The No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft will be determined by the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery after the results of the First Phase on Friday.The team will be one of the eight that are 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. Each of the eliminated teams will have a 12.5 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick.
The Los Angeles Kings will have the No. 2 pick, and the Ottawa Senators will have the No. 3 pick.
The Detroit Red Wings, who had the best chance to win the No. 1 pick at 18.5 percent, fell to No. 4.
The lottery included the seven teams that are not part of the 24-team NHL Return to Play Plan, plus the eight placeholder positions for the eliminated qualifiers. A separate drawing was held for each of the top three picks.
The 2020 draft will be held after the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which do not have a start date. It was originally scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal but was postponed due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
2020 NHL DRAFT ORDER
1. Placeholder team
2. Los Angeles Kings
3. Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks)
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Ottawa Senators
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Buffalo Sabres
Picks 4-8 were determined based on inverse order of regular-season points percentage.
Picks No. 9-15 will be assigned to the other teams that lose the eight best-of-5 Stanley Cup Qualifier series, in inverse order of their points percentage.
Picks 16-31 will be determined by the results of the playoffs.
The top pick is likely to be forward Alexis Lafreniere, who was No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters.
“It’s the first part of the process,” Lafreniere said. “I’m still not drafted, have to wait a little bit. I’ll enjoy this time with family and friends and wait to see what happens and I’m excited for this lottery.”
The 18-year-old won the Jean Beliveau Trophy as the leading scorer in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists), the Paul Dumont Trophy as QMJHL personality of the year, the Michel Briere Trophy as the most valuable player in the QMJHL, the Canadian Hockey League Top Draft Prospect of the Year Award and the CHL David Branch Player of the Year Award.
The left wing from Rimouski of the QMJHL is the second player in CHL history to win CHL Player of the Year in consecutive seasons, joining Rimouski center and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby in 2004 and 2005. They are the only players to win the award twice.
“The fact he played three full seasons in the QMJHL is going to help him (to possibly transition to the NHL in 2020-21),” J-F Damphousse of NHL Central Scouting told the NHL Draft Class podcast. “He has the experience, he’s physically mature, and he’s going to have a pretty good frame (6-foot-1, 193 pounds) when the season starts next season. … I wouldn’t say the transition (to the NHL) will be easy, because anytime you go from junior to pro, there’s an adjustment to make. But he’s a mature kid, has a strong work ethic, and I think he understands what it takes to get to the next level.”
Lafreniere was named most valuable player at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship after he scored 10 points (four goals, six assists) in five games to help Canada win the tournament. He could be the third QMJHL player to be picked No. 1 since 2013, when the Colorado Avalanche selected Halifax center Nathan MacKinnon. The New Jersey Devils selected center Nico Hischier, also of Halifax, at No. 1 in 2017.
Players who could be drafted No. 2 include Quinton Byfield, a center for Sudbury of the Ontario Hockey League; and Tim Stuetzle, a left wing for Mannheim of Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the top professional league in Germany.
Byfield scored 82 points (32 goals, 50 assists) in 45 games. Stuetzle scored 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) with 132 shots on goal in 41 games.