Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's not too early

Image Courtesy lordosis via PPP

As part of my continuing attempts to deal with Stage Five...

Let's assume that the Islanders have wrapped up last place. If the Leafs can continue their climb fall plummet into 29th, what would that mean in terms of the draft lottery? In a draft that has plenty of talent but only two blue chip franchise prospects, what would it mean if the Leafs entered the lottery in the #2 spot?

Assuming that the lottery rules are the same as previous years (with the same distribution of odds, and the rule that no team can move up more than four spots), here's how the odds break down.

18.8% - Odds that the Leafs win the lottery and move up to #1
25.0% - Odds that the Islanders win the lottery, meaning the Leafs stay at #2
39.2% - Odds that a team behind the Leafs wins the lottery and bumps them down to #3
17.0% - Odds that a team behind the Leafs wins the lottery, but does not move up far enough to bump them out of the #2 spot.

In other words, if the Leafs can finish 29th they'll have an 60.8% chance at landing Tavares or Hedman.

Yes... we... can!


  1. To me, it's not that we draft Tavares, or Hedman, or MSP, or Schenn, or Duchense or anyone else in the draft. To me, it's the consolation that when we win, we win; and when we lose, we win too. It's a small (and growing) comfort in a season that is lost. No doubt will there be many more like this too.

    P.S. Thanks for the props re: the image. Love the site too, you do amazing work. You need to do it more.

  2. Current Shot at Tavares

    NYI 25.00%
    ATL 18.80%
    OTT 14.20%
    TB 10.70%
    TOR 8.10%
    STL 6.20%

    Chicago in 2007 had a 8.1% shot and won Patrick Kane.

    Stage 6 - Bizzaro world

    Welcome to reverse standings. Last night the Leafs moved into a tie for 4th spot with TB and STL. Based on NHL tie breaking formulas Toronto would slip to 5th spot in the draft lottery.
    I believe that we can pass OTT and TB. We will have to slug it out with Atlanta for the 2nd spot. NYI have a sizeable lead and are just too good.

  3. Sorry guys, that's not right.

    While there is a 25% chance for the last place team to WIN the lottery, the rules state you can only drop one 'place' at worst. So assuming the Islanders finish last, the absolute worst they can pick is second.

    Thus, while they only have a 25% chance to outright win the lottery, there is actually a 48.2% chance that they retain the #1 overall pick.

  4. Thus, while they only have a 25% chance to outright win the lottery, there is actually a 48.2% chance that they retain the #1 overall pick.

    This is correct, the Islanders have a 25% shot at winning the lottery but can also pick #1 as long as a team lower than sixth place wins.

  5. So what do people think of Jard Cowan? In case the leafs choose #3

  6. My understanding of the lottery system is that the 2nd last place team has three possible outcomes; they can pick 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. The odds of each of those are as follows:

    1st: 18.8%
    2nd: 42%
    3rd: 39.2%

    You can only move up 4 spots in the draft so if the 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th last place team win the lottery they will leap-frog the 2nd last place team. If the last place team wins, or a team from 7th-14th last wins, it won't affect 2nd last place team, and they will retain the 2nd pick in the draft.

  7. @Anonymous...

    Yep, that's pretty much how may numbers work out too. So the #2 team has a 60.8% chance of staying in the top two.