Lafreniere could be nice consolation prize if Panthers lose to Islanders

“Team E” wins the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft

One of the eight placeholder spots overcame the odds to capture the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery last night.

This means a second eight-team draw will be required later this summer once the qualifying round of the playoffs are in the books.

The eight teams that fail to advance in the play-in round will each have a 12.5% of winning the second drawing and the right to select potential franchise player Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Océanic.

So, if the Florida Panthers fall in the five-game series against the New York Islanders, they will be one of the teams in the running for Lafreniere, who will be quite the consolation prize.

Lafreniere has posted back-to-back 100-plus point seasons in the QMJHL and is a two-time CHL Player of the Year. The 18-year-old was also named MVP of the 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship.

The eight draft placeholders had a combined 24.5% of winning the first overall pick, so it’s not at all shocking that we ended up with this result. “Team E” had a 2.5 % chance, making the biggest jump in history for the top pick, moving up from the number 12 spot.

Los Angeles also benefited in last night’s drawing. The Kings moved up from number four to  number two and will most likely choose between forwards Quinton Byfield or Tim Stützle.

The Ottawa Senators had two cracks at the number one pick, but they will end up picking third and fifth in the draft. Obviously, not what general manager Pierre Dorion wanted to see happen, but the rebuilding club will still end up with two very talented high-end prospects.

Steve Yzerman’s Detroit Red Wings also took it on the chin. Detroit was the worst team in the league this season and had the best chance of picking number one overall, but the drawing was unfavorable and they dropped three spots to number four.

This is what the first eight picks of the draft order will look like

1) Placeholder Team

2) Los Angeles Kings

3) Ottawa Senators (via San Jose)

4) Detroit Red Wings

5)  Ottawa Senators

6) Anaheim Ducks

7) New Jersey Devils

8) Buffalo Sabres