At the NHL Board of Governors meeting in New York, N.Y. on Thursday, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly unveiled a proposal to modify the the NHL's draft lottery process.
According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun and Katie Strang, those proposed changes have been approved by the board. If the NHLPA assents to the proposed changes to the draft lottery, the modifications could go into effect for the much anticipated 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The NHLPA's executive board will meet in Pebble Beach, Calif. in mid-July and would likely vote on this issue then.
While few specifics about Daly's proposals are known, Sportsnet's John Shannon suggests that one difference might be to expand the number of selections determined by draft lottery. Currently only the first overall pick is determined by the bouncing balls, fate, and Lady Fortuna.
This news must come as a bit of a shock for the Buffalo Sabres and new general manager Tim Murray. The rebuilding Sabres own three first round picks for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and Murray has been an outspoken opponent of any rushed modifications to the draft lottery system.
"That's something that the board reviewed as well, but again, before we make that change, we'd want to consult with the Players' Association, so I don't want to get ahead of ourselves," Bettman said of the Governor's approval of propposed changes to the draft lottery per NHL.com. "There's been a lot of discussion and rumor and speculation about it. Before we formally announce anything, we'd rather consult first with the Players' Association."
According to a report from LeBrun, the revamped lottery process could be introduced incrementally, with the odds being re-weighted for the 2015 entry draft, and additional selections being determined by draft lottery beginning in 2016.