How is the NHL Draft Order Determined?

A little bit of Hockey 101
Cameron Allen, Washington Capitals
Cameron Allen, Washington Capitals / Jeff Vinnick/GettyImages

The 2024 NHL Draft is one month away. The first round order is almost completely set but there's still four spots to be determined and those spots of course will be based on the outcoming of the upcoming Conferernce Finals as well as the Stanley Cup Finals which begins in early June.

Per Adam Kimelman of, the 12 teams that lost in the first two rounds of the playoffs like the Washington Capitals were slotted into picks 17-28 while the first 16 picks were already determined with the NHL Draft Lottery earlier in May. In fact your Caps are picking 17th.

Kimelman also notes that teams that did not win their division were placed in inverse order of regular season standings points, followed by the one division winner that lost, the Vancouver Canucks.

The number 29 pick will go to the team that loses in the Conference Finals with the fewest regular season points while number 30 will go to the other team that loses in the conference finals.

Finally the team that loses in the Stanley Cup Final will get the 31st pick while the Cup champ will receive number 32.

Right now both the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers out west as well as the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers in the east are both tied at two games apiece. The Stars lost last night in Edmonton.

Tonight the Panthers and the Rangers go head to head at Madison Square Garden with puck drop shortly after 8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN plus. On Friday May 31, the Oilers and Stars meet again in Big D with an 8:30 puck drop on TNT, TruTV, and MAX.

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