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Second Draft Lottery FAQ

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One fanbase is finishing Monday a lot happier than they started it.

2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
Look at this young man’s ability to hoist ungainly trophies.
Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The NHL, in an attempt to give us emotional whiplash, has scheduled the second draft lottery for tonight.

The actual lottery will be held in the NHL’s studio in New Jersey, and will be hosted by Jamie Hersch of NHL Network. The broadcast starts at 6:00 p.m., and the exact time of the lottery itself is “sometime after that”. The show will be aired on NBCSN, NHL Network and Sportsnet/TVA.

There will be an interview with Alexis Lafreniere as part of the broadcast.

The first draft lottery was held in June, and the results were:

  1. TBD*
  2. Los Angeles Kings
  3. Ottawa Senators (from SJS)
  4. Detroit Red Wings
  5. Ottawa Senators
  6. Anaheim Ducks
  7. New Jersey Devils
  8. Buffalo Sabres
  9. TBD*
  10. TBD*
  11. TBD*
  12. TBD*
  13. TBD*
  14. TBD*
  15. TBD*

All of those TBDs will be determined by the second lottery. When it’s over, the first fifteen places of the first round of the draft will be determined. The rest of the first round will be determined by the playoffs, and the first 15 spots will revert to their natural order for subsequent rounds.

In the first lottery, Team E was the winner, and this second lottery is a simple one-in-eight chance (12.5%) for all the losers of the Qualifying Round to become Team E. For the seven unlucky teams, their placings will be doled out in order based on the regular season standings. That order is:

Minnesota
Winnipeg
NY Rangers
Nashville
Florida
Toronto
Edmonton
Pittsburgh

That order also determines the placings for the subsequent rounds, beginning at place eight and following Detroit through Buffalo in the first seven places. There are some pending conditional trades on these picks however.

Pittsburgh’s pick will fall in the top 15, no matter what, and they can chose to give it to Minnesota or substitute their 2021 pick. They have 7 days to make the decision. The Toronto pick is also conditional.

For the Leafs, this is all very simple. If they win the second lottery and become Team E, they get the first-overall pick for 2020, and give their 2021 first-round pick to Carolina. If they lose the lottery, they will land in spot 13 (14 if Pittsburgh or Edmonton win the lottery) and that 2020 pick goes to Carolina. Carolina now has to give their own first-round pick to the Rangers as it will be the worse one no matter what.

For subsequent rounds of the draft the Leafs are in spot 13, which makes their picks (unofficial, and pending any unusual things like Arizona losing some picks in their prospect testing case):

  • Second round, spot 44
  • Fourth round, spot 106 and one higher numbered spot that depends on Vegas’s playoffs
  • Fifth round, worse than spot 140, and depending on Vegas again
  • Sixth round, spot 168 plus two more in worse locations from Carolina and Colorado
  • Seventh round, three picks in various locations

Last year’s pick 44 was held by Carolina after it travelled from hand to hand, beginning with the Erik Karlsson trade. They selected Jamieson Rees a centre in the OHL who seems to have had a good year, if not quite as exciting as Nicholas Robertson’s.

If you want to torment yourself, the Tankathon Draft Lottery Simulator is all setup and ready to go. It only took me three tries to get the right answer.