The National Hockey League announced Wednesday changes to its draft lottery, which will be phased in over a two-year period, beginning with the Draft Lottery in 2015.
According to the NHL, the odds of winning the first overall selection in the NHL Draft for the 14 non-playoff teams will be adjusted 'to more appropriately reflect the current state of competitive balance.'
The league will implement a more evenly-balanced allocation of odds, with the 10 highest-finishing non-playoff qualifying teams receiving better odds than they received previously and the four lowest-finishing teams receiving worse odds.
The revised set of odds will remain in effect year-to-year in the future.
The league added that beginning in 2016, the lottery will be utilized to assign the top three drafting slots in the draft, an expansion over previous years when the lottery was used to determine the winner of the first overall selection only.
Three draws will be held - the first lottery draw will determine the club selecting first overall, the second lottery draw will determine the club selecting second overall and the third draw will determine the club selecting third overall.
As a result of this change, the team earning the fewest points during the regular season will no longer be guaranteed, at worst, the second overall pick. That club could fall as low as fourth overall.
The allocation of odds for the first lottery draw will be the same as outlined above for the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery. The odds for the remaining teams will increase on a proportionate basis for the second lottery draw, based on which club wins the first lottery draw and again for the third lottery draw, based on which club wins the second Lottery draw.
The 11 clubs not selected in the lottery will be assigned draft selections 4 through 14, in inverse order of regular season points.