For the NHL's 24 playoff qualifiers this year, the season won't find a conclusion until the league's postseason begins in early August. But for the seven others that failed to get into the playoff picture, their conclusion (and the first step of the offseason) came on Friday night when the 2020 Draft Lottery kicked off.
In a shocking turn of events, one of the placeholder teams -- which will come from the eight teams that are knocked out in the Stanley Cup Playoffs qualifying round -- won the lottery from the spot with the 12th-best odds. Here are the top eight selections in the 2020 NHL Draft:
No. 8 Buffalo Sabres
No. 7 New Jersey Devils
No. 6 Anaheim Ducks
No. 5 Ottawa Senators
No. 4 Detroit Red Wings
No. 3 Ottawa Senators
No. 2 Los Angeles Kings
No. 1 Placeholder team to be determined
After the qualifying round, the eight teams that are eliminated will have equally-weighted odds to win the top pick in Phase 2 of the NHL Draft Lottery.
The lottery format was a bit different this year, a bit more confusing and complicated than usual. Friday's lottery draw was the first stage of what became a two-stage lottery process, and here's how it breaks down:
- The seven teams that did not qualify for the 24-team playoff were automatically be entered into the lottery and had the top-seven best odds.
- The eight teams that fail to advance out of the postseason play-in round receive the final eight draft lottery spots. One of these "placeholder" teams won the lottery with the 12th-best odds.
- After the completion of the play-in round, all eight teams entered into the lottery will have the exact same odds (12.5 percent) of winning the No. 1 overall pick.
- When the top three picks are finalized, the order for the remainder of the first round will be determined by 2019-2020 points percentage.
Below you can find live updates for the draft lottery.