are extremely slim, but there are chances.

New Jersey had a ~3.6% chance of winning and Chicago had a ~8.1% chance of winning.

Not very high, but they made it. And both ended up with wonderful picks: Patrick Kane and Adam Larsson. We need someone will these guys.

To conclude: chances are slim and the numbers do suggest we won't win, but others team have won before so it isn't out of the realm of possibility. 10.7& realm of possibility to be exact. So don't rule it out, Yakupov could be wearing a red and green jersey in the 2011-12 season.

So don't forget:

You can watch live coverage of the 2012 NHL Draft Lottery, Tuesday, April 10 on TSN and TSN Mobile TV at 8pm et/5pm pt and follow our live event blog on TSN.ca.

You can watch live coverage of the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh, Friday, June 22 on TSN and TSN Mobile TV (Broadcast Time TBA) and follow our live event blog on TSN.ca.

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