When is the NHL Draft Lottery and can the Pittsburgh Penguins land the top pick?

The NHL Draft Lottery is just a few days away, and the Pittsburgh Penguins “earned” a lottery pick late in the regular season.
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Penguins are stuck watching the playoffs, and even more unfortunate is the fact they most likely won’t land a first-round pick. With the NHL Draft Lottery fast approaching, Pittsburgh fans will instead watch where the San Jose Sharks will use that first-round selection that the Pens gave up in the Erik Karlsson trade.  

And they could have used it, as star forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin won’t be playing much longer, nor will blueliners Kris Letang and Erik Karlsson. But they’re still talented and productive enough to give the Pens another few solid seasons, allowing those about to join the prospects pool in the 2024 draft time to develop and perhaps become worthy successors. 

Per Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com, the Penguins would have had just a 1.5 percent chance to win the lottery, but even with a win, it still wouldn’t have been enough to take the prize prospect, Macklin Celebrini. As they finished with the 14th-lowest points total in the NHL, the Penguins would have moved up to the fourth overall selection when the lottery takes place on May 7th - which you can catch on ESPN, TVAS, or SN. 

Ironically enough, the Sharks have the best odds to land Celebrini, thanks to them holding the lowest points total in the league. 

Pittsburgh Penguins won’t earn a prime spot at the NHL Draft Lottery

Despite the presumed fact they won’t pick in the first round unless they trade back into Round 1 OR if the Carolina Hurricanes go to the 2024 Stanley Cup Final thanks to the Jake Guentzel trade - for now, we need to assume it’s a second-round pick, but there is still plenty of talent in this draft - there’s still plenty of talent in Round 2. 

Tankathon’s mock draft as of May 2nd has the Pens taking Miguel Marques of the WHL. Marques put up over a point per game, with 74 in 67 contests to go with 28 goals, and while he still needs to grow into his frame, he could be a complementary scorer once he earns a spot in the NHL. 

They’re also projecting Yegor Surin of the MHL heading into the system, and the versatile forward already has enough size to handle the pro game in North America, so the AHL will be calling sooner than later. With 52 points and 22 goals in 42 regular season games, Surin’s production is also respectable, and it will only get better for the upcoming season. 


(Statistics provided by Elite Prospects)