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NHL Draft

2020 NHL Draft Lottery procedure

Drawing will involve 15 teams; seven already eliminated, plus eight that lose Qualifier series

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

NHL Tonight: Draft Lottery

The crew covers the upcoming draft lottery

The guys on NHL Tonight share how the draft lottery will work with the upcoming return to the season

  • 05:44 •

The NHL will hold the first phase of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, NBSCN, SN, TVAS).

The draft lottery will determine the first 15 picks in the 2020 NHL Draft based on 3-6 drawings over one or two phases. It will include the seven teams that did not make the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, plus eight teams that are eliminated in the qualifiers.

The First Phase of the lottery will consist of three drawings and include the seven teams whose season ended and eight placeholder positions.

The lottery odds for the seven non-qualifying teams were determined by their points percentage during the 2019-20 regular season, which was paused March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and was ended May 26 with the NHL Return to Play Plan announcement.


[RELATED: 2020 NHL Draft Lottery lookup tables]


The eight potential losing teams from the qualifiers 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 qualifiers. That would take place between the end of the qualifiers and the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. No date has been set for play to begin.

"Today's announcement by the NHL provides the Ottawa Senators with clarity and allows us to set our sights firmly on the [NHL Draft], one that we believe will be the most transformational in our clubs history," Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk said. "We are well positioned to select some of the most exciting young players in what is widely perceived to be one of the deepest drafts in years.

"For hockey fans, the Ottawa Senators are pleased the NHL has a firm plan for the return of hockey and that the Stanley Cup may be raised this year."

The odds for the first lottery drawing are as follows (bottom-seven teams' points percentage in parentheses):

Detroit Red Wings (.275) -- 18.5 percent chance for No. 1 pick

Ottawa Senators (.437) -- 13.5 percent

Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks, .450) -- 11.5 percent

Los Angeles Kings (.457) -- 9.5 percent

Anaheim Ducks (.472) -- 8.5 percent

New Jersey Devils (.493) -- 7.5 percent

Buffalo Sabres (.493) -- 6.5 percent

Qualifier Team A -- 6.0 percent

Qualifier Team B -- 5.0 percent

Qualifier Team C -- 3.5 percent

Qualifier Team D -- 3.0 percent

Qualifier Team E -- 2.5 percent

Qualifier Team F -- 2.0 percent

Qualifier Team G -- 1.5 percent

Qualifier Team H -- 1.0 percent

New Jersey received better lottery odds than Buffalo because it had a worse regulation/overtime winning percentage (.348, compared to Buffalo's .406).

After the first drawing, the odds for the remaining teams will increase on a proportionate basis for the second drawing, and again for the third drawing, based on which team wins the second drawing.

"We're excited about [it]," Detroit general manager Steve Yzerman said. "Obviously we'd all love to get the highest pick we possibly can, us included, and we're confident where we're picking we're going to be happy with the player that we get."

If each of the three First Phase drawings is won by a bottom-seven team, the Second Phase will not be necessary. The remaining four teams from the bottom seven will be assigned picks No. 4-7 in inverse order of their regular-season points percentage, and picks No. 8-15 will be assigned to the teams that are eliminated from the qualifier in inverse order of their points percentage.

"We did our homework and in this plan, with the rebuild, we always felt that this 2020 draft would be one of the deepest that's coming along in many years," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion told the Ottawa Sun in April. "For us, having the chance to have two picks in the top five is something that we're fortunate [to have] and we'll be ready for."

If a team that loses in the qualifiers wins each of the top three picks, the bottom seven teams will be assigned picks No. 4-10 in inverse order of their points percentage.

If a team that loses in the qualifiers wins one or two of the top three picks, any bottom-seven team not in the top three will be assigned their pick in inverse order of points percentage.

The number of drawings in the Second Phase would depend on how many picks in the First Phase are won by teams that lose in the qualifiers.

The odds for each losing team in the qualifiers for the first drawing of the Second Phase are 12.5 percent.

The points percentages for the 16 participants in the qualifiers (in inverse order, by tiebreaker):

Montreal Canadiens, .500

Chicago Blackhawks, .514

Arizona Coyotes, .529

Minnesota Wild, .558

Winnipeg Jets, .563

Calgary Flames, .564

New York Rangers, .564

Vancouver Canucks, .565

Nashville Predators, .565

Florida Panthers, .565

Columbus Blue Jackets, .579

Toronto Maple Leafs, .579

Edmonton Oilers, .585

New York Islanders, .588

Carolina Hurricanes, .596

Pittsburgh Penguins, .623

The top four teams in the Eastern and Western conferences -- Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals -- will not participate in the draft lottery.

Forward Alexis Lafreniere 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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