Canadiens NHL Draft Lottery Status, Rule Technicality

The Montreal Canadiens won the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to win it another couple of times in the future.

The Canadiens finished the season in 28th place, securing the fifth-best odds in the NHL Draft Lottery.

Should they win one of the two lotteries and select first or second overall, the Canadiens would have picked in the top two for two years in a row; a potential game-changer for the franchise.

That being said, they’d still have the flexibility to win again in the coming years.

Although the Canadiens may have won the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery, simply winning a Draft Lottery is not enough to count against the NHL’s new limitations.

The NHL Draft Lottery has some confusing jargon, so we break it down for you below:

Limit on Teams Winning a Lottery Draw

According to the NHL’s new ruleset for the NHL Draft Lottery released on March 23, 2021:

No single team will be able to advance in the Draft order by reason of winning a Lottery Draw more than two (2) times in any five (5) year period. This limitation will not affect a Club’s ability to retain its presumptive Draft position in any Draft Lottery, nor would it preclude the possibility of the Club moving down in Draft Order to the extent other Clubs advance by reason of winning the Lottery Draws. For purposes of clarity, the limitation would attach to the team, not the specific pick.”

Here’s where things get technical.

The Montreal Canadiens finished 32nd in the NHL last season and had the best odds of winning the NHL Draft Lottery.

However, despite winning the Draft Lottery for the 1st overall pick, the Canadiens did not “advance in the Draft order by reason of winning a lottery draw”.

In fact, they maintained their position as No. 1, and no movement occurred; meaning the Canadiens can still win the lottery twice over the next five years.

Future Draft Lottery Implications For Montreal Canadiens

If, by some stroke of luck, the Canadiens were able to win this year’s lottery, they would have some interesting options.

Connor Bedard is the consensus pick at first overall, and NHL bettings odds favour Adam Fantilli to go 2nd overall right after him.

Outside of picking 1st or 2nd in the 2023 NHL Draft; it would open up the Canadiens for another potential lottery victory down the line, as this year’s lottery would only count as their first rank improvement by way of lottery.

That means that, if the Canadiens are still a bottom-10 team next season, they wouldn’t be excluded from the 2024 NHL Draft’s Mack Celebrini sweepstakes.

Another notion to keep in mind after the Calgary Flames struggled mightily this season would be the fact that the Canadiens own their 2025 1st-round pick.

Although not a guarantee, if the Flames were to lose some important pieces, like Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund next summer; they could have a very difficult 2024-2025 season.

By having an extra lottery win available, the Canadiens could capitalize on the Flames’ troubles in 2025 or 2026 (depending on the pick’s condition) thanks to a little technicality in the wording of the Draft Lottery.


*For more NHL Betting lines and futures, head over to FanDuel