The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t in the first wave of the Draft Lottery but there is still a big reason to watch it tonight.
The 2020 National Hockey League Draft Lottery is taking place tonight. The seven teams that are not participating in the 2020 Return to Play tournament are going to be involved in the first wave of the lottery. There are also placeholders set for the potential losers of the “play-in round” of this tournament that have a chance to win if a second wave of the lottery is needed. The Chicago Blackhawks, as a result, should be paying attention to what happens.
The seven teams that aren’t playing any more hockey in 2019-20 are the Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils, and Buffalo Sabres. The Ottawa Senators have the San Jose Sharks pick unprotected as a result of the Erik Karlsson trade so they have two chances along with every other team that missed the 24 team cut.
The top three picks in the draft are selected via the lottery and then the remaining teams go in reverse order from 4-31. The Hawks have a chance to win the lottery if one of the “play-in team” placeholders wins one of the spots and then they lose to the Edmonton Oilers. Those have a small chance to win but it is certainly possible.
What is at stake with the lottery picks? Well, first overall is going to be Alexis Lafreniere. He is an exceptional left-wing that plays for the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL. He is going to come in and make an impact right away. If he got to play in the top-six with guys like Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews, that would go a long way in getting him to superstar level.
If they were lucky enough to get the second or third pick, they would also be adding a really great player. Whoever has the second pick will have to choose between Quinton Byfield and Tim Stutzle. Whoever has the third pick will get whoever is left of the two. There is no doubt that winning one of the three spots will have significant impacts on the lucky organizations.
The odds of all the dice rolling the way of the Blackhawks are extremely small. They would need a placeholder to win tonight, they would need to lose to Edmonton, and then win the second lottery against the other “play in” losers. It is a tall task but you just never know how ping pong balls will bounce. It is also true that this could start to shift some things for the National Hockey League which is important for fans of all 31 teams to follow.