Every hockey season, some teams gear up for the playoffs. Some teams, however, gear up for something a little less desirable for the players: the knowledge that they're getting a high draft pick. The lockers have been cleaned out, coaches have been fired (or will be fired), and players are going home or to play in the World Championships this spring and summer. The teams' management, though, are getting their ducks in a row, reading Central Scouting reports, and trying to figure out what move they can make at the draft to help their franchise's future.
The Thrashers, if Edmonton wins the first overall pick this evening, will be picking sixth overall. The teams' order is determined by the draw of the ball, which will be televised on Versus in America (TSN in Canada) tonight at 8:00.
Why, though, if the Thrashers win, can they only move up to second? NHL rules state that the most a winner can move up in the draft is four positions. Each team is given a number of lottery balls to reflect their non-playoff position in the standings at the end of the season. The Thrashers have a small 6.2% chance that they'll win; last place Edmonton has a 25% chance at having the first overall pick again this season. Take a look at complete NHL Draft lottery odds here.
Stay tuned for the results, and continuing prospect coverage to give you a better idea what kind of player the Thrashers will be looking at come June 24th and June 25th.