Last night the NHL held their phase 1 draft lotto where they unveiled the top eight teams to pick in the 2020 Draft and while many thought Ottawa or Detroit would end up in the top spot it instead went to a team to be determined from the play-in series.
So Team E, with just a 2.5% chance of finishing with the first overall pick, did exactly that as the balls bounced giving a team who could be challenging for a Stanley Cup the alternative of getting the top overall selection.
Which ultimately means if you are one of the eight teams competing in the NHL play-in series and you lose you still have a 1 in 8 chance (12.5%) of getting a generational player for your organization. Not exactly a bad consolation prize for a team.
Of course the play-in series isn’t a guarantee with the current pandemic still raging so what happens if it doesn’t proceed? According to hockey insider Elliotte Friedman:
If, for whatever reason, the play-in cannot be completed….the remaining bottom 8 teams will have a one-in-eight shot at the top selection. People have asked if this means next 8 or next non-playoff 4 per conference (via points percentage). As I understand, it is the latter.
Meaning the following eight clubs would have a shot:
Columbus, Florida, the New York Rangers, Winnipeg, Minnesota, Arizona, Chicago and Montreal
So in either scenario the Jets could potentially end up with the first overall selection. Fans may wanna start boning up on the 2020 draft prospects and specifically how special a player Alexis Lafreniere is expected to be.
And you thought the jump from 6th to 2nd in 2016 when Winnipeg was able to select Patrik Laine was something.