No one can deny that 2020 has been a lot.
Between the pandemic, social justice movements sweeping the nation, and most recently here in Texas an epic dust storm, it feels like we are living through multiple layers of history all at the same time.
The NHL has been forced into an unusual play-off format and the draft lottery this past Friday evening had a predictably chaotic result that would have surprised no one who has been paying attention to this roller coaster year.
To recap, the playoffs this year will have 24 teams, the 4 top ranked teams in each conference will play each other in a seeding round. The remaining 16 teams will play a best of five play-in round to set the matches for the 1st round proper.
The draft lottery consisted of the 7 teams who failed to make the play-offs (with their odds of obtaining the first overall pick weighted depending on where they finished in the regular season standings) and the 8 teams who will be eliminated after the play-in round, none of whom had a more than 6% of obtaining the top pick.
Of course, it’s 2020 and the fact that the most chaotic result happened was almost inevitable.
One of the TBD teams took the first overall pick. So, what happens next?
After the elimination round the 8 teams that are eliminated will take part in a second draw to determine who gets that pick.
Each team will have the same odds (12.5%) of obtaining the coveted pick, meaning that each of the teams eliminated after the play-in round will have better odds than any of the bottom 7 teams apart from the Detroit Redwings.
The Wings, if you can remember back before the pause, were a team who were almost historically bad this season and who must be disappointed with the 4th overall pick.
So, what does that mean for consensus first overall pick Alexis Lafreniere?
Well, next season it’s not impossible that he could be receiving passes from Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid. Of course, Taylor Hall was recently traded to the Arizona Coyotes. If the ‘Yotes don’t make it through their initial round against the Preds we could see Lafreniere in the desert.
Notoriously, of the 9 seasons Hall has been in the league his team has won the draft lottery in 5 of them.
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