NHL Board of Governors approves Draft Lottery changes; what you need to know

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Feb 12, 2020; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Gary Bettman commissioner of the National Hockey League with a smile during the Sedin’s retirement ceremony prior to a game between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL’s Board of Governors have approved the proposals to the NHL Draft Lottery. Here’s everything you need to know.

How we got here

Steve Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings were livid behind closes doors and let the NHL know about it. Calls for change were demanded and it sounds like they got what they wanted.

“NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirming to me that the league is working on changing the format for the draft lottery,” Pierre LeBrun said on Insider Trading. “Something’s going to be presented to the Board of Governors sooner rather than later.” The endgame was to increase the chances of the lower teams to land the first pick, and indeed these changes do that.

Bettman agrees with changes

nhl draft changes
NHL draft change (NHLI/TSN)

The NHL reviewed several changes to the Draft Lottery system earlier this month. One rule starts with this upcoming lottery which only the first two picks are up for grabs. Meaning the worst team in the league is guaranteed to pick third if they don’t win it.

Starting in the next draft no team can move up more than 10 spots and you can’t win the lottery if you’ve won it twice in a five year period. Per Bettman the system was screaming for change, but it’s not because he thinks there’s any tanking going on.

“There are some clubs who recently think it’s important that the teams that are struggling the most get the most help. There are other teams … that think there is nothing wrong with the present system at all,” Bettman said to media via Zoom Thursday. “I don’t believe there’s tanking in the game. I think our players, and our organizations, our coaches, are too professional.”

via TheScore

The NHL Draft

Although there were cries to postpone this NHL Draft, it will take place on July 23 and 24 as planned.

To finalize:

  • Only the first two picks are up for grabs in the lottery.
  • No team can move up more than 10 spots. (We shall call this the Rangers rule)
  • No team can win the lottery more than twice in a five year period.