The NHL Draft Lottery will follow a new, complicated format in 2020 due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
Here is the new format explained:
• There will be one or two phases to the lottery, depending on the outcome of the first draw.
• The lottery will involve 15 teams as usual: The seven teams not participating in the 24-team expanded postseason, and the eight teams eliminated from the play-in phase.
• Since the play-in phase is not considered the playoffs yet, this means that as usual, there will be 16 teams in the playoffs and 15 draft lottery spots.
• The lottery will be held June 26, before the play-in phase takes place.
• Because the lottery will be held before the play-in phase, the first phase of the lottery will feature the seven teams not in the 24-team expanded postseason, and eight placeholder spots for the play-in teams.
• Each of the seven teams in the lottery plus the eight placeholder spots will have the same odds to be selected as in past seasons:
Detroit Red Wings — 18.5 percent chance for No. 1 pick
Ottawa Senators — 13.5 percent
Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks) — 11.5 percent
Los Angeles Kings — 9.5 percent
Anaheim Ducks — 8.5 percent
New Jersey Devils — 7.5 percent
Buffalo Sabres — 6.5 percent
Qualifying Round Team Placeholder A — 6.0 percent
Qualifying Round Team Placeholder B — 5.0 percent
Qualifying Round Team Placeholder C — 3.5 percent
Qualifying Round Team Placeholder D — 3.0 percent
Qualifying Round Team Placeholder E — 2.5 percent
Qualifying Round Team Placeholder F — 2.0 percent
Qualifying Round Team Placeholder G — 1.5 percent
Qualifying Round Team Placeholder H — 1.0 percent
• That means that there is a combined 24.5 percent chance that the No. 1 overall pick will go to a team eliminated from the play-in round, higher odds than the actual lowest-placed team, Detroit.
• Just like in past years, the only drawings will be for the top three spots in the draft, with odds being readjusted after each draw. The teams not selected to move into the top three will remain in order based on regular season standings (based on points percentage), with the lowest-placing teams selecting the highest.
• If the winners of the draw for the top three spots only involve those bottom seven teams are in the top three, then there will be no second phase to the lottery, and the lottery is complete.
• If a placeholder (or more than one) is drawn to be in any of the top three spots in the draft, then there will be a second lottery drawing among all eight teams eliminated from the play-in phase to determine which team (or teams) get to take the draft position occupied by the placeholder (or placeholders).
• If the second phase is held because of the reason above, each of the teams eliminated from the play-in phase will have equal 12.5 percent chances of being selected to replace the placeholder.
• With a combined 24.5 percent chance of any eliminated play-in team placeholder being selected for the No. 1 overall pick, and each eliminated play-in team having a 12.5 percent chance of being selected in the second phase of the lottery to take that placeholder's place, this means that each eliminated play-in team only has a three percent chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick.
• No team can both make the playoffs and have a lottery spot, the same as every other year. The playoffs this season begin when the field of teams is down to 16, after the play-in phase. If a team is eliminated from the play-in phase, then they didn't qualify for the playoffs.
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