Red Wings with 6% odds at No. 1, looking to move up in NHL Draft Lottery

Detroit News

Detroit — The Red Wings haven’t had much luck in the draft lottery, but they’ll get another chance on Tuesday.

The NHL Draft Lottery, which hasn’t been kind to the Wings in recent years, takes place at the NHL Network studio in Secaucus, New Jersey (6:30 p.m./ESPN, ESPN+).

By virtue of their 32-40-10 (74 points) record, the Wings finished 25th overall in the standings. That gives the Wings the eighth-best odds, at 6%, of winning Tuesday’s lottery and getting the No. 1 overall pick.

The Red Wings will draft in the top 10 for the sixth consecutive year.

The 16 non-playoff teams will participate in the lottery, which last year began reducing the number of draws from three to only two, thereby making it increasingly difficult for teams with small odds of winning the lottery.

Teams can also only move up 10 places in the draft under the new rules formulated last year — so, only the 11 worst teams have a shot at the top pick.

The Wings can only pick first, second, eighth, ninth or 10th, and they have a 6.4%  chance of getting the second pick, according to tankathaon.com.  They possess a 54.4% chance of staying eighth, 30% of drafting ninth, and 3.2% chance of landing at the 10th spot.

Montreal has the best odds of securing the top pick (18.5%), while Arizona (13.5%) and Seattle (11.5%) round out the top three.

The lottery determines the order of selection for the NHL Entry Draft, which this year takes place July 7 (first-round) and July 8 (rounds two through seven) in Montreal.

The Wings have had no luck in the lottery since general manager Steve Yzerman took over leading the organization. The biggest drop was actually two years ago, when the Wings had the worst record in the NHL but wound up falling to fourth overall.

Still, the Wings came out fine in that 2020 draft, drafting forward Lucas Raymond, a likely finalist for this year’s Calder Trophy (NHL Rookie of the Year).

Yzerman has also drafted defenseman Mortiz Seider in 2019 — Seider is this year’s likely Calder Trophy winner — and defenseman Simon Edvinsson last year, both sixth overall.

At Yzerman’s season-ending press conference — where he also officially announced Jeff Blashill was not going to be retained as head coach — the importance of good, sound drafting and developing those picks was again stressed by Yzerman.

“I get asked, ‘Where are you at in the rebuild? What’s the timeline? Are you going to make the playoffs?’ ” Yzerman said. “I wish I could give you definitive answers. I’m not trying to be witty or coy. We’ve got a draft coming up and I don’t know if we’re picking eighth or second, ninth or 10th, let alone who we’re going to pick, any position for that matter, and whether that player is going to play on our team and where that projects us to finishing in the standings next year.

“Then we got free agency coming up (July 13), and I have this beautiful list of great players that would be a good fit for our organization. Can I get any of those players? I have no idea at this point.

“We’re just going to continue to try to draft well, develop our young players, and try to run a good program here, try to run a good program in Grand Rapids and kind of gradually keep improving. That’s what I’m going to stick with, and hopefully, sooner than later, we’re a playoff team.”

Kingston center Shane Wright is projected by many draft analysts to be the first pick. Wright (6-feet, 191 pounds) was eighth in the Ontario Hockey League with 94 points (32 goals and 62 assists) in 63 games.

Wright, who has been the projected top player in this class for several years, is the top-rated North American player by NHL Central Scouting, with Logan Cooley ranked second.

Cooley (5-foot-10, 174-pounds), of the Plymouth Township-based USA National Team Development Program, was second on the NTDP with 75 points (27 goals and 48 assists) in 51 games.

“The margin between the two top North American prospects (Wright and Cooley) got narrower as the season progressed, but much the same as it has been all season long, the edge goes to Shane Wright for our final ranking,” said Dan Marr, director of NHL central scouting. “Both prospects possess NHL qualities and both utilize their skills and assets within their own style of play.”

Left wing Juraj Slafkovsky, of TPS of Liiga (Finland), is No. 1 among International skaters.

The NHL, after not having a combine during the past couple of years because of COVID restrictions, will hold its 2022 NHL Scouting Combine, showcasing the top draft-eligible North American and international prospects, May 29-June 4 in Buffalo.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tkulfan

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