Play-in round team wins draft lottery, shot at Lafrenière; Wild get 12.5% chance with loss in play-in series
A team that loses in the NHL’s qualifying round won the draft lottery Friday night and will get the first overall pick.
As part of the league’s revamped lottery that comes with a 24-team playoff format, several teams that could resume the season had a chance at one of the top three picks. That’s exactly what happened, and the league will need to re-do the lottery for that selection after the play-in round.
Only then with presumptive top prospect Alexis Lafreniere find out his likely destination.
"Still not drafted, so we’ll still have to wait a little bit," Lafreniere said.
That means if the Minnesota Wild lose their play-in round series, which is expected to be against the Vancouver Canucks, the Wild would have a 12.5% chance to land the first overall pick in the draft.
The Los Angeles Kings won the second pick and the Ottawa Senators third with the San Jose Sharks’ selection from the 2018 Erik Karlsson trade.
The Detroit Red Wings dropped to the fourth pick despite finishing last in the NHL and 23 points behind the 30th-place Senators. Detroit had a league-low 17 wins in its 71-game season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Senators, who have the third and fifth picks, are just the fifth team with two top-five picks over the past 25 years.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound-Lafreniere had 114 goals and 297 points in 173 games with Rimouski in the Quebec Major Junior League. He also captained Canada’s gold-medal team and earned MVP honors at the world junior championships this year.
The lottery took place at NHL Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, just outside New York.