The 2013-14 NHL regular season is finally over, and while many teams have turned their focus to the playoffs, other franchises are now focused on the draft lottery.
It will air on Tuesday, April 15, on the NHL Network at 8:30 p.m. ET.
With a stacked 2014 draft class, the focus on where each team eligible for the lottery will pick has many hockey fans genuinely excited. The top 14 picks in the first round are determined by a weighted lottery process.
Simply put, the worse the team was during the season, the better its chances of getting a top pick.
Here are the odds for the entire draft lottery process, along with a few caveats TSN.ca is willing to explain.
|5||New York Islanders *||8.1|
|8||Toronto Maple Leafs||3.6|
|12||New Jersey Devils***||1.1|
Percent Odds - represents the chance the team has of winning the draft lottery.
* - The New York Islanders must surrender either their 2014 or 2015 first-round draft pick to the Buffalo Sabres as part of the trade that sent Thomas Vanek to New York. The Islanders decide which pick to surrender prior to the 2014 NHL draft.
** - The Senators' first-round pick is property of the Anaheim Ducks, who acquired it in a trade for Bobby Ryan to Ottawa.
*** - The New Jersey Devils will receive the 30th overall pick regardless of their final standing as penalty for cap circumvention in signing Ilya Kovalchuk.
In the event two teams finish tied on points, regulation and overtime wins (ROW) will be used as the first tiebreaking procedure. Should two teams remain tied after ROW, points obtained in head-to-head games will be used as a secondary tiebreaking procedure.
The Likely No. 1 Overall Pick: Sam Reinhart, C, Kootenay (WHL)
There are several players who have the raw talent and potential to be worthy of the No. 1 overall pick, but the best all-around option in the 2014 class is Kootenay center Sam Reinhart.
At 6’1” and 185 pounds, Reinhart has the size to be a threat at the NHL level, but it will be his speed and naturally gifted hands that make him a viable offensive option for any franchise looking for a star to build around moving forward.
Despite facing constant pressure from opposing defensive game plans, Reinhart proved how ferocious he can be in the offensive zone by racking up 36 goals and 105 points in 60 regular-season games.
As hockey clothing designer Syck Hockey’s official Twitter account shared, Reinhart also helped his case as the No. 1 overall pick by dominating the WHL playoffs:
Kootney forward Sam Reinhart (@SamsonReinhart) has 23 points in just 10 games so far in the WHL playoffs...Building his stock for the draft!— Syck Hockey® (@SyckHockey) April 12, 2014
Former NHL defender—and Sam’s father—Paul Reinhart told Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com about the abilities his youngest son brings to the table:
He sees the game extremely well and he's a very cerebral player. All three are [cerebral]. I think I was a very good player but marvel when I have an opportunity to watch Sam play. I marvel at some of the small things he does with the puck and away from the puck and his ability to understand the game.
The NHL’s public relations department shared a video talking about the lineage Reinhart has, including a father who played in the league and two brothers currently on NHL rosters:
With plenty of raw offensive talent on full display during his junior hockey days and a lineage that all NHL franchises should be taking note of, there is no doubt that Reinhart is worth the educated risk at No. 1 overall.
There are many top picks in the NHL draft who have failed to live up to the lofty expectations, but Reinhart will undoubtedly add an offensive pop immediately at the next level and has serious megastar upside.
The Buffalo Sabres have the best chance to be awarded the No. 1 overall pick. With the need for depth and talent at the center position, there is no doubt that Buffalo would select Reinhart.
Predicted Landing Spot: Buffalo Sabres
*All stats and information via NHL.com.