Awful scenario number one
Here’s one really horrifying thought. The New Jersey Devils finish with the fourth worst record in the NHL and move up and get the top pick. The thought of Jack Hughes laboring in Newark just two years after New Jersey moved up five slots to the top position and drafted Nico Hischier is too much for Ranger fans to bear. To get Hischier in 2017 the Devils defied the odds by moving up when they had only an 8.5 percent chance.
Awful scenario number two
The Philadelphia Flyers finish 15th worst in the league with a 1.5 percent shot at the top pick and they luck out and get the top pick. Like the Devils, it’s only two years after drafting Nolan Patrick second overall when they moved up from 13th worst. That year they had a 2.4 percent chance of getting the second overall pick.
Awful scenario number three
The season ends and Ranger fans are elated to see the Columbus Blue Jackets miss the playoffs. Could the Tortorella factor finally be kicking in for the Blue Jackets? Only it all comes crashing to the earth when the Jackets get the top pick (with only a one percent chance) and then, to add insult to injury, re-sign Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene. This just cannot happen…or can it?
Awful scenario number four
This one could drive Ranger fans to the brink. Imagine the Pittsburgh Penguins dropping out of the wild card spot and missing the playoffs on the last day of the season. They go into the lottery with a one percent chance at the top pick and voila, they get it. Adding Jack Hughes to Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin could be justification for a federal investigation into lottery rigging.
What to do?
There is very little to do. You can go light a candle at church or pray to the hockey gods. Human sacrifice is out of the question, but if you have a Pavel Brendl voodoo doll, stick a few pins in it. One thing you can do is root for Anaheim, Chicago, Buffalo, Edmonton and Vancouver to go on extended winning streaks so the Rangers’ odds are just that much better.
In the meantime, go to Tankathon.com where they have a draft simulator. I ran the simulator 20 times with the Rangers currently in seventh place overall. In 20 tries, they ended up with the seventh pick six times, the eighth pick seven times and the ninth pick four time. They also ended up with the first, second and third pick once each.The odds are depressing, but it’s good to know that there is a chance.
In the simulator, if the Rangers finished fifth worst overall, they finished in the top three six times. It matters.