With news the NHL Players' Association has approved of proposed changes to the NHL Draft lottery odds, there may still be hope that one day... (perhaps this June?) the Arizona Coyotes will actually be awarded the best chance to select first overall.
Then again, don't start choosing a jersey number for Rasmus Dahlin quite yet.
If it weren't for bad luck the Coyotes would have no luck at all
That's what happened last year when the Coyotes were pegged to draft at #4 and slipped down three spots to #7. Of course, fans of the team are not unhappy with their selection since they traded it to the New York Rangers along with young defenseman Anthony DeAngelo for Antti Ranta and Derek Stepan.
With that seventh overall selection, the Rangers took center Lias Andersson from Sweden. He has played with the Rangers' AHL Hartford Wolfpack team gathering five goals and nine assists in 23 games.
At least for now, the Coyotes look to have been the winner in that trade. DeAngelo has struggled defensively for the Rangers and has just eight assists in 32 games. He is fourth worst on the team with a +/- rating of -18. He also has six takeaways, with 29 giveaways.
Lucky 7 again?
Will the Coyotes be choosing at lucky #7 again? It's too early to tell.
According to habseyesontheprize.com, the Coyotes chances of getting the first overall selection is set at 11.5%. They are battling it out with the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators, and Montreal Canadiens. Just six points separate Buffalo from Montreal, so things could change before the season ends.
Of course the season before in 2016, the Coyotes also had the seventh overall selection and that wound up being Clayton Keller. They are more than pleased with his progress and that selection.
This year with the changes made to the odds, if the Coyotes finish 30th they would have a 13.5% chance of getting the first draft selection. If they move up to the 29th spot, their odds decrease to 11.5%. The 31st finishing team will have an 18.5% chance of grabbing Dahlin.
The lottery last year was crazy. The Colorado Avalanche had the worst record in the NHL but fell to the fourth spot. Three teams outside of the bottom four in the standings moved into the top three draft positions.
The real corker was the Philadelphia Flyers who just missed making the playoffs but wound up with the second overall pick. The Dallas Stars moved from eighth to third, and the New Jersey Devils from fifth to first.
It is hoped that the changes in the odds will make it more equitable for the teams finishing near the bottom. That was the point... to create parity in the league.
We'll see how it works next month when the ping pong balls drop.
So, who would the Coyotes select?
If they don't get the first overall pick... (just sayin') then there are some good alternatives.
Andrei Svechnikov - RW
Filip Zadina - LW
Brady Tkachuk - C/LW
There are still games to be played and the odds to be able to select first overall will change, with each game's results affecting the final determination.
Many Arizona Coyotes' fans will be holding their breath to see where they select. The consensus is that Dahlin will be the first player chosen, and every team is wondering how he will alter the face of their team.
For the Coyotes having a Dahlin in the lineup would certainly give the team another Erik Karlsson caliber of player. It may even determine what the team wants to do with Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
After all, who needs both offensive-minded defensemen on the same club?
It would be interesting to see what GM John Chayka would do if he had both players on the squad.
For now, we'll need to wait until the 2018 NHL Entry Draft held at American Airlines Center in Dallas on June 22-23, 2018.
Do you think the changes made will give a team like the Arizona Coyotes their first number-one selection in their history? Let us know in the comments section below.