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Jan. 07, 2013 - Bill Placzek

Hockey's Back, With a Draft Tweak

The January 6th collective bargaining agreement will change the way the non-playoff teams draft.

The draft lottery selection process will change with all 14 teams fully eligible for the first overall pick. The weighting system for each team may remain, but four-spot move restriction will be eliminated.

It solves the problem that occurred in the 2005-06 lockout season where Montreal, a team not in the bottom 14 was able to get a lucky draw and drop to slot five and chose Carey Price even though they had made the playoffs. (See my past article here:

The weighted system will be in place, so hopefully the really needy franchises won't end up in slots 12, 13, and 14, but that is a possibility.

Essentially, it gives hope to any non-playoff appearing team of selecting the top pick or in the higher  area, where on a year-to-year basis, future NHLers are found without many flops.

The NHL Entry draft class varies from year-to-year and while some classes produce far more high-end prospects, others produce more middle line-up players, and others just may yield large numbers of low end roster additions. Some draft years simply are thin, supplying only a dozen or so players of any consequence.

In past years the worst team drafting first overall might bring that team a good player, and others an elite player.  Some draft's early picks produce stars-others superstars, and yet others produce average NHLers.

Luck will now be the major factor in the weighted system and bring added excitement and hope for teams who are not woefully bad to get an injection far better than they were offered in draft years prior.