After a lockout wiped out the 2004/2005 season the NHL had to come up with a plan on how to decide the draft order for the "Sidney Sweepstakes." Sidney Crosby had been heralded as the #1 choice for the 2005 draft since he was 14 years old, and now the NHL had the dubious task of trying to come up with a "fair" process to determine which franchise would choose him first overall.

Some have suggested the actual lottery was rigged to allow Pittsburgh to draft the league’s next great player. Regardless of that fact rumour, the rules they came up with prior to the lottery were as follows:


Each team began with three balls in the lottery barrel. For every playoff appearance in the three previous seasons or No. 1 overall picks in the previous four years they lost a ball. No team would end up with less than one ball.

Under that scenario Buffalo, Columbus, NYR and Pittsburgh had the best chance of drafting Crosby with each of them having the maximum three balls.

Even though Columbus had a first overall pick in the previous four years, 2002, they didn’t lose a ball because they traded up to get that pick. Florida won the lottery that year and traded the pick to the Blue Jackets.

Anaheim, Atlanta, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville, and Phoenix had two balls. Atlanta lost a ball due to the Kovalchuk pick in 2001, while the rest all lost one due to one playoff appearance in the previous three seasons.

While Boston, Colorado, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, New Jersey, NYI, Ottawa, Philly, San Jose, St.Louis, Tampa, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington had one.

Florida ended up losing two balls because they won the lottery in 2002 and 2003. They ended up trading both picks away, so not only did Florida screw themselves by trading down from #1 both years, and losing both deals, they also lost two balls in the 2005 lottery. Fail.

 Here are the results of the 2005 lottery. 

1 Pittsburgh Penguins                     3 balls                      
2 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim            2 balls
3 Carolina Hurricanes                     2 balls
4 Minnesota Wild                              2 balls
5 Montreal Canadiens                     1 ball
6 Columbus Blue Jackets             3 balls
7 Chicago Blackhawks                    2 balls
8 Atlanta Thrashers                          2 balls
9 Ottawa Senators                            1 ball
10 Vancouver Canucks                      1 ball
11 Los Angeles Kings                       2 balls
12 San Jose Sharks                          1 ball
13 Buffalo Sabres                              3 balls
14 Washington Capitals                   1 ball
15 New York Islanders                      1 ball
16 New York Rangers                       3 balls
17 Phoenix Coyotes                          2 balls
18 Nashville Predators                     2 balls
19 Detroit Red Wings                        1 ball
20 Philadelphia Flyers                      1 ball
21 Toronto Maple Leafs                    1 ball
22 Boston Bruins                               1 ball
23 New Jersey Devils                       1 ball
24 St. Louis Blues                             1 ball
25 Edmonton Oilers                         2 balls
26 Calgary Flames                           2 balls
27 Colorado Avalanche                    1 ball
28 Dallas Stars                                  1 ball
29 Florida Panthers                          1 ball
30 Tampa Bay Lightning                  1 ball

* Sharks traded the 12th pick (Marc Staal), the 49th (Chad Denny) and #207 (Myles Stoesz) to the Thrashers for the #8 pick (Devin Setoguchi).

**Thrashers then traded down again. Moving the #12 pick (Marc Staal) to the Rangers for the #16 pick (Alex Bourret), and #41 pick (Ondrej Pavelec).

***Flyers traded down. They moved the #20th pick (Kenndal McArdle) to the Panthers for the 29th pick (Steve Downie), 2006 second round pick (Cory Emmerton. 41st pick).

****Capitas acquired the #27 pick (Joe Finley) from the Avalanche for the 47th pick (Tom Fritsche) and the 52nd pick (Chris Durand).

2013 DRAFT

Outisde of the sheer lunacy of this lockout, it is eerie how eight years later the consensus first overall pick is from the same hometown, Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, as Crosby. Nathan McKinnon is lighting up the QMJHL with 17 goals and 26 points in 14 games. While some will try to hype a McKinnon/Seth Jones battle, Mckinnon will be the first pick next summer.

We don’t know for sure if the NHL would use the same scenario as 2005, but I don’t see any reason why they would change it. Going off of the 2005 rules the Edmonton Oilers, despite never making the playoffs, will have only one of the fifty balls in the barrel.

Seventeen teams will have one ball:


San Jose
Los Angeles
New Jersey


Six teams will have two balls:

St. Louis
Tampa Bay

Seven teams will have three balls:




Hopefully we see hockey and not another league-wide lottery, but if we do have a lottery three Canadian teams have the best odds of winning. 

The Flames have never had a top-five pick. They’ve picked sixth three times, Cory Stillman in 1992, Daniel Tkaczuk in 1997 and Rico Fata in 1998.

The Jets have had four top-five picks. They took Dale Hawerchuk 1st overall in 1981, Dave Babych 2nd overall in 1980, Stu Barnes 4th overall in 1989 and Aaron Ward 5th overall in 1991.

The Leafs have had seven top-five picks:  Wendal Clark 1st overall in 1985, Scott Thornton 3rd overall in 1989, Gary Nylund 3rd overall in 1982, Lanny McDonald 4th overall in 1973, Al Iafrate 4th overall in 1984, Luke Schenn 5th overall in 2008 and Morgan Rielly 5th overall in 2012.

Let’s hope there is hockey so we can mock the fans of the team with the worst record, rather than complain about how the NHL rigged the lottery and gave Phoenix/Quebec the first overall pick.

**Keep in mind there has to be a new CBA before they can hold the draft. In 2005 the draft was held on July 30th at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa.**


Tickets to the guaranteed best party of November are selling fast. We only had 300 for sale, and we’ve already sold 202. We only have 98 left.

Even more important than being a kick-ass night out we have a great charity angle. All of the proceeds will go towards the Inner City Children’s Program. They are a wonderful cause and Struds has been working closely with them for years.

We will raise over $7,500 for ICCP, and on top of feeling good about yourself for helping others, this is a financial deal that even the most frugal person can’t pass up.

When: Friday, November 2nd.

Where: The Pint Off Whyte (104 street and 81 ave)

Time: 6 p.m. You need to be there by 7:30 p.m – enforced due to room restrictions

Cost: $25.00

Your admission gets you one free drink, a $25 gift card from Oodle Noodle and $20 gift certificate from The Pint.

So you pay $25, but you get $50 in return. Any way you look at this – it is an awesome deal.

Only 98 tickets left. You can purchase them on line here.


  • Jason Gregor

    Thanks for posting this Gregor, I never knew the exact rules of 2005. Makes lots of sense, but hopefully we don’t have to worry about it because there is a season.

    Also, Gregor unreal work you do for charity. I love how you come up with so many fun ideas. I’m going to buy my tickets now. Can’t wait to hear Struds’ playlist.

  • Jason Gregor

    Let’s hope there is a season. Not just for the hockey, but our draft pick will probably be a lot higher if there is one. It would be pretty hilarious though if we won a league wide draft lottery at a 1/50 probability to get first overall four years in a row!

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    Fall for Hall, Fail for Nail, Lose for Nuge, whats it gonna be if there is no season?

    “Not playin’ none for Popeye’s son”
    “One ball in for McKinnon”

    It would be interesting to see Tambo walk up there to make the first pick, and have Gary tell him “No Steve, not this time.”…..”Bill show Steve where his table is.”

    What happens if there is no CBA?.Is it one big crazy two year draft in 2014?..

    • Jason Gregor

      It will depend when a CBA is reached, but they will have one before the start of next year, and most likely this year. Let’s say they reached an agreement Sept 1 next year they could hold the draft Sept 10th and then go to camp on Sept 18th like usual. Very doubtful they’d miss a draft class.

  • T__Bone88

    Would this be a good time to implement changing the draft age to 19? They could do a four year process of moving the cut off month up 3 months, so no longer any 17 or very early 18 year olds being drafted. This I believe would force more players to go the college route and reduce the amount of busts.

    • 24% body fat

      This is Exactly what I have been sayig. IF you cut it buy 3 months than the change doesnt extremely cut depth out of the draft. You could even have exceptional status for projected first picks.

      Wonder how this would mess with the Connor Mcdavid Draft

    • Jason Gregor

      Why would it force them to go college route? Only about 5-7 players play in NHL at 18 anyways. The rest go back to junior, Europe or to college.

      Moving it back to 19 would just give players one more year of development. I doubt we’d see more players from each draft class play in the league, cause there are only so many jobs, but maybe you’d see teams draft guys in a more appropriate slot.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    Without a CBA in place do not the draft eligible players then become free agents? In a sense that is what would happen.No league.No rules. Why wouldn’t teams in the KHL just offer them loads of cash to signs them. Its akin to what happens in soccer.Though the MLS holds a draft every year. The rest of the planet signs who they want Teams in soccer have their own development teams for their players. Its essentially a free for all.

    Could we see an NHL where contracts are bought and sold in same manner of soccer?

    Or could we see a system like the NFL’s where players are cut and there are no guaranteed contracts.e.g. Shawn Alexander-Seattle Seahawks. That is what I would like to see. This way you wouldn’t have these albatross contacts that run 13 years. The player declines.You cut him.He doesn’t get paid. You could dump a guy like Redden and not have to bury him in the minors. It creates a more competitive player.Like tennis or golf.Where performance equals pay.

    How many times have we seen the scenario where the player does well in his FA year only to disappoint the following year or 2.

    Do the Hockey leagues in Europe use a draft system? How do they get their players?

    • Jason Gregor

      The KHL has drafted players who were drafted in the NHL. Remember when they drafted Taylor Hall a few years back.

      The players can’t be sold with no CBA, unless the NHL goes through all the legal work to separate from the players union. And essentially go with replacement players and hope NHL players come as well. Little chance it happens.

      Also zero chance NHL players agree to non-guaranteed contracts. If you notice in the NFL, more and more players are getting much of their deals “guaranteed.”

  • T__Bone88


    I just remember reading or hearing about a player saying that because most do not have a college or university education they rely on the NHL to make money. That is why if you push age eligibility to 19 it would force some players that would be normally drafted in the 4th-7th round at 18 to rethink playing CHL after graduating high school.

  • T__Bone88

    Isn’t it kind of stupid to mix playoff teams with teams that have gotten the 1st overall pick once or more? Should there not be two seperate lotteries, one for the playoff teams (the ones that made it all 3 years) and then everyone else? Or at least make Edmonton ineligible for the first 5 picks or something. It is rediculous that Edm could end up finsihing lower than LA or NYR

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Be nice to see both MacKinnon and McDavid in the western conference. Murray will be getting plenty of offers for that Ducks first pick next the next couple summers.

  • Mantastic

    I have heard it (the draft ) will be position of the last three seasons , rather than a draft like Crosby years . Thus , it is my understanding Edmonton would still maintain first overall pick because of their overall standing the last 3 years . My scenario is more plausible and should be used to help stock up the lower teams that need it , not an arbitrary return to a system that did not effectively help the worst teams like in Crosby draft year . I do not see a return to a lotto pick again .

  • Mantastic

    Nutty as this seems,lightening attracts lightening,wouldnt it be so sweet to see the Oilers pull one single ball out and get yet another 1st pick???God that would freak out the entire NHL.