With a surefire generational talent in Connor McDavid, an above average No. 1 pick quality prospect in Jack Eichel, and a variety of other franchise cornerstone quality pieces eligible to be selected at the upcoming 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the scrutiny surrounding the NHL draft lottery has reached a fever pitch.
In apparent recognition of this heightened level of scrutiny the league will reportedly provide video evidence of a fairly conducted draft lottery for the first time ever, according to a Ken Campbell of the Hockey News.
Read on past the jump.
From Campbell’s report on Friday:
“There will be full disclosure,” a source said. What form that disclosure takes is not yet known because both the league and its broadcast partners – Rogers Sportsnet, NBC Sports and TVA Sports – are still working out the details. We do know that the lottery will be held the night of April 18, which is the first Saturday of the playoffs. It will likely be held as part of the pre-game show for that night’s national game, which will be decided once the final playoff seedings have been determined. All 14 teams that have a chance of winning the lottery will be invited to send a representative to the event.
It’s a smart way for the league to avoid indulging the sort conspiracy theories that have dogged the NBA ever since the shadily conducted 1985 NBA draft lottery resulted in one of the league’s signature teams having first dibs on Georgetown Hoya’s centre Patrick Ewing.
Though, who are we kidding really? The words “fixed” and “conspiracy” will still immediately trend on Twitter should either the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Arizona Coyotes in particular win the draft lottery on April 18…
The Maple Leafs have a 92 percent probability of finishing 27th overall in the league at seasons end, according to sportsclubstats.com, so they’re exceedingly likely to receive a ticket giving the a 9.5 percent chance of winning the first overall pick at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Bigger than any potential highly anticipated personnel, front office, or coaching change – the draft lottery could fundamentally alter the long-term fortunes of the Maple Leafs franchise. This is also true for every other club that misses out an invite to Lord Stanley’s annual beard harvest festival.
With the stakes as high as they’ve ever been, the hockey world will be watching the draft lottery intently. With the level of interest surrounding the event at an all-time high, you’ve got to commend the NHL for stepping up to provide some additional transparency.