NHL Draft Lottery Rules and Viewing Info

The most important day of the year for the Buffalo Sabres will be this Saturday, when the ping-pong balls will determine the order of the 2015 NHL Draft.

The Buffalo Sabres will soon be able to add a massive piece to their team in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, but whether that piece will be Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel will be determined by the result of this year's draft lottery, which will take place this Saturday, before Game 2 of the Pittsburgh/New York series.

When: Saturday, April 18, 8:00pm EST
Where: NBC, CBC, TVA Sports

Odds: While the Buffalo Sabres have the best odds to win the lottery, it's still an unlikely scenario based on the numbers. NHL.com has this comprehensive breakdown:

1 BUFFALO SABRES 20.0% 20.0% 80.0%
2 ARIZONA COYOTES 13.5% 20.0% 66.5%
3 EDMONTON OILERS 11.5% 33.5% 55.0%
4 TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 9.5% 45.0% 45.5%
5 CAROLINA HURRICANES 8.5% 54.5% 37.0%
6 NEW JERSEY DEVILS 7.5% 63.0% 29.5%
7 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS 6.5% 70.5% 23.0%
8 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 6.0% 77.0% 17.0%
9 SAN JOSE SHARKS 5.0% 83.0% 12.0%
10 COLORADO AVALANCHE 3.5% 88.0% 8.5%
11 FLORIDA PANTHERS 3.0% 91.5% 5.5%
12 DALLAS STARS 2.5% 94.5% 3.0%
13 LOS ANGELES KINGS 2.0% 97.0% 1.0%
14 BOSTON BRUINS 1.0% 99.0% 0.0%

Procedure: Unlike previous year's draft lottery shows, this year the lottery will be squeezed in to playoff pregame show. The lottery drawing will have fourteen ping-pong balls, one for each team. Four random balls will be drawn, and the result (no matter the order) will be compared to a chart of all possible combinations, and this will somehow determine the winner.

The chart itself will be posted to NHL.com on Friday, and will hopefully shed some more light on this process. The actual drawing of the balls will be posted to NHL.com after the broadcast, for all you conspiracy theorists out there.

No matter the results of the drawing, the Buffalo Sabres can pick no lower than #2, guaranteeing themselves one of the two generational players in this draft in McDavid and Eichel. While it would obviously be great to win the lottery, the far more likely scenario is the Sabres picking second.