Draft lottery tonight, 8 p.m. on Versus

14

April

Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk will represent the Lightning in Toronto for tonight's draft lottery in which the order of selection in the June 26-27 draft in Montreal will be determined. Adnreychuk worked his magic last year, helping bring Tampa Bay the No. 1 overall pick that turned into Steven Stamkos. The difference is, the Lightning last year finished last in the 30-team league which gave it a huge advantage when it came to being chosen. How big? Consider the 30th-place team has a 48.2 percent chance of gaining the No. 1 overall pick, compared to 18.8 percent for the 29th team, which is what Tampa Bay is this year.

The Lightning can either gain the No. 1 pick, stay where it is at No. 2 or fall one spot to No. 3.

Here's a brief explanation of how the lottery works:

It is open to the 14 non-playoff teams or teams that have traded for the first-round picks of one of those teams. Because teams can move up a maximum of four spots (and down only one to accommodate the winner), only the bottom five teams have a chance to claim the No. 1 pick. It also means the 30th-place team gets the top pick if it is selected or a team outside the bottom five is selected. For example, if the sixth team from the bottom is chosen, it could only move to No. 2, which would drop the Lightning to No. 3.

Fourteen numbered balls are used with each team randomly assigned a percentage of the 1,001 four-digit combinations. One of the combinations is thrown out to make it an even 1,000, and if that combination is chosen, the is a re-do.

The Islanders, 30th and last in the league this season, have a 48.2 percent chance of being selected. That includes their 25 percent plus the percentage assigned to the nine teams out of the running for the top pick.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]

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