I've written about this a few times because I hate the one thing that improves your team the most comes down to lottery balls without rhyme or reason except for teams improving their odds through something that can be about 50% arbitrary (see the Avs from last year to this year, who doubled their points with basically one less player).
This year, some of those perennial playoff contenders (NYR, Montreal, Chicago) and last year's conference finalists, Ottawa, are going to the lottery. This year, there's also the potential that Calgary receives the ultimate misfortune and wins the draft lottery for the New York Islanders after years of being unable to win it to give that franchise that much needed boost (and they're still dancing in the margins like Dallas).
Some teams have been out a while, like Arizona, Buffalo, and Carolina.
Who would you rather win the draft lottery (excluding the team you're a fan of, of course), a team like Arizona or a team like Chicago? It's the kind of thing that makes you sick to your stomach. Luckily, franchise players like Matthews and Eichel probably went to the right teams, and the generational talent in McDavid went to... well... judging now by the results, the right team? But what happens if a franchise defenseman like Dahlin is projected to be will go to a team that's only now just hitting rebuild status or a team that's already loading up on talent? (Remember the 2005 gaffe that gave the Penguins Crosby right after they got Malkin? The perfect year they could have suspended the draft to the age of 19? Three Stanley Cups remember).
So first of all, I still think the draft age should be bumped to 20, or at least 19, but I already wrote about that two or three years ago. Maybe narrow 18 yr olds to the first round.
I also highlighted teams that have the poorest defense getting the best forward, which again skews what the draft is supposed to do. (Points being somewhat of an arbitrary way to decide which team deserves the better chance to draft the biggest talents). For example, a lot of the teams that sit at the bottom of the standings have high end talent, but have a poor bottom six forward corps and that kills their PK as well, so they end up losing their way to a good pick.
Now, the Calgary situation. If you traded a first round pick, it should disqualify that team from the lottery. Both Calgary and the rest of the league would prefer that. You don't want to be that team that only won a first or second overall pick in a year you didn't actually have it. Calgary probably should have lottery protected the pick in that trade for Hamonic, but let's use more common sense: if the Islanders ended up with like 1st and 3rd overall, considering how much forward talent they currently have... well.
Finally, the subject I wanted to tackle.
When drafting for a first overall pick, the teams that should be eligible to win it are teams that have been out of the playoffs for at least 3 years. Right now, that would mean it'd be a war between: Buffalo, Carolina, Arizona, and Vancouver, and if either of those four franchises won Dahlin, I wouldn't at all have a problem with it.
When doing the lottery for a 2nd overall pick, the teams that should be eligible to win it are teams that have been out of the playoffs for at least 2 years. Right now, it would include the previous four: Buffalo, Carolina, Arizona, Vancouver, but it would now include: Dallas, Detroit, Florida, and NYI.
And the third should be a full lottery.
Ignoring the slumps that teams are in is one of the major problems with teams keeping those slumps. Carolina, out of the playoffs since 09, has not won a draft lottery of any sort in their long drought: they're the ones that should have the best chance to win Dahlin, but even if you disqualified the other teams, the system would eventually funnel the high end talent to the teams that most need it.
Thank you for reading.