An interesting twist has come to the NHL's return to play courtesy of the league's draft lottery that may have gifted two of the three NY hockey teams a chance to pick first.
The No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft will be given to one of the eight eliminated from the Stanley Cup Qualifiers and will be determined by a second drawing to be held before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which do not have a start date.
The NHL's Draft Lottery featured lottery balls representing each of the first seven picks in the NHL Draft, held by teams that will not participate in the league's return to play post-season.
The Senators own the second-best odds at 13.5 per cent after sitting 30th overall at the time the National Hockey League season was paused on March 12, but also possess the San Jose Sharks' first-round pick (11.5 per cent) for a combined 25 per cent chance at picking No. 1.
"This is a hell of a draft, especially at the top", said Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving, whose team is preparing to meet the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL's qualifying round.
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The 6-foot-1, 200-pound-Lafreniere had 114 goals and 297 points in 173 games with Rimouski in the Quebec Major Junior League. "We're going to get a great prospect, we'll do everything we can to develop him, and, you know what, and maybe we'll get lucky again".
The draft lottery is usually held in April at the conclusion of the regular season and before the playoffs, but was pushed back because of the pandemic before the National Hockey League came up with a new format last month. But the Wings really need one of these to hit eventually. The odds were always on the Wings picking fourth.
Detroit finished with 39 points, 23 points behind 30th-place Ottawa, and was the biggest loser of the night dropping out of the top three. "We can sit here today and feel sorry for ourselves if we want".
The Senators, who have the third and fifth picks, are just the fifth team with two top-five picks over the past 25 years.