A seven-game losing streak has put the Nashville Predators right in the thick of the running for a top-five draft pick in this summer’s NHL Draft, which will take place on June 30 in Newark, N.J.
Though this recent slide has eliminated the Predators from postseason contention, it has put the club in position for their first top-five pick since 1998 – their first draft when they selected David Legwand second overall. No matter where in the top-10 they will likely be selecting, the Predators have the capability to obtain an elite talent the organization could use for the future.
Many experts believe the top-four prospects are can’t-miss players (though none are guaranteed to live up to the hype). With just four games remaining in the season, the Predators appear to be in a spot where they could potentially get their hands on one of those four prospects: defenseman Seth Jones and forwards Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon.
The NHL Draft lottery, which will be held on Apr. 29, is different compared to years past. Every non-playoff team has a chance to win the lottery and obtain the first overall selection. The last-place team has a 25.0% chance at winning the lottery; last season that team had a 48.2% chance, while teams couldn’t move up more than four spots in the order.
Through Thursday’s action, here are the current lottery percentages for the nine-worst teams in the league:
Also, here is the remaining schedule for all nine of those teams:
|Florida||at NJ||at BOS||NYR||TOR||at TB|
|Colorado||EDM||STL||at STL||at PHX||MIN|
|Carolina||PHI||at TB||NYI||NYR||at PIT|
|Nashville||at CHI||CGY||at DET||at CBJ|
|Tampa Bay||CAR||TOR||at BOS||FLA|
|Calgary||ANA||at MIN||at NSH||at STL||at CHI|
|Edmonton||at COL||ANA||ANA||CHI||at MIN||VAN|
|New Jersey||FLA||at NYR||MTL||PIT||at NYR|
|Philadelphia||at CAR||BOS||NYI||at OTT|
When looking at that schedule, the following games could play a big role in how the lottery standings shake out in the final week-plus of the season:
Apr. 19: Edmonton at Colorado
Apr. 20: Philadelphia at Carolina
Apr. 21: Carolina at Tampa Bay
Apr. 23: Calgary at Nashville