New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The National Hockey League on Wednesday announced further changes to its draft lottery.
In an attempt at addressing greater competitive balance in the league and among its non-playoff participants, the percentages of each team which does not qualify for the postseason will be altered. Each of the bottom four clubs will receive lower odds, while the 10 best will see their odds increase.
Last season, the worst club in the NHL had a 25 percent chance of winning the lottery and picking first, while the new allocation lowers that to 20 percent. The second-worst club enjoyed 18.8-percent odds of winning, which are now lowered to 13.5 percent.
The 13th and 14th non-playoff franchises, which previously had a less than one-percent chance to win the lottery, will now see the odds increased to two percent and one percent, respectively.
In addition, beginning in 2016, three separate draws will be held to determine each of the top three picks in the draft. The winners will be locked, in order, from first to third slot.
The alterations come just over 18 months since the league announced its previous change, which made all 14 teams that fail to qualify for the playoffs eligible to win the right for the top selection. Previously, only the five teams with the fewest points in the standings had the opportunity to win the lottery.
Changes announced this year will take effect over a two-year period, starting with next season's lottery.