New York (AFP) - A revamped National Hockey League Draft Lottery format announced Wednesday by the league will offer lower odds for the five worst clubs in a season to land the top pick.
But under the changes, 10 teams finishing higher but missing the playoffs will be rewarded with slightly better chances of taking the coveted top choice in 2015.
And in 2016, the lottery will allocate the top three choices in the draft, meaning the overall worst finisher from the previous season will be ensured no worse than a fourth overall pick rather than no worse than the number two pick under the prior format.
The move rewards superior performance while still giving the best chance at claiming the top choice to the teams that need it the most based upon futility, a move made the help create parity.
The lowest point producer in the standings of the 14 NHL clubs who miss the playoffs will have a 20 percent chance of taking the top pick starting next year, down from 25 percent previously.
The team with the NHL's second-worst mark will see its chances to pick first overall plunge from 18.8 percent to 13.5 percent, with the third-worst team going from 14.2 to 11.5 percent and the fourth-worst falling from a 10.7 percent chance to 9.5 percent odds.
The 10 top finishers among the non-playoff squads will see improved chances, the fifth-worst improving from 8.1 percent to 8.5 percent.
The squad that just misses the playoffs by the smallest margin will see its slim odds for the top pick improve from half a percent to one percent.