We have confirmation that the New York Islanders aren't making the playoffs. Which means they'll automatically be included in the NHL Draft Lottery. So what does that mean for the Islanders exactly?
Remember there are new rules to the draft lottery:
-Teams can't move up more than 10 spots
-Teams can't win more than twice in 5 years
-Only the top two picks are winnable through the lottery
UPDATE: NHL informed teams the draft lottery will be held May 10
So how do these rules impact the draft lottery-bound Islanders and with only a few games left on the regular season?
New York Islanders and the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery
With 80 points on the year so far the Islanders sit 20th in the NHL. Four spots below the playoff cut-off line. Or picking 13th. When it comes to the NHL draft lottery, the Isles hold the fourth-worst odds of winning at 2.2%. It moves up slightly to 2.3% for the second overall pick.
But consider even if the Islanders do win the lottery they can't move up more than ten spots in the draft. Which they'll take of course. That moves the Isles up from 13 to three. Giving them a chance to add a top-tier prospect to their pool.
There isn't necessarily a consensus on who the number three is for the 2022 NHL Draft. According to Bob McKenzie's mid-season ranking, Joakim Kemell is at 3, Matthew Savoie at 4, and Juraj Slafkovsky is at 5.
Any of those players would be incredible to land for any reason. But again, the possibility that this happens is VERY low. Like 2.2% chance low. So what's a more likely occurrence?
When it comes to where the Isles might pick (13), Cutter Gauthier (LW) is at 13, Frank Nazar (RW) at 14, and Isaac Howard (LW) at 15. If the Isles want a defenseman they won't have to reach far with Pavel Mintyukov at 16.
Any of these players would be welcomed additions to the Islanders bottom ranked prospect pool.
Could they move down the draft? They'd have to lose a number of games and hope the teams below them start winning theirs. That's not likely to happen. The two teams directly below the Isles (Columbus and Anaheim) are 3-6-1 and 3-4-3 over their last 10. Compared to the Isles 5-4-1.
So that's where the Isles sit. They'll likely pick 13th with an outside chance that they can pick ten spots higher.