Yes, the San Jose Sharks will have a chance of winning the NHL Draft Lottery on May 10 and selecting center Shane Wright with the No. 1 overall pick.
It’s just not a great chance.
Depending on what happens Friday on the final day of the NHL’s regular season, the Sharks (32-36-13, 77 points) will finish with either the 10th or 11th-worst record in the league and have a 3.5 or 3.0 percent of winning the Wright sweepstakes.
If the Sharks beat the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena, they will finish with 79 points and 22nd in the NHL’s overall standings, or 11th worst.
If the Sharks lose in regulation time, or in overtime or a shootout, it’s possible they could slip to 23rd overall. For that to happen, the Anaheim Ducks, now with 76 points, would have to beat the Dallas Stars in regulation time.
Both the Sharks and Ducks right now have 22 regulation time wins, which is the first tie-breaker. The second tie-breaker, though, is regulation or overtime wins, and the Sharks have a 29-27 edge in that category.
Still, the odds of winning the draft lottery, whether the Sharks finish 22nd or 23rd overall, are not good.
The team with the 10th-worst record has a 3.5 percent chance of winning the first lottery draw, and the team with the 11th-worst record has a 3.0 percent chance.
The Montreal Canadiens are guaranteed to finish the regular season with the NHL’s worst record and have an 18.5 percent chance of winning the first lottery draw. The Arizona Coyotes will have the league’s second-worst record and have a 13.5 percent chance.
The odds for the remaining teams will increase on a proportionate basis for the second lottery draw, based on which team wins the first lottery draw.
The NHL changed its rules so any team that wins the lottery can only move up a maximum of 10 spots. Thus, only the “top 11 seeds” as the NHL framed it, are eligible to receive the first overall selection in the draft.
Wright, 18, is widely considered the top player available in this year’s draft. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Wright had 94 points in 63 games for the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League. Through his first four OHL playoff games, he had six points.
Other top prospects include center Logan Cooley of the U.S. under-18 National Team Development Program, Slovakian winger Juraj Slafkovsky and Canadian-born center Matthew Savoie of the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice.
The Sharks have drafted inside the top 11 twice in the last seven years. They chose winger Timo Meier ninth overall in 2015, and center William Eklund seventh overall last season.
The 2022 NHL Scouting Combine runs from May 29-June 4 in Buffalo. The NHL Draft is at the Bell Centre in Montreal, with the first round on July 7 and rounds 2-7 on July 8.