With just a short time left in the 2015-16 NHL regular season, eight teams have been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention. Two others have a 0 percent chance of getting to the dance, according to Sports Club Stats.
Fans of those non-playoff teams are turning their attentions to the draft lottery, where a new format will this year determine the order of selection at the draft in June.
The NHL has adjusted each non-playoff team's odds of choosing first overall. As you can see on this chart from NHL.com, the team that finishes last overall will still have the greatest likelihood of winning the lottery. But the odds have been spread out more evenly; finishing at the bottom of the standings isn't as much of an advantage as it once was.
This year's last-place club will have just a 20 percent chance of claiming the first pick, meaning there's plenty of room for a different team to swoop in and most likely grab top prospect Auston Matthews.
In addition, the second and third overall selections will also be determined by lottery, further increasing the randomness of the draft order.
Each team's odds in the second and third lotteries will depend upon the winner(s) of the previous one(s), so there's no simple chart that can lay out the odds beyond the first pick. Jeremy Davis did a good job of explaining the permutations and probabilities of the new lottery structure in an article for Canucks Army if you'd care to dig deeper into the math.
This piece ranks the likelihood of each team from the bottom 10 winning the draft lottery for the No. 1 pick. The ranking starts with the current standings, then factors in the intangibles that could either be a help or hindrance. Much of that will depend on the last two weeks of each team's schedule, but don't discount the possibility that chance will ultimately be a determining factor.
Which teams to do you think will increase their lottery probabilities between now and the end of the season? And which team do you think will grab that coveted No. 1 pick on April 30?