There is a lot to talk about within the topic of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery. A few major topics talked about this year are who won, how the NHL had to set it up, conspiracy theories about the lottery, who could have won, the rest of the standings, and the top prospects for the draft.
The winner of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery was the New York Rangers. The Rangers lost in the Stanley Cup Qualifying round to the Carolina Hurricanes getting swept only playing 3 games. The Rangers may have some issues with money as they could be running into cap space troubles soon as they are going to sign what could be a franchise player.
On June 26th, the first phase of the NHL Draft Lottery was held and a Stanley Cup qualifier team won the first draft. That meant a team that could be in the playoffs is going to take the first overall pick. Then on August 10th, the second phase was put into place and it was said that each team had a 12.5% chance of winning the first pick. The first ball to be sucked up won the first overall. The lottery ball machine moved all the balls around after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed each team logo on every ping-pong ball.
People believe the draft lottery could have been rigged. As Gary Bettman was confirming the logos on the ping pong balls, the worker holding out the balls dropped the New York Rangers ball before Bettman confirmed the logo. This immediately sparked people’s attention. Many theories started to travel throughout social media. It got so much attention that retired NHL goalie Roberto Luongo even tweeted on the situation saying “New York Rangers ball looked a little heavy”. Joking or not people definitely started making conspiracy theories in the Twitter comment section. New York Rangers defenseman Anthony D’Angelo also spoke on the subject of his own team jokingly tweeting “I don’t like how that guy dropped the Rangers ball in there. Rigged??”. People all across the NHL community have many different thoughts and views on the situation.
The odds of the first phase were in favor of the Detroit Redwings. The Redwings had an 18.5% chance of winning the first overall pick. The Detroit Redwings ended up getting fourth overall. The general manager of the Redwings did not show much emotion when finding out Detriot did not win the first overall pick. He said, “I am not surprised” when he was asked about the subject. The team that technically won the first overall pick was the Calgary Flames but they made it through the Stanley Cup Qualifying round. The Flames ended up losing in the first technical round of the playoffs to the Dallas Stars in 6 games. There were no odds in the second phase of the NHL Draft Lottery. Every team in this phase which included the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New York Rangers, the Edmonton Oilers, the Florida Panthers, the Winnipeg Jets, the Nashville Predators, and the Minnesota Wild all had a 12.5% of being the ping pong ball to be sucked up from the lottery ball machine.
The current draft line up is the New York Rangers with the first overall, LA Kings with pick number two, Ottawa Senators have the third pick which was traded to them from the San Jose Sharks, pick four goes to the Detroit Redwings who were suspected to get the first overall this draft, the fifth pick is also to the Ottawa Senators, sixth is to the Anaheim Ducks, seventh goes to the New Jersey Devils who moved back a spot, along with the Buffalo Sabres coming in eighth overall also moving back a spot.
This year, the young men that are suspected to be drafted are a lot to talk about. The draft class is supposed to be filled with immensely talented players such as Alexis Lafreniere and Quinton Byfield. The most talked-about player of this draft class is Alexis Lafreniere. Alexis is an 18-year old, that plays the position of left wing, is 6 foot 1 inch, and weighs about 192 pounds. He is from the Canadian Province of Quebec in the suburb of Saint Eustache. As a 16-year-old, he had scored 42 goals in his rookie season with the Rimouski Oceanic. This had not been done by a rookie since Sidney Crosby scored 54 goals over 10 years ago on this team. Lafreniere also played in the 2020 World Juniors for the Candian Team. He ended up winning Canada’s most valuable player. Another kid hockey fans can not keep their mouth closed about is Quinton Byfield. He is an 18-year old that plays the center position. Byfield is very tall, coming in at 6 foot 4 inches, and he weighs about 214 pounds. Quinton has a lefty shot and was scouted as #2 among North American skaters. Quinton Byfield is from the town of Newmarket, which is in the province of Ontario, Canada. He is suspected to go second or third overall between him and German center Tim Stutzle.
This NHL Draft Lottery was confusing, to say the least. The first round of the NHL Draft will be on October 6th at 7 pm ET, and rounds 2 through 7 will be October 7th starting at 11:30 am ET.