Alexis Lafreniere is the consensus crown jewel of the 2020 NHL Draft. But after Phase 1 of the NHL's lottery drawing Friday night, we're still not sure which team will win the right to call Lafreniere's name with the No. 1 overall pick — or when that will happen.
We'll do our best to explain ...
The Red Wings, Senators (two picks, one courtesy of the Sharks), Kings, Ducks, Devils and Sabres won't resume their seasons as part of the NHL's return-to-play plans and thus had the best odds to win one of Friday's three drawings. However, a team outside the bottom seven jumped the group, necessitating a Phase 2 lottery drawing.
There were eight unassigned "placeholder" slots that factored in to the drawing. Those placeholders represented the teams that will participate in the qualifying round of the playoffs, whenever that takes place. And since one of those placeholders did indeed draw a top-three ping pong ball — the No. 1 ball, in fact — a second lottery drawing will be held at a later date involving only those eight teams to finalize the 2020 draft order and win the right to select Lafreniere.
That later date will be sometime between the qualifying round and the first round of the playoffs.
Got all that? Don't worry, you can read more about that overly confusing Phase 2 process here.
In the meantime, here are the results from Phase 1 of the 2020 NHL Draft lottery.
NHL Draft lottery results - Phase 1
1. Team TBD
2. Los Angeles Kings
3. Ottawa Senators (via SJS)
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Ottawa Senators
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Buffalo Sabres
*Note: The Sabres ranked higher than New Devils on the basis of higher regulation/OT win percentage (Buffalo, .406 ROW%; New Jersey, .348 ROW%)
This marks the first time in NHL Draft Lottery history that a team without 1 of the league's 7 worst records will grab the 1st overall pick
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) June 27, 2020
How will Phase 2 of the NHL Draft lottery work?
A second lottery drawing will be held on a yet-to-be-determined date between the qualifying and first rounds of the 2020 NHL playoffs.
Here are the rules of the Phase 2 lottery drawing, per the NHL:
Phase 2 participants will include all eight teams that do not advance from the Qualifying Round (or the teams that have acquired their first-round picks).
In each Phase 2 draw, all participants will have the same odds.
Following each Phase 2 draw, the winning team will be assigned the corresponding top three selection in the 2020 NHL Draft and, if another Phase 2 draw is necessary, that team’s numbered lottery ball will be removed.
When all Phase 1 and Phase 2 draws are completed and the top three selections in the 2020 NHL Draft have been awarded, the remaining selections in the top 15 will be assigned to the 12 teams that did not win a draw, in inverse order of their points percentages at the time of the pause in the regular season.