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2021 NHL Draft Lottery primer: Details, odds, top prospects

[UPDATE: The Sabres will have the No. 1 pick. At No. 2 will be the expansion Seattle Kraken.]

The 2021 NHL Draft will be held July 23-24, but before we get there we have to learn the order of picks. That will happen Wednesday night during the NHL Draft Lottery (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN) featuring all 15 teams that did not make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, plus the expansion Seattle Kraken.

There will be two drawings during the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery. The first draw will determine which team gets the No. 1 overall pick. The second draw will tell us who gets the No. 2 pick. Once those are known, the remaining 14 teams will be assigned slots 3 through 16 in inverse order of regular-season points.

The Kraken have been given the third-highest odds, the same odds that were given to the Golden Knights when they entered the league. Seattle is guaranteed to select no lower than fifth overall.

Here are the odds:

Buffalo Sabres: 16.6%
Anaheim Ducks: 12.1%
Seattle Kraken: 10.3%
New Jersey Devils: 10.3%
Columbus Blue Jackets: 8.5%
Detroit Red Wings: 7.6%
San Jose Sharks: 6.7%
Los Angeles Kings: 5.8%
Vancouver Canucks: 5.4%
Ottawa Senators: 4.5%
Arizona Coyotes: 3.1%***
Chicago Blackhawks: 2.7%
Calgary Flames: 2.2%
Philadelphia Flyers: 1.8%
Dallas Stars: 1.4%
New York Rangers: 1.0%

Arizona will forfeit their first-round pick after violating the NHL’s Combine Testing Policy. They did not have a 2020 second-round pick after the sanctions were announced last summer. Should the Coyotes be selected in either the first or second draw, the NHL will immediately hold a re-draw.

The names you’ll likely be hearing in the first round include likely top pick Owen Power (D, Michigan, NCAA/Big 10), Matthew Beniers (C, Michigan, NCAA/Big 10), Brandt Clarke (D, HC Nove Zamky, Slovakia), Luke Hughes (D, USNTDP, USHL), Dylan Guenther (RW, Edmonton, WHL), Simon Edvinsson (D, Frolunda, J20), Kent Johnson (C, Michigan, NCAA/Big 10), Mason McTavish (C, EHC Olten, SL), William Eklund (LW, Djurgardens, SHL), and Aatu Raty (C, Karpat, Liiga).

Check out our mock draft from Ryan Wagman, McKeen’s Hockey lead prospect writer.

The 2021 NHL Draft will be held virtually over two days. Round 1 will take place on Friday, July 23, followed by Rounds 2-7 on Saturday, July 24.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.