NHL Draft Lottery 2018: Date, Odds and Latest Regular-Season Standings

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2018

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 17: Brady Tkachuk #27 of the Boston University Terriers celebrates after the Terriers won the Hockey East Championship 2-0 against the Providence College Friars during NCAA hockey in the Hockey East Championship Final at TD Garden on March 17, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

With the regular season all but over and the playoff seeds just about set, it's time to look ahead to the NHL draft lottery on April 28.

Below we will break down all the key details and preview a few of the players teams will be hoping to land.

                        

Information

WhenSaturday, April 28

Where: Toronto

                      

Odds at Top Overall Pick

Buffalo Sabres: 18.5 percent

Ottawa Senators: 13.5 percent

Arizona Coyotes: 11.5 percent

Montreal Canadiens: 9.5 percent

Detroit Red Wings: 8.5 percent

Vancouver Canucks: 7.5 percent

Chicago Blackhawks: 6.5 percent

New York Rangers: 6.0 percent

Edmonton Oilers: 5.0 percent

New York Islanders: 3.5 percent

Carolina Hurricanes: 3.0 percent

Calgary Flames: 2.5 percent

Dallas Stars: 2.0 percent

St. Louis Blues: 1.5 percent

Florida Panthers: 1.0 percent

All odds via Tankathon. For the latest standings, check out NHL.com.

          

Draft Preview

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 5: Rasmus Dahlin #8 of Sweden in play against Canada during the Gold medal game of the IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on January 5, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. Canada beat Sweden 3-1. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Im
Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

Without question, the prize of this year's draft is Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, one of the best blue-line prospects in years.

How good is Dahlin?

For starters, Detroit Red Wings great Nicklas Lidstrom, a seven-time Norris Trophy winner, told reporters on March 31 that Dahlin is better than he was at 17.

"The kid is a prodigy," former NHL player and TSN analyst Ray Ferraro told Kevin Allen of USA Today. "He's the Auston Matthews or Connor McDavid of defensemen if we can compare him to the last couple of drafts."

Ferraro continued: "We talk about hockey IQ, and his appears to be way, way at top of the class. Then you mix it with his skating, his elusiveness, his agility, and he's big. He's not like other players."

Seven defenseman have been the top overall pick since 1982: Gord Kluzak (1982), Roman Hamrlik (1992), Ed Jovanovski (1994), Bryan Berard (1995), Chris Phillips (1996), Erik Johnson (2006) and Aaron Ekblad (2014). And Dahlin has the upside to be better than all of them.

So Dahlin is the prodigy, but what about the consolation prizes for the teams that don't win the lottery?

Wingers Andrei Svechnikov, Filip Zadina and Brady Tkachuk—the son of former NHL star Keith Tkachuk and brother of Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk—seem like solid bets to be top-five picks.

Tkachuk offered his own scouting report to Arpon Basu of The Athletic.

"I'm just a big power forward who plays his best around the net and who's got speed, skill and is willing to go to the dirty areas get his nose dirty," he said.

There's always value in a solid power forward. And Tkachuk has his family to turn to for advice, telling Basu his father and brother have helped him through the draft process.

"So much, especially my brother because he went through it two years ago," he noted. "So to learn from him, it's nice to have; we talk almost every day. Obviously my dad, he's always a big guy to critique my game but also to pump my game up, so to learn from both those guys, it's awesome."

Tkachuk doesn't offer the upside of Dahlin. But he boasts pedigree.

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