The Nashville Predators did not win the NHL draft lottery Monday. Then again, they did not lose a spot either.
Nashville held on to the fourth overall choice for the June 30 draft after a random drawing determined which of this season’s 14 franchises that failed to make the playoffs would get the No. 1 pick.
Colorado, which finished last in the Western Conference and had the second-best chance, won the lottery and moved ahead of Florida for the top choice. The Panthers fell from first to second and the remaining 12 clubs remained in their previous spots as determined by the regular-season record.
Previously teams could move up a maximum of four places by winning the lottery. That rule was changed this time as part of negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement, which delayed the start of the regular season.
This was the fifth straight time Nashville’s spot in the first round was unaffected by the lottery. In 1998 the Predators fell from second to third, and the next year they dropped from fifth to sixth as a result of the draw.
That result was the most likely based on the percentages. There was a 58 percent chance Nashville would stay at No. 4, a 31.3 percent chance it would be pushed to No. 5 and a 10.7 chance it would win and get the No. 1 choice.
Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, were placed in a lottery machine. The machine expelled four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls was matched against a probability chart that divided the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs. The chart showed that the Avalanche had been assigned the numbers (3-5-8-11) that were expelled.
General manager David Poile represented the franchise at the proceedings.
The outcome was not necessarily disappointing. Most analysts believe that the 2013 NHL draft class includes four top prospects. The Predators presumably will get one of those.