New Jersey Devils: What’s NHL Draft Lottery Worst-Case Scenario?

Deputy Commissioner of the NHL Bill Daly. (Photo by Abelimages / Getty Images for NHL)
Deputy Commissioner of the NHL Bill Daly. (Photo by Abelimages / Getty Images for NHL) /

The New Jersey Devils are back in the middle of things when it comes to the NHL Draft Lottery. They are looking to win the number-one overall pick for the third time in five years. The Devils have been bad for a while now, and they could really use a defenseman at the top of the draft. There are some good ones, and the consensus top pick seems to be Michigan’s Owen Power.

The Devils already got some good news when they were given the same odds as the Seattle Kraken for the first-overall pick. Everyone expected their odds to go down to fourth, but now they are tied for third. They have a 20.5% chance to win either the first or second pick in the draft. Those are pretty good odds. However, with so many draft lotteries working out for the Devils, what would it look like for it to not work out?

Obviously, that ends with the Devils as the sixth-overall pick. That means two teams who were worse than the Devils jumped them in the lottery for the first and second-overall pick. So, say, Ottawa and Columbus got the first and second-overall pick, the Devils would then pick sixth. That’s not the WORST case scenario, though. The worst thing that could happen is if two other teams jumped the Devils.

Both the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers have worse odds than the Devils. So, technically, they could get the first and second-overall picks. The Devils and Flyers got it one year. The Rangers and Devils got it another year. Maybe the league thinks it’s time for the Devils two biggest rivals to get the top picks.

Obviously, this would be horrible for the Devils. It might be even worse for the Flyers to get it than the Rangers. The Rangers have way too many talented players and they are going to have to pay them all soon. This, on top of getting Artemi Panarin at a ridiculous contract. However, the Flyers desperately need a top defenseman. If they get Power and the Rangers get Luke Hughes, most Devils fans would just take the year off from hockey.

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It’s a long shot. Like, winning the lottery long shot. The Flyers have a 3.8% chance to get a top-two pick. The Rangers’ chances are sitting at 2.1%. Put those two together, and it’s 0.07%. So, this says it would happen seven times for every 10,000 simulations.

So, now that we know the worst is very, very unlikely, we can go through Wednesday feeling pretty good. Hopefully, the Devils pick first, but it’s still more likely that they stay in the top five than not.