NHL Draft 2013: How High Might the Nashville Predators Pick?

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

The bright side of this disappointing season for the Nashville Predators is the fact that they may well land the highest draft pick this summer since David Legwand was taken 2nd overall in the 1998 NHL Draft. How high might the Preds land on the draft board? Let's take a look...

This year the NHL is holding a lottery on April 29 which gives all 14 teams that fail to make the playoffs a chance at the 1st overall choice, with the odds weighted towards each team's finish in the overall league standings:

Preds' 1st Round Picks:
Austin Watson (18th)
Ryan Ellis (11th)
Colin Wilson (7th)
Chet Pickard (18th)
Jonathon Blum (23rd)
Ryan Parent (18th)
Alex Radulov (15th)
Ryan Suter (7th)
Scottie Upshall (6th)
Dan Hamhuis (12th)
Scott Hartnell (6th)
Brian Finley (6th)
David Legwand (2nd)

Team 1 25.0%

Team 2 18.8%

Team 3 14.2%

Team 4 10.7%

Team 5 8.1%

Team 6 6.2%

Team 7 4.7%

Team 8 3.6%

Team 9 2.7%

Team 10 2.1%

Team 11 1.5%

Team 12 1.1%

Team 13 0.8%

Team 14 0.5%

--- NHL.com

Basically the lucky winner moves up to #1, while the rest of the group either stays where they are or gets bumped back one spot.

Currently, the Predators would qualify as Team 7, but thanks to their having played more games than the teams around them, there's hope that other teams could pass them by. It's an awkward position, certainly, as you want your own team to do well, but there's nothing wrong with hoping that the other basement-dwellers do better, right?

Team GP W L OTL Pts ROW GF GA Diff
New Jersey Devils 40 15 15 10 40 13 96 111 -15
Edmonton Oilers 40 16 17 7 39 14 102 111 -9
Buffalo Sabres 40 16 18 6 38 11 106 122 -16
Nashville Predators 41 15 18 8 38 13 96 110 -14
Philadelphia Flyers 39 17 19 3 37 16 107 122 -15
Tampa Bay Lightning 39 17 20 2 36 16 124 116 +8
Carolina Hurricanes 39 16 21 2 34 16 102 126 -24
Calgary Flames 39 14 21 4 32 14 103 138 -35
Florida Panthers 39 13 20 6 32 10 96 132 -36
Colorado Avalanche 40 13 22 5 31 12 94 125 -31

Looking at the teams around Nashville in the standings, there's a decent chance that both Philadelphia and Tampa Bay could pass them in the standings, and Carolina might be a possibility, too. That would give the Predators an 8-10% chance of landing the top pick in the draft, which would certainly give their rebuild a bit of added momentum.

So if you need someone to cheer for while scoreboard watching, pull for the Flyers (who host Ottawa tonight), Tampa Bay (which hosts Pittsburgh) and Carolina (which plays at Washington).

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