FCHockey
Staff
February 2, 2024

These teams have the best NHL Draft Lottery odds at the All-Star break

Some teams are chasing Lord Stanley’s Cup, no doubt. Others, though, have their eyes fixed firmly on that NHL Draft Lottery and, by extension, Macklin Celebrini.

And if the balls bounce the right way, one team will emerge from the 2024 NHL Draft with the potential cornerstone center. Each loss moves an NHL club closer to Celebrini, with wins ever-so-slightly affecting the odds at the No. 1 pick in the annual selection process.

With the NHL breaking for All-Star weekend and most teams having undergone their midterm scouting meetings, there’s undoubtedly a buzz amongst the fanbases of teams well outside the playoff picture, hoping only to be ‘slackin’ for Macklin.’

“He’s as complete a forward as you’ll find in the 2024 draft,” FCHockey managing editor Aaron Vickers said. “He checks every box that you’re looking for in a top draft prospect, and his pro-ready maturity will have him making an impact at the NHL level sooner rather than later. He has the high-end offensive skill required of a potential No. 1 pick, including an impressive shot, elite playmaking ability, in-zone awareness befitting of a top prospect, and he couples it all with a compete-level and desire that’ll rival any in the class. He can be a cornerstone piece relied on to help turn a franchise’s fortunes.”

But, even a last-place finish in the NHL standings only guarantees a 25.5% shot at Celebrini, who topped FCHockey’s Midterm ranking for the 2024 draft. A 31st-place result nets a 13.5% rate of success, while that drops to 11.5% for third.

Finishing outside the top-11 in the inverse standings? Sorry, no chance for you. Teams can only jump 10 spots in the NHL Draft Lottery, meaning a 12th-place finish nets the No. 2 pick and the consolation prize, potentially, of the likes of Ivan Demidov, Artyom Levshunov, Berkly Catton, Konsta Helenius, or Anton Silayev.

It’s why, unfortunately, losses are more coveted than wins for fans on Team Tank.

Here’s a look at who has the best odds to nab the No. 1 pick via the NHL Draft Lottery, date to-be-determined, as we enter the NHL All-Star break:

PICK TEAM GP RECORD PTS PTS% RW ODDS ODDS NO. 1
1 Chicago Blackhawks 50 14-34-2 30 .300 9 18.5% 25.5%
2 San Jose Sharks 51 14-32-5 33 .324 10 13.5% 13.5%
3 Anaheim Ducks 50 18-30-2 38 .380 12 11.5% 11.5%
4 Columbus Blue Jackets 50 16-24-10 42 .420 11 9.5% 9.5%
5 Ottawa Senators 47 20-25-2 42 .447 15 8.5% 8.5%
6 Minnesota Wild 49 21-23-5 47 .480 15 7.5% 7.5%
7 Montreal Canadiens 49 20-21-8 48 .490 11 6.5% 6.5%
8 Buffalo Sabres 49 22-23-4 48 .490 20 6.0% 6.0%
9 Calgary Flames 49 22-22-5 49 .500 18 5.0% 5.0%
10 Arizona Coyotes 48 23-22-3 49 .510 18 3.5% 3.5%
11 Seattle Kraken 50 21-19-10 52 .520 17 3.0% 3.0%
12 Nashville Predators 51 26-23-2 54 .529 20 2.5% 0%
13 New York Islanders 49 20-17-12 52 .531 14 2.0% 0%
14 Washington Capitals 47 22-18-7 51 .543 16 1.5% 0%
15 New Jersey Devils 47 24-20-3 51 .543 19 0.5% 0%
16 Pittsburgh Penguins* 46 22-17-7 51 .554 18 0.5% 0%
*Pick traded to the San jose Sharks but is top-10 protected

How key is winning the lottery?

Just ask the Chicago Blackhawks, currently with the best odds in 2024, who won the rights to the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft last May after having the third-best odds at 11.5% a year ago. The reward? Connor Bedard. The Edmonton Oilers can vouch, too. They too had just an 11.5% chance at securing the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft before jumping to the pole position to select Connor McDavid two months later.

Celebrini isn’t quite the caliber prospect of Bedard or McDavid — few are — but the impact the 17-year-old Boston University freshman can have on an organization can’t be minimized. He’s the clear-cut No. 1 for the 2024 draft, and with good reason.

It’s why fanbases near the bottom of the NHL standings aren’t too upset when their team drops one down the stretch.

Each setback is a step forward towards a potential No. 1 center.

And that’s reason to Celebrini.


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