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Oh, Right, the Los Angeles Kings Could Actually Win the Draft Lottery

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LA has a 4.5% chance of making a bunch of other fanbases really, really angry.

NHL: Los Angeles Kings Press Conference
Could the braintrust get lucky?
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the wake of the dramatic exits of Dean Lombardi and Darryl Sutter, we haven't had a whole lot of time to think about any other aspects of the offseason. There is one pivotal event taking place this month, though, and that's the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery. By virtue of their 22nd-place finish in the NHL and the presence of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, the Los Angeles Kings will have the tenth-best odds of winning the lottery and picking first in the 2017 NHL Draft.

2017 NHL Draft Lottery Odds

Team First Pick Odds
Team First Pick Odds
Colorado Avalanche 17.94%
Vancouver Canucks 12.12%
Vegas Golden Knights 10.32%
Arizona Coyotes 10.32%
New Jersey Devils 8.52%
Buffalo Sabres 7.62%
Detroit Red Wings 6.71%
Dallas Stars 5.81%
Florida Panthers 5.41%
Los Angeles Kings 4.51%
Carolina Hurricanes 3.11%
Winnipeg Jets 2.71%
Philadelphia Flyers 2.20%
Tampa Bay Lightning 1.80%
New York Islanders 0.90%

LA has their best odds at landing the first overall pick since 2008-09, when they had an 8.1% chance of winning the lottery and, presumably, picking John Tavares. (They hung onto the fifth overall pick and selected Brayden Schenn.) Back then, teams could move up no more than four spots, so only the five worst teams in the league had a shot at #1. These days, the rules allow for LA to potentially move into the first, second, or third spot. As per Micah Blake McCurdy, the Kings actually have a 14.4% chance of moving into the top three, and a 29.2% chance of sliding out of the top ten.

The Kings finished 22nd overall in the NHL standings.

So your Nolan Patrick dreams aren’t totally ridiculous! But you may want to supplement them with visions of Timothy Liljegren and fantasies of Nico Hischier to increase your odds a bit.

(Check out SB Nation’s most recent mock draft to read more about available prospects; it has the Kings taking 6’5” center Michael Rasmussen, which would be a pretty old-school Kings pick.)

The NHL Draft Lottery will take place on Saturday, April 29, shortly after 5 PM. You can watch on NBC, CBC, and TVA. The draft itself is just over two months away.