Cross your fingers…it’s lottery time!

Tonight the New York Rangers find out if they will have a shot at a top three pick

Fans of the New York Rangers will be glued to the tube tonight at 8pm as the NHL holds the first phase of the NHL Draft Lottery.  It’s almost three months late, but 23 teams hope to end the evening with the chance to draft consensus top pick Alexis Lafreniere or two of the elite young players available.

The weird thing about the draft is that by the end of the evening, three teams may know exactly where they will pick when the draft is held a a later date.  But it may be only two or even one team that finishes the evening with a specific pick.  It’s also possible by the end of the show, seven teams will be sorely disappointed while 16 teams will still have dreams of a top three pick.

We went through all of the scenarios a few days ago on Blue Line Station and you can use that post as a lottery primer.   Click on the link below to see it.

Related Story: Everything you need to know about the lottery

The good news is the Rangers actually have a decent shot at a top three pick, but they won’t know for sure for weeks.   Here is what Ranger fans should be looking for.

Best for the Blueshirts

There will be only three selections picked tonight, the first three picks in the upcoming draft.  The odds will be weighted by points percentage for the bottom seven non-playoff teams and eight of the 16 teams that will play in the best-of-five qualifying round.

Here are the odds for the teams in the draft:

1st pick       2nd pick       3rd pick
Detroit             18.5%           16.5%            14.4%
Ottawa            25.0%            24.3%           23.4%
Los Angeles     9.5%               9.6%             9.7%
Anaheim           8.5%               8.7%             8.9%
New Jersey      7.5%               7.8%             8.0%
Buffalo              6.5%              6.8%             7.1%
Teams A-H     24.5%            26.4%          28.5%

These odds may look weird, but there is a reason.   We’ve combined the odds for San Jose and Ottawa since the Senators own the Sharks pick due to the Erik Karlsson trade.

The Rangers fall in the Teams A-H group.  If any of these eight placeholders win a top three pick, there will be a second phase of the lottery with each of the losing teams from the qualifying round with an equal shot at the pick.

Also, keep in mind that the odds listed will change as the lottery proceeds.  If Detroit gets the third pick, the odds go up for all of the remaining teams for the first and second picks.

It will be a short evening if all three top picks go to the bottom seven teams.  You can shut off the television or turn to the MSG Network where they are replaying “The Best of Jagr,” two classic Ranger games featuring Jaromir Jagr.

If Teams A-H get any of the top three picks, you can begin calculating the odds of the Rangers getting the pick (or picks) if they lose in the qualifying round..

A crazy scenario

Believe it or not, the New York Rangers could win the Stanley Cup and still win the top pick in the NHL Entry Draft.  The Blueshirts are one of two teams in that position.  Here’s how it could happen.

If the Rangers beat the Hurricanes in the qualifying round and the Toronto Maple Leafs lose their series to the Blue Jackets, the Rangers would get the Leaf’s pick and that could end up a lottery pick.  That’s because they acquired a first round pick from Carolina in the Brady Skjei trade.  It’s conditional as it has to be the worse of the two picks Carolina owns, their own and Toronto’s.   If the Canes and Maple Leafs lose, the Rangers will get the Maple Leaf’s pick.  The pick is protected and Toronto keeps it if it is a top three pick in which case the Blueshirts will get the Carolina pick that could be a lottery selection.

The Hurricanes are in the same boat, but only if they beat the Rangers and Toronto loses.  In that case the Rangers will get the Carolina pick (non lottery) no matter what  while Carolina will keep the Toronto pick and that could be a lottery pick.

Of course, the Rangers or Hurricanes would have to beat the odds to win the Cup and then would have to beat the odds and get a top three pick, but it could happen.

Phase 2, if it happens

If Teams A-H get one, two or all three of the top three picks there will be a second drawing for those picks among the eight teams that lose in the qualifying round.  The odds will be even for all eight of those teams.  If they are competing for one lottery pick, each will have a 12.5% chance of getting that lottery pick.

If two of the top three picks fall to Teams A-H, the odds of getting one of them increases to 25% and if all three go to Teams A-H, the odds increase to 37.5%,

So, Ranger fans, you should put on their lucky jerseys or try to wear whatever your were wearing last year when the Rangers won the second overall pick. Tune in to NBCSN at 8pm and cross you fingers that the ping pong balls will fall in the Rangers’ favor.

If the Devils get the top pick again, you have permission to take out your frustration in any way you can.


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