Sidney Crosby will be No. 1 -- in Ottawa.
Sources say a scaled-down version of the NHL entry draft will be held at the Westin Hotel at noon on July 30.
The first round will be shown live on TSN, but only 20 of the top prospects will be brought in for the event that is likely going to be closed to the public. A weighted lottery will be held next week in New York to determine who will get the top pick.
The lottery will take place following the NHL's board of governors meeting next week.
Each team will have a chance at drafting first overall. Teams' chances are weighted according to the following formula:
- Each team starts with three balls and loses one for each playoff appearance in the last three years but only to a maximum of two, in order that each team will have at least one ball.
- The teams which had the first overall pick in each of the last four entry drafts also lose a ball. Florida loses two for having the first pick for 2003 and 2002, even though the Panthers traded the first pick in both cases, and Washington (2004) and Atlanta (2001).
That puts a total of 48 balls in the hopper with New York, Buffalo, Columbus and Pittsburgh each having a 6.25% chance of landing the first overall pick.
Anaheim, Atlanta, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville and Phoenix each have two balls and thus each have a 4.17% chance.
The remaining 16 teams have one ball each and a 2.08% chance.
Clubs will draft from one to 30 in order that the balls are picked. The first-round order will be reversed for the second round and flip on an alternating basis through the nine rounds.
It's believed the draft has been lowered from its previous nine rounds to just seven in Ottawa.
"I'm happy that Ottawa is going to have the opportunity to hold the draft. I know there's a lot of excitement in the city and they've wanted this for a long time," said Crosby's agent Pat Brisson last night.
"This is great news for everybody that hockey is coming back."
Sources say the draft will be held on such a small scale that teams are being told to bring just five staff members to a table in a hotel conference room.
Under normal circumstances, there are more than 25 people at a draft table.