Mysterious qualifying team wins 2020 NHL Draft Lottery

Jun 29 2020, 11:38 am

Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get more unprecedented.

The NHL held its annual draft lottery on Friday, and yet we still don’t know who will pick first overall this year.

“It’s been a unique year, and we’ve had a unique draft lottery,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

The Los Angeles Kings will pick second, while the Ottawa Senators will make the third selection with the pick they received from San Jose (Ottawa will also pick fifth). But the first overall pick was won by a placeholder team, which will be decided by Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery, held at a later date.

The eight losing teams from the qualifying round will be entered into the second lottery, each with an equal (12.5%) chance of winning the right to pick consensus No. 1 overall pick, Alexis Lafreniere.

That could be a team that finished as high as the Pittsburgh Penguins (seventh overall in the NHL standings) or as low as the Montreal Canadiens (24th).

All of this means that this year’s draft lottery will be one by one of these teams:

  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • New York Islanders
  • Winnipeg Jets
  • New York Rangers
  • Calgary Flames
  • Florida Panthers
  • Nashville Predators
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Minnesota Wild
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Montreal Canadiens

So while a chance at a playoff spot will be on the line for 16 teams, fans of some teams might be feeling a little conflicted when the NHL returns to play.