NY Rangers still have a shot at the #1 overall pick

Following last night’s NHL Draft Lottery, the NY Rangers are one of eight teams still with a chance at the first overall pick. An “unassigned” team won the first overall pick, meaning one of the play-in losers will get a shot at that pick.

In terms of simple math, the eight losers have a 12.5% chance of winning the pick. But since when is math ever simple? Dom Luszczyszyn put together a quick graphic with the odds for each team, which accounts for likelihood of winning their play-in round.

The Rangers’ Own First Rounder

The NY Rangers have about a 7% chance of landing that first overall pick. The only way for the Rangers to get the first overall pick is by losing the play-in round to Carolina. They would then need to win the lottery to get the first overall pick.

Just to reiterate – the only way for the Rangers to get the first overall pick is by losing to Carolina. The Rangers would then need to win the second NHL Draft lottery.

The Brady Skjei Trade

Funny enough, the Carolina Hurricanes have the best odds at winning the first overall pick. The Canes get to choose between their pick and Toronto’s as part of the Patrick Marleau salary dump.

The Canes naturally they will select whichever one is highest in the draft, and the Rangers will get the other pick. This means that no matter what, beating Carolina leaves no options for the first overall pick.

The Rest of the Picks

What if none of this happens? Well the rest of the picks –numbers 8-15– are determined by reverse points percentage order. This is per normal NHL Draft rules. There are way too many scenarios for me to calculate. The Rangers do have the potential to pick as high as #9 and as low as #14, depending on how the rest of the play-in round plays out.

Of course that’s only for their own pick. They’d still get the lower pick of Toronto/Carolina.

Season Gets Cancelled

A real possibility. In this case, the bottom four non-playoff teams from each conference would get an equal 12.5% chance of winning the first pick. The rest of the draft order would be sequenced out by reverse points percentage order.

In this scenario, the Rangers would get either the first overall pick or the 13th pick. If I did my math correctly, only the Islanders and the Vancouver Canucks are ahead of the Rangers in points percentage.


This is such a convoluted process. The summary below is for the best possible pick only. Remember that the Rangers have two picks. The below is for best possible selection.

  • The NY Rangers can get the first overall pick if they lose to Carolina and win the second NHL Draft Lottery.
  • If the Rangers lose to Carolina but don’t win the lottery, they can draft as high as #9 and as low as #14.
  • If the Rangers beat Carolina and Toronto loses to Columbus, they will pick in the low double digits.
  • The Rangers cannot use the Carolina pick to get the first overall pick.
  • If the Rangers beat Carolina and Toronto beats Columbus, they will have two picks after #16, depending on the results of the playoffs.
  • If the season gets cancelled, the Rangers have an equal 12.5% shot at winning the top pick. If they lose, they get I believe the 13th pick.
  • Remember that the Rangers have two picks. No matter what, one of the picks will be after #16.
  • Adam Herman put together a nice table of possible scenarios.

So what are you rooting for? A playoff run or the top pick? Remember you can pick both. It’s not one or the other.

Me? My heart wants a playoff run. My heart says any of the three goalies can get hot and carry this team through the Eastern Conference. My brain says they aren’t ready and need another top pick. I don’t know which one to choose.

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  • Very torn myself. I think one would be just slightly crazy to not want that #1 pick. That pick would make us instant SC contenders for the next 10 years and instantly makes Strome 100% expendable, which would be great from a cap perspective.

    Again though, there’s a lot of confusion about the details with regard to the Marleau and Skjei trades. Different commentators have suggested different terms as to what might be “protected” and I have yet to see anybody confirm with hard evidence the actual details of each trade.

      • I remember Daigle as well, Patrik Stefan, etc. Lafreniere probably isn’t “generational” the way McDavid is, as Crosby was, etc., that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a sure fire impactful player. Hey there’s always Quinton Byfield as well, or Tim Stuetzle, or Rossi, etc. The 1st pick in the draft would be such a huge asset that we could flip it for say the Sens 3rd pick plus God knows what — do you think the Sens would die for Lafreniere? I do.

        Assets are the name of the game if you want to continually improve and stay relevant. Would you rather have the #1 and say the #20 pick or the #20 and the #24? Of course losing in the 1st round is no guarantee we get that pick anyway, but it’s nice to dream.

          • MikeNJ

            The difference with us, vs the Oilers, is we are loaded with some very good players, some great prospects as well, so this kid wouldn’t need to feel that he has to carry the team by himself like the McJesus kid did…………..

          • Are you fricking kidding? We’re already better than the Oilers with McDavid and Draisatl — and we’re leaps and bounds better than they were in years past. This kid, actually any of the top 3-4 kids, would improve us immediately — this isn’t a situation where he comes in as the only good player on a team, he’s got Panarin, Mika, Fox, Tony D, Shesty, Kreider and Buch to play with — not to mention Chytil and Kakko. Besides, just think of the value of the asset itself if we wanted to trade it and parlay it into another top prospect plus. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if a team like the Sens moved their #3 and #5 for a #1 and say #20. He would be their marquee savior — their Crosby so to speak (not that I’m saying he’s that good, but that would be the perception for a Francophile team). But watch, Montreal will end up with the pick. lol

    • tanto

      If we lose to the Canes, we go into the pool of teams that qualify to get the overall #1 pick, so we still have a shot at the kid just the same without that second #1 pick……………

      • Of course Walt, that isn’t the question though — it’s what happens if TO gets a Top 10 (I even heard Top 12) and opt to take it. Then Carolina just has their own pick and they owe us a 1st rounder, this year as far as I know. So say they get the #1 pick — I’ve heard of no protection for the pick. I mean it’s all very vague and needs to be clarified by someone that has actually seen all the terms. It’s quite possible that Carolina couldn’t have foreseen such an eventuality because at the time of the trade both teams were playoff bound.

        • I believe it is top 10 and the pick can’t be higher than twelfth in any scenario where the Carolina pick is #1 and even twelfth would require underdogs to win three series.

  • That’s why they play the games. Whatever happens, the Rangers have a shot at adding 2 very solid young players to the organization’s already envious prospect pool. So if we get the top overall pick great. I forget who the top 2-3 ranked players are but this draft may be deeper than it is touted. I’m not sure the generational player exists in this draft, at least by hype. You never know. That’s why we are gonna play it out and see where the chips may land.

  • This whole thing is laughable and another example of Bettman’s stupidity and the way he handles things in general.

    It will be interesting to see if the Habs lose their series if they end up with the #1 pick. Or some other Canadian team. That would be a shocker. Not.

    The Devs, Wings, Sens, and Kings were legitimately bad, so they did not need to tank. This process renders the whole regular season meaningless, including the “playoffs” part of this season. You lose in the regular season then you still do not get the #1 pick, which is now reserved for a playoff participant, who did not really make the playoffs.

    Laughable. Maybe that’s why I am not as excited about them playing again as I thought that I would be.

  • Just let the boys have fun play vitali and all those those who put there hearts in coach doing a great job with all that young blood win or loose you guys are headed in the right direction let’s get crackin waiting to see some hungry hockey let’s see who wants it

  • Dave, your heart is distracting you from reality. The Rangers appear to have one really good goalie. Sure the other two guys can steal the odd game – as can any tender in the league – but neither is going to win the Cup this year if they actually play.

    I suspect that with Shesterkin in goal, the Rangers have a better chance of winning the Cup given that they win the first round than getting the #1 given that they lose that round.

  • two picks in he first round is good enough for me.

    This team will benefit more from playoff experience than it will from a few rounds in the entry draft.

    After that strong finish to the “regular” season, I am excited about their future.

  • Based on recent prospect development trends (ie they really do take 3 + years ) I say getting kakko etc early playoff success is better than 7% chance at top pick. Regardless I’ll always root for the team to win.

  • What if the Rangers beat the Canes and the CBJ beat Toronto. The Rangers get one of Canes first round picks. Don’t both the teams get a shot at the #1. And if the Rangers get a canes pick it will be a lottery. So they can lose and still get a shot at #1.

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