BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Sabres have a 1-in-20 chance at winning the first overall pick in the NHL Draft when the league holds its annual draft lottery Tuesday night.
The Sabres finished the season with 75 points, ranking 24th in the league. That gave Buffalo the ninth-best odds in the lottery. A full breakdown of where they could select is below.
The Sabres also have the Golden Knights’ first-round pick from the Jack Eichel trade, but it is top-10 protected this year. That means if Vegas wins a lottery slot this year, they get to keep the pick and Buffalo gets their 2023 first-rounder.
How to watch the NHL Draft lottery
The Draft Lottery will be held at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN+.
NHL Draft lottery odds
The NHL released the following odds for the #1 pick.
- Montreal Canadiens 18.5%
- Arizona Coyotes 13.5%
- Seattle Kraken 11.5%
- Philadelphia Flyers 9.5%
- New Jersey Devils 8.5%
- Chicago Blackhawks* 7.5%
- Ottawa Senators 6.5%
- Detroit Red Wings 6.0%
- Buffalo Sabres 5.0%
- Anaheim Ducks 3.5%
- San Jose Sharks 3.0%
- Columbus Blue Jackets 2.5%
- New York Islanders 2.0%
- Winnipeg Jets 1.5%
- Vancouver Canucks 0.5%
- Vegas Golden Knights** 0.5%
* Under the terms of a July 23, 2021 trade, Chicago will transfer its 1st-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft to Columbus if it is not a top 2 pick. If it becomes a top 2 pick as a result of the Draft Lottery, Chicago will retain the pick and instead transfer to Columbus its 1st-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
** Under the terms of a Nov. 4, 2021 trade, Vegas will transfer its 1st-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft to Buffalo if it is not a top 10 pick. If it becomes a top 10 pick as a result of the Draft Lottery, Vegas will retain the pick and instead transfer to Buffalo its 1st-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
How does the lottery work?
The league continues to tweak the lottery rules. The top two picks are up for grabs this year, although teams cannot move up more than 10 places. So if the Golden Knights were to win the lottery, they could only move up to sixth or seventh.
When will the Sabres pick?
The Sabres are currently slotted ninth, and two slots are up for grabs.
- If the Sabres win a lottery pick, they’ll draft first or second.
- If the two lottery slots go to teams above them with the best odds, the Sabres will stay at #9.
- If a team with worse odds than the Sabres wins a lottery, the Sabres could fall back to #10 or #11.
The Sabres have a 5% chance at winning the #1 pick and a 10.4% chance of winning either the first or second pick, according to Tankathon.com.
The Sabres’ most likely position is staying at #9. The second-most-likely thing to happen is the Sabres falling back one slot to #10.
Where will the Golden Knights pick?
Vegas has the worst lottery odds at 0.5%. If they win one of the slots, they could move up to sixth or seventh and would keep the pick based on the terms of the trade.
If they stay put at 16th — 98.9% likely, per Tankathon — then the Sabres will also get the 16th pick.
Have the Sabres ever won the Draft Lottery?
Yes. They won the #1 pick in 2018 (Rasmus Dahlin) and 2021 (Owen Power).
When is the NHL Draft?
The NHL Draft is scheduled for July 7 (Round 1) and July 8 (Rounds 2-7) in Montreal.