The 2022 NHL Draft Lottery is tonight and while we are all collectively crossing our fingers for the right ball to go in the right hole and pop out into some league staffer’s hand, we figured that in the worst case scenario of the Flyers not ending up with the top pick, we can think about our personal preferences as we go down the list of other possible winners.
So, we decided to rank them.
1 — Philadelphia Flyers (9.5%)
Yeah, duh, obviously. Anyone reading this (hopefully) wants the Flyers to have their name called out last during the draft lottery broadcast tonight. We hope there is no explanation needed.
2 — Anaheim Ducks (3.5%)
Of all the teams available, the Ducks seem like the most fun possibility as an alternative. The Flyers will need to only face this youth-bolstered team twice a season and if it gives us more reason to pay attention to a team that has Trevor Zegras on it as he tries to do every trick shot known and unknown to the sport, then so be it.
3 — San Jose Sharks (3.0%)
With the same scheduling reasons as the Ducks, the Sharks would be thanking the heavens if they somehow got to have Shane Wright on their team next season. With the burden of substantial contracts tied to rapidly aging stars declining into a black hole of sucking-so-damn-bad, San Jose would welcome having a top-six center on a rookie contract as they try to sneak back to being relevant again. This would be whatever.
4 — Vancouver Canucks (0.5%)
Getting the Philadelphian benefit of not having to face this team often would be cool, but also it would be generally nice to see the Canucks get rewarded for actually trying at the end of the season. If karma existed, then hiring a coach that fit in perfectly, forming a progressive front office that some fan bases are extremely envious of, and putting their star players in a position to succeed; then the Canucks would be welcoming Wright in with open arms. Neat.
5 — Winnipeg Jets (1.5%)
Again, a team in the west, surprise, surprise. The Jets massively underperformed this season and have been rewarded with having some of the worst odds at the draft lottery. Stuck in this region of sadness, Winnipeg would be a kind of fun alternative and Wright sort of just fits in the Mark Scheifele/Pierre-Luc Dubois pre-made mold.
6 — Montreal Canadiens (18.5%)
It’s a tricky one, but at least the Canadiens decided to change their front office and now have a pretty cool head coach — wow, that would be so damn fun to have on our favorite hockey team. They have the highest chance at getting that top pick, and the rejuvenation of the NHL’s most historic franchise would be kind of good.
7 — Arizona Coyotes (13.5%)
Basically an opposite side of the coin when it comes to the Canucks feel-good reward, the Coyotes have just flopped around in hope to get a decent shot at the first pick and look at that, they did. With a seemingly terrible management staff and just being in the news for off-ice chaos almost weekly, Arizona deserves nothing. But it’s also a likely scenario so I guess we have to warm ourselves up to the possibility of this happening.
8 — Detroit Red Wings (6.0%)
The Red Wings are clearly trying to build something special and while they obviously have been hitting on their top-10 picks as of late with Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond, getting some lottery luck and adding a much-desired center to play behind Dylan Larkin would be nice. Good for them, they’re actually going through the process.
9 — Buffalo Sabres (5.0%)
Ah, the Sabres. We’re in the mushy-middle when it comes to this team because they could be in a tight competition for when the Flyers want to be good (lol) and if they get another lottery pick, then that only makes them harder to eventually beat out. But, it’s Buffalo.
10 — Ottawa Senators (6.5%)
Yes, we can objectively say that the Senators seem like they’re having fun north of the border. Creating a tight-knit core of players that seem to love playing for the team, led by baby-man Brady Tkachuk. But, getting another good player could entice pending free agent Claude Giroux even further (maybe).
11 — Seattle Kraken (11.5%)
While the Flyers would not even think about the Kraken more than twice per season, getting a good player to add to Matty Beniers and their current team, would only let Dave Hakstol keep his job for longer. That would stink.
12 — Vegas Golden Knights (0.5%)
If the Golden Knights win the lottery, they get to keep their pick and not hand it over to the Sabres as part of the Jack Eichel trade. This would be absolutely terrible. Imagine a team that has suddenly become the villain of the league just suddenly getting another good player to hide away in Nevada and be rewarded for being just so weirdly evil.
13 — Chicago Blackhawks (7.5%)
Nothing good should happen to Chicago. Similar to the Golden Knights’ situation, if they win the lottery, they don’t need to hand this pick over to the Blue Jackets in return for Seth Jones. And this one might actually happen! This would suck.
14 — Columbus Blue Jackets (2.5%)
A team that is already bulging with prospects, getting a very, very good one in Shane Wright, just seems unfair. And then the Flyers have to face them a lot? No thank you.
15 — New Jersey Devils (8.5%)
Yeah, we cannot even think what it would be like to have the Devils get Wright and then suddenly be everyone’s favorite team to make the playoffs after winning yet another off-season.
16 — New York Islanders (2.0%)
They just fired their coach, they have possibly the worst contract structuring in the entire league, and then they suddenly get a top pick? The Islanders somehow managing to get Wright after their season and then them visiting Philadelphia enough as if to laugh in our faces, would be something terrible and it is why we do not want to see this one bit.
You might disagree with this ranking, but it is what we’re thinking while we’re busy clenching and getting more nervous by the hour.
The NHL Draft Lottery will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN+, and NHL Live.