TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie is reporting the NHL Draft Lottery will be held on Friday, June 26.
While the time of the Draft Lottery has reportedly been settled, the date of the actual NHL Draft, which has been much debated between NHL officials and general managers, has not been.
Hearing June 26 is the date that we should have the NHL Lottery Draft. No dates on the NHL Draft yet.
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) May 25, 2020
In years past, the NHL teams that missed the postseason were a part of the Draft Lottery with each organization, depending on the amount of standings points they earned that season, getting a weighted chance to draft first overall. Last year, 15 NHL teams participated, while the standard 16 made the playoffs.
Going by the NHL’s 24-team playoff format, one could assume that only seven NHL teams will participate in the NHL Draft Lottery this season: Detroit (39 points), Ottawa (62), San Jose (63), Los Angeles (64), Anaheim (67), New Jersey (68), and Buffalo (68).
Those teams will be hoping to win the Alexis Lafrenière sweepstakes. Lafreniere recently became only the second player in QMJHL history to win the MVP in back-to-back seasons. The other prospect was Sidney Crosby.
The draft order for the rest of the teams will be determined by when the NHL ends up holding the draft, either before or after the postseason. The NHL could determine the draft order of the final 24 teams by regular-season points percentage like they’re doing seeding in the 24-team playoff. They also could wait until the end of the playoffs to slot the final 24 teams by postseason performance.
Like many general managers, Capitals’ GM Brian MacLellan would like the NHL Draft to be held after the season is concluded if the NHL is able to restart.
“There’s a natural order of business, there’s a rhythm to it,” MacLellan said to The Athletic during a podcast interview. “Some teams use that time to reset their roster, it’s a way to manage your roster and cap situation for next season, it’s a way to make trades. A lot of decisions are based on how you concluded your previous season. So, if you go into the playoffs and maybe a weakness is identified or you weren’t as successful as you were (hoping) and you need to make changes and the draft seems to be an area where you can accomplish those things before next season.
“I also understand this is a business, it’s a league business. The commissioner and the league have some business decisions to make, there’s national rights holders, there’s a national audience that’s looking for some content and there’s an opportunity for the league to sell our draft, to introduce the draft to people that don’t normally watch it possibly. So I think there’s probably a little tug of war. … The commissioner will make his decision and we’ll work with that. We’ll work within the guidelines he sets out.”
Screenshot courtesy of Sportsnet
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