The Walking Dead: Feb. 5 Lottery Standings

It took five-eighths of the season to do it, but the Edmonton Oilers have finally taken sole possession of 30th in the National Hockey League, thus giving them the best shot at the first overall pick in this summer’s NHL Entry Draft. But can they hold that position?

After the jump, a look at the current lottery standings, and the other contenders for the 30th slot and the best chance at this summer’s first overall pick.

Lottery Standings

Rank Team Games Played Points Projected Points
1 Edmonton Oilers 51 38 61
2 New York Islanders 51 39 63
3 New Jersey Devils 52 40 63
4 Ottawa Senators 52 42 66
5 Toronto Maple Leafs 51 47 76
6 Florida Panthers 52 52 82
7 Buffalo Sabres 50 51 84
8 Columbus Blue Jackets 51 53 85
9 Atlanta Thrashers 54 57 87
10 St. Louis Blues 50 53 87

Four-Team Race 

While lots of teams are still in the running for that first slot mathematically, the reality is that it’s a four team race for the best lottery position – Edmonton against the New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, and Ottawa Senators. We’ve been measuring our position against the former two teams all season, but the Senators have made a late charge to get in the game. Given the home/road split for the remainder of their schedule, Ottawa may in fact be the team most likely to challenge Edmonton for dead last:

Team GP PTS PTS % Home Road
Ottawa 52 42 0.404 13 17
New Jersey 52 40 0.385 15 15
NY Islanders 51 39 0.382 17 14
Edmonton 51 38 0.373 16 15

While every other team has a favourable or at least even home/road split over their remaining games, Ottawa will play 57% of their last 30 games on the road.

Still, there are other factors that come in to play to determine strength of schedule, such as the strength of opposing teams and the number of times that each team has to play two games in two nights. I’ve charted the opposition points percentage and number of back-to-back games for the four teams in the running for 30th:

Team GP PTS PTS % Home Road Opp. PTS% Back to Back
Ottawa 52 42 0.404 13 17 0.552 6
New Jersey 52 40 0.385 15 15 0.554 7
NY Islanders 51 39 0.382 17 14 0.553 8
Edmonton 51 38 0.373 16 15 0.583 5

While Edmonton has the fewest back-to-back games of any of these four teams, they play far and away the most difficult schedule. That, combined with their current lead, has to make them the current favourite for 30th overall and the best shot at this summer’s first overall pick.

  • Ottawa’s home record looks as equally bleak a their road record.. so I wouldn’t read too much into that. It’s in the bag!

    Seriously though, any of the top 4 picks would be good to have anyways, by the sounds of it (although my choice is Larsson).

  • Quicksilver ballet

    It warms my heart to see real progress being made this season. Time to drive a knee into Garth Snows groin and get yet another lotto pick this summer to go with our own.

  • Bucknuck

    About time the Devils woke up. The wild card is the trade deadline. I think that several of the teams we are battling with could get worse after the deadline. Ottawa will be unloading players for certain.New Jersey will probably unload Arnott and another body or two. The Islanders could unload the entire team. Thats just how they roll. The Leafs will look to part ways with Kaberle, Beauchemim and Giguere. The Oilers may, its a big may, look to deal a guy like Vandermeer, Jacques or a minor league player like Giroux. Its not a lock for sure but if the coach keeps on running NK out there for 80% of the games it just might be. We can only hope.

  • John Chambers

    This battle isn’t as compelling as last year’s. Judging by comments by us ON readers over the past few months, there is hardly a consensus about who we would take assuming we finished dead last.

    Based on comments I’ve read, I would estimate that 35% would take Couturier, 30% would take Larsson, 20% would take Nugent, and 15% would take Landeskog. You could make a compelling argument for selecting any of those guys.

    Therefore it doesn’t really matter whether we finish last or 3rd last, we’ll obtain a key re-build asset either way. Therefore I’m rooting for the kids to take another step forward and start contributing to the Win column down the stretch. I’m also adverse to finishing dead last two years running.

    For the record, I would take Nugent Hopkins because I don’t think his size will prevent him from being an impact player and powerplay genius in the NHL.

    • Lets just say that calgary kept all their small guys who turned out to be productive…..savard, st.louis, briere. Although all are good players, do you think they would stand a chance in the playoffs? Im just sayin, I dont think they would be a good “team”. Where im goin is if we draft RNH we wont be a good team.

      My picks Landeskog. For ever weve needed a physical top 6 player. Hes the youngest captain in kitcheners history and lets face it, hes a swede. It would take alot for a cdn junior team to do that. We also dont have to wait for him to adjust to NA ice. Yes we need a center and that doesnt cure the problen but dont you want someone referred to as the swedish mike richards?? He would be a HUGE hit in oil city!

      Future line up (not next year)

      Landesk – Hall – Eberle
      Omark – Gags – Pjarv
      Penner – Horc – pitlick/hamilton
      …goon…. – lander – …..skate hard guy…..

      …who cares….

      As you can tell some people have been traded. Dont worry i talked to tambo first, we got good deals back for defense for. hemmer, cogs & jones

      Just to create discussion….

      • Lets just say that calgary kept all their small guys who turned out to be productive….Do you think they would stand a chance in the playoffs?

        Lets just say Detroit got rid of all their small guys that turned out to be productive…Do you think they would stand a chance in the playoffs?

  • SumOil

    such a sweet tv show…too bad it had only 6 episodes and now we have to wait till october again!

    Man, this draft cant come soon enough….only silver lining to this season.

    Dont we play sens again sometime soon? that will be n interesting game

  • Wax Man Riley

    Great post LT. As I read it made me chuckle because it gave me this strange, unknown sensation….wi…winning. we are in a race for something. We took “sole possession” of something. Great read

  • Wax Man Riley

    I didn’t have to analyze the pretty charts or follow your rationale. I didn’t even have to do a Martian mind-meld with Wiarton Willie. I’ve looked at who has been in charge of this team, who signed all the bad contracts that are still hanging around the team’s necks and…and holy cow it’s Kevin Low! The master of disaster. Mess maker extra-ordinaire. He has built a team that has not only denied us the playoffs for most of his tenure here…he still has a freaking job and helped us realize all our hockey dreams…30th place all by ourselves.

    That’s who has got us where we are today and given us over a decade of Oiler hockey as we have come to know it!! Gee Kevin I owe you a debt of gratitude for your hockey genius and all those great draft picks.