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NHL Proposes new Changes Coming to the Draft


The NHL is proposing changes to the current draft lottery (Per Chris Johnston). Many fans and teams have expressed their frustrations with the lottery which made it inevitable for the league to make some changes. Here are the three proposed ideas the league is considering changing.

Teams limited to no more than two lottery wins in a five-year period.

One change the NHL wants to implement is not having the same team winning the draft lottery over and over again. Recently,  the New Jersey Devils won the lottery twice in three years, once in 2017 and in 2019. However, this controversy dates back further when the Edmonton Oilers won the draft lottery three straight times and got the first pick four times in six years. This crazy occurrence caused fans of other teams to be outraged as the Oilers were projected to be a future dynasty. The NHL wants to eliminate the practice of tanking and creating this rule would help balance out the prospects coming into the league.

Should the NHL implement this rule: No. The Draft Lottery is purely based on luck and if a team gets lucky enough to win two lotteries, they should keep the picks. Additionally, creating this rule might complicate the draft in future years.

*Note: This rule would start in 2022 and previous winners would not be counted*

Teams only allowed to jump 10 spots with a lottery win.

Over the last few years, many teams have jumped through the lottery and ended up with a high pick, which ultimately pushes worse teams out of high picks. The biggest jump in recent memory came when the Philadelphia Flyers got the second pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, jumping up from 13 to 2. With this recurring trend, the NHL wants to favor worse teams by limiting teams the number of spots a team can move up. This will make it so that the 13th, 14th and 15th place won’t be able to move up in the lottery. 

Should the NHL implement this rule: Yes. Teams that are 13th, 14th, and 15th just missed the playoffs and they don’t need a high pick to add to their team. The pick should go to a bad team that would significantly improve with a top player from the draft.

A reduction in the number of picks decided by lottery from three to two.

The NHL wants to only limit the number of lotteries from regular three to two. This doesn’t really seem like a huge change, however, it would have a big impact on the draft. If the NHL creates this rule, this would guarantee the last place team to get a top 3 pick. This would be huge news as most drafts consist of a stacked top 3 and giving the worst team an elite prospect rather than giving them the chance to drop to 4. In the 2020 NHL Draft, the big 3 prospects were Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield and Tim Stutzle. With the rotten luck of the Detroit Red Wings, they fell out of the top 3 and had to pick Lucas Raymond who still is a good player, but not enough compared to Lafreniere, Byfield or Stutzle. If this rule existed last year, the Red Wings would have walked away with Tim Stutzle who is lighting up the league right now.

Should the NHL implement this rule: No. With the other rules that could be created, adding this rule on top would give the worst teams too much of an advantage.

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