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NHL makes draft lottery date official: April 29

El Gordo Christmas Lottery

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 22: An official empties a drum filled with balls bearing ticket numbers during the start of the draw of Spain’s Christmas lottery named ‘El Gordo’ (Fat One) on December 22, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. This year’s winning number is 13437, with a total of 4 million euros for the top prize to be shared between ten ticket holders. The total prize fund is worth 2.24bn euros. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

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For teams that failed to make the playoffs, the next big date (non-golf-division) on the calendar is April 29. As expected, the NHL will host the draft lottery on that day.

The 2017 NHL Draft is expected to be less bountiful with high-end prospects than recent, robust years. Even so, Nolan Patrick and others could be difference-makers down the line for current cellar-dwellers.

The Colorado Avalanche have the best odds to land the top pick, while the Las Vegas Golden Knights match the Arizona Coyotes’ odds:

Should be interesting. And, hey, the Edmonton Oilers won’t steal the show this year. So there’s that.

Note: the draft lottery drawing likely doesn’t provide dramatic photographs like this post’s main image, but it was fun.