The Oilers won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night (Sportsnet Canada)
The Oilers won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night (Sportsnet Canada)
The Oilers won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night (Sportsnet Canada)

Edmonton Oilers Continue Their Lucky Streak

In case you missed it, the Edmonton Oilers won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night for the fourth time in six years. It is widely expected that the Oilers will select Connor McDavid with the top pick in June.

According to some, McDavid is being touted as the best player since Sidney Crosby in the 2005 NHL Draft. Only time will tell if McDavid will live up to the hype.

Even more impressive than the potential accolades for McDavid is the probability of Edmonton actually winning the NHL Draft Lottery in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015.

In 2010, Edmonton had a 25% chance to win the lottery and the same percentage in 2011. In 2012, the Oilers were the second worst team in the NHL and had an 18.8% chance of winning the top pick, which they did.

2013 was a better season for Edmonton and they had much worse odds of winning the top pick. In 2013, the Oilers had a 4.7% chance of winning the lottery with the 7th worst finish in the NHL. They ended up picking 7th in the Draft.

In 2014, the Oilers had a 14.2% chance of winning the lottery as the third worst team in the NHL during the 2013-14 season. The Oilers ended up drafting third overall in the 2014 Draft.

For 2015, the Oilers had just an 11.5% chance of winning the lottery.

Taking a look at just the 4 years in which the Oilers won the Draft Lottery (2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015), it becomes apparent just how difficult it was to win ALL 4 drafts. The calculation comes out to 0.001351 or 0.1351% of winning the lottery in all four of those years.

By comparison, if a team had the top chances in the lottery for four years under the old system (25% chance of winning the lottery), their chances would be 0.00391 or 0.391%, which is nearly three times better than the odds the Oilers had.

Complication the calculations above is the new allocation of the lottery chances. Here is a comparison of the new odds and old odds (courtesy of

Under the new allocation, the odds of a team winning the lottery in any 4 years would be 0.0016, or 0.16%. Of course, if a team was not the worst team during the season, their odds would become worse.

In case you were wondering what the odds are for the Oilers winning the lottery again in 2016, well that will depend on where they finish overall. Assuming they do not make the playoffs in 2015-16, here are the Oilers odds of winning the lottery in 2016 at each position:

1. 0.0002703 or 0.02703%

2. 0.00018242 or 0.018242%

3. 0.00015539 or 0.015539%

4. 0.00012837 or 0.012837%

5. 0.00011486 or 0.011486%

6. 0.000101344 or 0.0101344%

7. 0.00008783 or 0.008783%

8. 0.000081075 or 0.0081075%

9. 0.000067563 or 0.0067563%

10. 0.000047294 or 0.0047294%

11. 0.0000405375 or 0.0040538%

12. 0.000033781 or 0.0033781%

13. 0.000027025 or 0.0027025%

14. 0.000013513 or 0.0013513%

In other words, the odds of the Oilers winning the lottery for the 5th time in 7 season are unlikely in 2016.

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