The No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft will be determined in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery on Monday.
The First Phase of the lottery included seven teams that were not part of the 24-team NHL Return to Play Plan, plus the eighth placeholder positions for the eliminated teams from the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. A separate drawing was done for each of the top three picks.
The winning placeholder team, designated as Team E, had a 2.5 percent chance to be assigned the No. 1 pick with the 12th-best odds among the 15 teams.
The eight teams eliminated from the Qualifiers will now participate in the Second Phase, each with a 12.5 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick. The seven teams that do not win the top pick will have selections Nos. 9-15, in inverse order of their points percentage.
Left wing Alexis Lafreniere of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Rimouski is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the draft, which is scheduled for Oct. 9-10. He scored a QMJHL-leading scorer with 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists) and was named the league’s MVP and the Canadian Hockey League Top Draft Prospect of the Year.
The Blackhawks will likely hope for Florida to win the lottery as the Panthers are in the other conference, which means only two regular-season games a season against Lafreniere, and he wouldn’t make the Panthers a serious championship contender right away.
Edmonton, the team the Blackhawks upset in four games during the Qualifiers, has won the top pick four times since drafting Taylor Hall in 2010 yet only has one playoff appearance and series win in that span. The Panthers and Maple Leafs are the only other eliminated teams to have the No. 1 pick since 2010, with Florida selecting defenseman Aaron Ekblad in 2014 and Toronto picking center Auston Matthews in 2016.
2020 NHL Draft Order
1. Placeholder team
4. Red Wings
2020 NHL Draft Lottery, Phase 2
When: 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10
TV: NHL Network, NBSCN, Sportsnet, TVAS