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How the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery Screwed the NHL

On Friday night, the NHL Draft Lottery triggered many NHL fans. For the eight teams that watched as they found out what pick they got, most felt satisfied with their pick. For others and the rest of the NHL, it was deemed wrong. When everyone saw a placeholder team win the No. 1 pick, many fans felt that this year’s lottery was rigged. But there are many other factors like this one to consider. Which ones are they? Well, let’s take a deep dive in and see.

Red Wings Fall to 4 In The Lottery

In the early days of the NHL, finding out who got the 1st overall pick was simple. The worst team in the league would get the No. 1 pick. It made sense, and it was logical. If this happened today, the Detroit Red Wings would be ecstatic to draft Alexis Lafreniere. But now, that rule has vanished in favour of the draft lottery. Last night, the Red Wings received the 4th pick in the draft despite having the best odds to get the No. 1 pick.

Coincidentally, this has happened before with the Red Wings. Last year, while the Red Wings didn’t have the worst record in the NHL, they had high odds of getting to pick Jack Hughes. The Red Wings got the 4th pick and lost their chance to draft Hughes. While they aren’t the only team to have this done, it’s still a huge issue. Odds are now more critical than how badly a team plays. It also shows that bigger odds don’t guarantee you a No. 1 pick. However, that is not the biggest issue with this draft.

A Play-In Team’s Best Day Ever

I mentioned earlier that a placeholder team got the 1st pick. But you may ask, what does that even mean? It means that any of the teams in the qualifying round has a choice. They can either go for a big run at the cup or lose to have a chance at Lafreniere. In short, Lafreniere is going to a play-in team. But that’s just a little pain compared to what I’m about to say.

There are many choices of teams that Lafreniere can play on. However, what NHL fans don’t want to see are teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins that don’t need him. Fans are hoping that teams like the Minnesota Wild can get him. By getting him there, there would be no big powerhouses in the NHL. If these types of teams do receive the pick, we can all agree this is the NHL’s fault for all this. 


For this draft lottery to go wrong in so many ways makes sense for 2020. Having a placeholder team win the lottery was really wrong. But also having a team that got robbed out of the first pick is annoying as well. It feels like there should’ve been another drawing for these teams. As NHL fans, we have to sit back and hope that the team that gets Lafreniere is a small-market team. We expect the NHL will learn their lesson for next time because this draft was 100% awful.

Follow me on Twitter at @SonicHockeyFan for more of my content!

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