It was a strange and confusing year in terms of the draft lottery. Heading into the 2020 NHL draft lottery, six teams who did not make the post-season held the best odds at winning the first-overall pick. After these six teams, followed eight placeholder spots. These placeholder spots will be filled later, by teams who are eliminated from the Stanley Cup Qualifying round.
2020 NHL Draft Lottery odds:
1. Detroit Red Wings: 18.5%
2. Ottawa Senators: 13.5%
3. Ottawa Senators (via San Jose Sharks): 11.5%
4. Los Angeles Kings: 9.5%
5. Anaheim Ducks: 8.5%
6. New Jersey Devils: 7.5%
7. Buffalo Sabres: 6.5%
8. Team A: 6.0%
9. Team B: 5.0%
10. Team C: 3.5%
11. Team D: 3.0%
12. Team E: 2.5%
13. Team F: 2.0%
14. Team G: 1.5%
15. Team H: 1.0%
Fans have long speculated that bottom-ranked teams Ottawa or Detriot would likely win this year’s draft lottery. Ottawa’s two picks combined owned a 25% chance, Detroit earned an 18.5% chance. However, the draw resulted in a placeholder spot winning. The 12th seed Team E, who held a 2.5% chance, moved from 12 up to the No. 1 pick.
The 2020 NHL Draft Lottery results:
Since one of the placeholder spots won the first-overall pick, a second phase in the 2020 NHL draft will now be required to determine a winner. Each team eliminated from the Qualifying round will have a 12.5 percent chance of winning that No. 1 pick.
Detriot and Ottawa were affected most by these results. Each of them falling further down the list than most fans had hoped. Ottawa now holds the third and fifth overall picks. Detroit held the best single team odds but fell to fourth overall. Fans should not lose hope quite yet. Some exceptional talent will still be available in this range. Recent years saw star players Cale Makar picked fourth, Elias Petterson picked fifth, and Quinn Hughes drafted seventh.
Whoever wins the Second Phase Lottery will be very grateful for this year’s lottery results. However, LA also got a big win by moving up to the No. 2 spot. Original owners of the fourth seed, the lottery, resulted in them moving up two spots. Now, LA can pick Quinton Byfield or whomever they feel is the second-best player available.
Phase two will likely be held shortly after the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. Meaning, consensus first overall pick Alexis Lafrenière must wait even longer to see who will win the first draft selection.