Article

Top pick in NHL Draft Lottery to be decided by second drawing

June 27 2020 4:30 AM

The first phase of the NHL Draft Lottery failed to reveal the team with the top overall selection on Friday, with it to be determined by the second phase. 

The 2020 draft – originally scheduled for June 26-27 in Montreal – will be held after the Stanley Cup playoffs, which does not have a start date following the coronavirus crisis.

The top pick and rights to likely select high-scoring forward Alexis Lafreniere will go to one of the eight teams that loses in the qualifying round.

That team will be decided by a second drawing to be held before the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs. 

The Los Angeles Kings will have the second pick and the Ottawa Senators will receive the third pick from the San Jose Sharks after the Erik Karlsson trade.

"We're pretty excited," Kings president Luc Robitaille said. "It's always good to move up or down, whatever you want to call it. It's an exciting moment for the L.A. Kings and the franchise for sure."

Ottawa also have the fifth selection, while the league-worst Detroit Red Wings had the best chance to win the top pick at 18.5 per cent but fell to fourth.

The lottery included the seven teams that are not part of the NHL's 24-team return to play plan, plus the eight placeholder positions for the eliminated qualifiers.  

"Still not drafted, so we'll have to wait a little bit," said Lafreniere, a star winger for Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. 

The eight losing teams of the return-to-play qualification round will each have a 12.5 per cent chance at the top pick.  

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