What does the return of the NHL mean for the 2020 Draft Lottery
Article published on 29 May 2020
last modification on 28 May 2020
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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Tuesday the plan for the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.

The announcement of the National Hockey League’s Return to Play Plan earlier this week has hockey fans excited to see their favourite teams hit the ice for the first time since early March. But what does this mean for the seven teams who missed this years playoffs?

The NHL announced a two-phase plan for the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery, with its first phase held June 26.

The draft lottery will determine the first 15 picks in the draft based on three to six drawings over one or two phases. It will include the seven teams that did not qualify for the Seeding Round Robin or Qualifying Round into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, plus the eight teams that will not make it past the qualifying round.

The First Phase of the draft lottery will be held June 26, prior to the Qualifying Round. It will consist of three drawings and include the seven teams, whose season ended on March 12, and eight placeholder positions, teams “A” through “H”.

The lottery odds for the seven non-qualifying teams were determined by their points percentage during the 2019-20 regular season. The eight potential losing teams from the Qualifying Round will be represented in the First Phase of the draft lottery as unassigned picks.

The first drawing of the First Phase will set the team selecting No. 1 in the draft, the second drawing will set the team selecting No. 2, and the third drawing will set the team selecting No. 3.

If a team not in the bottom seven wins any of the first three drawings, a Second Phase will be conducted among the eight teams eliminated in the Qualifying Round. That would take place between the end of the Qualifying Round and the first round of the playoffs.

What does this mean for the Montreal Canadiens?

The Canadiens squeezed in to the Qualifying Round by finishing 12th in the Eastern Conference, see The 2020 NHL playoffs will commence this summer, on how the Stanley Cup playoffs will play out this year.

If Montreal is defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Qualifying Round, they will take the place of one of the placeholder teams mentioned above. If a placeholder team were to win a top 3 pick in this years Draft Lottery, they will have a 12.5% chance of winning that pick, alongside the other 7 teams who get eliminated in the Qualifying Round.

Forward Alexis Lafrenière is expected to be the No. 1 pick. Other top prospects include forward Tim Stuetzle, forward Quinton Byfield, defenseman Jamie Drysdale and defenseman Jake Sanderson.

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