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NHL Draft is June 30; new rules for lottery

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - The NHL is borrowing a page from the NBA when it comes to the draft lottery.

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The NHL announced Monday that all 14 teams that miss the playoffs, or the teams that hold the rights to the top 14 picks, will be eligible to win the No. 1 draft pick when the lottery is held on April 29.

Under the previous system, the five teams with the fewest points had the opportunity to win the top selection since no team could move up more than four spots.

The league also announced that all seven rounds of the draft at the Prudential Center will be held on June 30. The previous six drafts were held over a two-day span, with last year's event taking place in Pittsburgh.

The draft lottery will be weighted with the teams having the fewest points in the regular season having the best chance of winning. The team with the fewest points will have a 25 percent chance of winning. The non-playoff team with the most points will have a 0.5 percent chance of winning.

While the top pick can now go to any of the 14 non-playoff clubs, or the team owning the rights to the first pick of a non-playoff club, the odds of winning the lottery are unchanged from previous years.

No club will move down more than one position as a result of the lottery. The remaining first-round drafting positions are determined by the Stanley Cup playoffs.

``Hosting the NHL draft is the next brick in the wall for Newark and Prudential Center,'' Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek said in a statement. ``We couldn't be more excited to have the draft on the heels of last year's Stanley Cup final at the Rock and look forward to hosting some of the future stars in the sport.''

The draft will get under way at 3 p.m. EDT.

Recent overall No. 1 picks include Alex Ovechkin (Washington, 2004), Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh, 2005), Erik Johnson (St. Louis, 2006), Patrick Kane (Chicago, 2007), Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay, 2008), John Tavares (NY Islanders, 2009), Taylor Hall (Edmonton, 2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton, 2011) and Nail Yakupov (Edmonton, 2012).

The NBA modified its lottery system in 1993 to increase the chances of the worst team winning the lottery while limiting the chances of winning for the best non-playoff team.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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