The New York Rangers!
The NHL's wild and weird Draft Lottery concluded with Phase 2 on Monday and it was the New York Rangers who lucked their way into the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft. In 2019, the ping pong balls also feel New York's way when they won the No. 2 pick, which was used to draft Kaapo Kakko.
With this No. 1 pick, it is presumed that the Rangers will select Alexis Lafreniere, the consensus top prospect in the world. New York is in the middle of a rebuild that is moving along quite quickly and the addition of Lafreniere, who has potential to be a generational superstar, should help them further expedite their path to being a contender. They have a number of young, exciting pieces that they're building around and adding Lafreniere will make their outlook even brighter.
The Rangers have had an eventful two weeks. After qualifying for the NHL's expanded postseason format this summer, they were the first team eliminated from the Qualifying Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, getting swept in a best-of-five play-in series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
So, how did a team that technically made the playoffs luck into the No. 1 spot in the draft?
You may recall, back before the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, the league held the the first part of the lottery in June. It featured the seven teams that did not make it to either the Edmonton or Toronto bubbles, and had eight placeholder spots -- one for each team that would eventually be knocked out in the Qualifiers. One of those placeholder spots won the lottery. On Monday, all eight teams that got kicked out of the Qualifying Round were up for the No. 1 pick. The Rangers came out on top.
Here is the order of the 2020 NHL Draft as is stands now:
1. New York Rangers
2. Los Angeles Kings
3. Ottawa Senators (from San Jose)
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Ottawa Senators
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Buffalo Sabres
9. Minnesota Wild
10. Winnipeg Jets
11. Nashville Predators
12. Florida Panthers
13. Carolina Hurricanes (via TOR)
14. Edmonton Oilers
15. Pittsburgh Penguins or Minnesota Wild (PIT has option to keep pick or give to MIN)