My friends, the day is finally here. Draft Lottery day. Our Stairway to Heaven. A day when Oilers fans everywhere feel a little more confident than anyone else in the league because we’ve been there before, we’ve climbed to the mother truckin’ mountaintop in spite of all odds. Sure, some may say that the Oilers only have a 5% chance of pulling this out and that it’s unlikely that they win any of the three lotteries, but would you really bet against them? I wouldn’t.
FIVE REASONS TO #MAKEITFIVE
1. Obviously, as Oilers fans, we want the team to draft the best player we can and winning any of the three lotteries would give us an excellent opportunity to do just that. I don’t care which of the three lotteries they win, all that matters is that they win one of them, but if they can pull this off then we’re going to land an excellent prospect.
2. With another expansion draft coming up for Seattle, the Oilers will need skilled players on the depth chart that are draft-exempt and while that would certainly be the case for anyone drafted this year, I’d love to see them skate through with another top-three pick on the roster. If the Oilers don’t win any of the three lotteries, there’s a chance that Peter Chiarelli will trade the pick for more immediate help and have another body around that would need to be protected. That’s certainly a decision for another day, but it does add another layer to the onion.
3. I just want to watch the world burn. The NHL literally changed the Draft Lottery rules because of the Oilers and now they have a chance to land in the top spot again because of those changes. A few years ago, only the bottom five teams had a chance at the first overall pick but now anyone that doesn’t make the playoffs has a shot as a means to even out the odds and the irony of the Oilers winning because of that would be too delicious for words. Please, Hockey Gords, make this happen. It would be hilarious.
4. If you’re going to miss the playoffs then the only thing worth cheering for is a Draft Lottery win… or maybe a Flames win so that the pick goes to New York. That would also be hilarious.
5. Seriously, though, how funny would it be if we won? Twitter would explode, Facebook would be a mess, and the entire hockey Internet would probably implode on itself. I need that to happen. I need to bathe in the angry tears of other fanbases.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Obviously, the Draft Lottery is coming up tonight and Sportsnet will have it televised as always. This year, however, they decided to split up the process by showing the 15-4 picks starting at 5:30 pm MST and then finishing things off during the second intermission of the Vegas/San Jose game that starts at 6 pm. I guess the ratings must be down for the playoffs this year because Sportsnet really wanted to stretch this thing out and keep fans of non-playoff teams interested. I’m just happy that they’re not splitting it into a two day process or something weird like that.
How does it work?
Every team is assigned a series of numbered combos that, if drawn, would land them the first, second, or third overall pick depending on which lottery they win. Lotto balls are drawn at random to form a four-number combination that gets compared to a master list to determine who will pick first overall. The process is then repeated two more times to figure out which team will pick in the two and three slots. Back in 2015, the Oilers had the combination of 5-14-6-1 come up and that landed us Connor McDavid with only an 11.5% chance of winning the first overall pick. This year, we don’t know what combos the Oilers have assigned to them yet but we’ll need some lottery luck yet again if we’re going to pull this thing off. In total, the Oil have an 18% chance of picking in the top three.
WHERE WERE YOU IN 2015?
Now that you know the rules and familiar with the layout of tonight’s festivities, I need you to think back to where you were in April of 2015. Where were you when the Lottery Gords blessed us with Connor McDavid? As soon as you figure that out I need you to go back to that spot. I don’t care if you were at your in-laws or if you were hitting a patio with your squad, we all need to do our part and try to recreate the magic that landed us McDavid. I mean, I don’t any of us would have expected the Oilers to pull out that win with only an 11.5% chance and we’ll need to work extra hard to make this thing happen with our ninth-ranked 5% chance. At the end of the day, there’s no pressure to win this one because we already landed the ultimate prize just over three years ago, but it would certainly be funny and helpful to be able to do it again. Then again, maybe I just want to watch the world burn.