NEW YORK – John Tavares is about to get a better idea of where his future might lie.
The NHL holds its draft lottery Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET) with five teams having a chance at landing the No. 1 pick – and most likely Tavares. The New York Islanders have the best shot after finishing 30th during the regular season. They have a 25 per cent chance of being drawn by deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
League rules stipulate that a team can only move up four positions so Tampa (18.8 per cent), Colorado (14.2 per cent), Atlanta (10.7 per cent) and Los Angeles (8.1 per cent) are the only other squads with a chance to win the lottery.
Teams can only drop one place lower than where they finished in the standings – meaning the Islanders will pick no lower than second.
Tavares and Swedish defenceman Victor Hedman are the two most coveted players in the draft, which will be held at the Bell Centre in Montreal on June 26-27.
If any of the Canadian NHL teams are to land either player, they’ll likely have to swing a deal to get one of the top two selections.
The Toronto Maple Leafs can move up as high as third and fall no lower than eighth. Ottawa will land somewhere between fifth and 10th, while Edmonton’s selection will end up between sixth and 11th.
The lottery is only open to the 14 teams that failed to make the playoffs. The remaining teams pick in reverse order of finish starting with the 15th selection.