Chicago will have the No. 17 overall pick in the first round after the Canadiens were eliminated in six games by the Flyers in the Eastern Conference first round with a 3-2 loss Friday night at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the East’s hub city.
The Blackhawks and Canadiens were the 23rd and 24th teams, respectively, to earn spots in the NHL’s 24-team Return to Play Plan. Both teams upset the fifth seed in their respective conference (Oilers and Penguins) in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers to avoid being one of the eight losing Qualifiers teams the second phase of the NHL Draft Lottery, but then fell in the first round of the playoffs.
Montreal will have the No. 16 pick because the draft order for the eliminated playoff teams is sorted by inverse points percentage from the regular season, and the Canadiens (.500) had a lower points percentage than Chicago (.514). It’s the first time in Blackhawks history the team will select a player from the No. 17 position.
The NHL Draft was scheduled for June 26-27 at Bell Centre in Montreal, but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and will now be held virtually Oct. 9-10 at NHL Network studious in Secaucus, New Jersey.