NHL Draft Lottery 2020: Odds and Latest Regular-Season Standings

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 5, 2020

HAMILTON, ON - JANUARY 16:  Alexis Lafreniere #11 of Team White skates during warm up for the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team Red at FirstOntario Centre on January 16, 2020 in Hamilton, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings' league-worst point total could put them in position to earn the fourth No. 1 overall pick in franchise history. 

If Detroit tops the 2020 NHL draft order, it will have the opportunity to select Alexis Lafreniere, who is widely considered to be the top prospect in the draft class. 

However, the Red Wings might not be in the best situation to secure the services of Lafreniere, as the Ottawa Senators have two chances to land the top selection.

Ottawa has the second-worst mark in the NHL behind Detroit and it also possesses the first-round pick of the San Jose Sharks, who reside at the bottom of the Western Conference. 

The Los Angeles Kings have the best odds to choose first outside of the three-worst records, but the odds are against any team outside the bottom three landing the No. 1 pick.


NHL Draft Lottery Odds

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1. Detroit (18.5 percent chance to win lottery; 39 regular-season points) 

2. Ottawa (13.5%; 62)

3. Ottawa (from San Jose) (11.5%; 63)

4. Los Angeles (9.5%; 64) 

5. Anaheim (8.5%; 67) 

6. New Jersey (7.5%; 68) 

7. Buffalo (6.5%; 68)

8. Montreal (6.0%; 71)

9. Chicago (5.0%; 72)

10. New Jersey (from Arizona) (3.5%; 74)

11. Minnesota (3.0%; 77)

12. Vancouver (2.5%; 78)

13. Florida (2.0%; 78) 

14. New York Rangers (1.5%; 79)

15. New York Islanders (1.0%; 80)


Detroit has earned the No. 1 overall pick on three previous occasions, with the most-recent one coming in 1986. 

In each of the last three seasons, the Red Wings have drafted in the Top 10, and they have owned the No. 6 selection in the previous two drafts. 

However, the team with the NHL's worst record has not been guaranteed of the top selection over the last five years. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016 and Buffalo Sabres in 2018 went from worst regular-season team to top of the draft order. 

The team with the third-best odds has won the lottery the same amount of times as the worst franchise in hockey during that span. 

Edmonton jumped from third to first to land Connor McDavid in 2015, while the New Jersey Devils landed their second No. 1 pick in three years in 2019 from the No. 3 position.

The Devils also won the lottery in 2017 with the fifth-best odds. In that draft, the Colorado Avalanche went from owning the best odds to pick first to landing at No. 4. 

In any other year, the Red Wings would be the clear favorite to pick first, but Ottawa has a 25 percent chance to land that selection through its pair of picks.

Based off recent history, the selection acquired in the Erik Karlsson trade with San Jose has the better chance of bringing a top talent to the Senators roster. 

The NHL determines the first three picks through a lottery system and then assigns the rest of the order based off regular-season record. 

Ottawa is all too familiar with the system since it missed out on the top three picks in 2019 despite owning the worst regular-season mark. 

In some years, the difference between No. 1 and No. 4 does not matter much because of the depth of talent in the draft class. 

But in 2020, losing the lottery means not earning a shot to choose Lafreniere, who has put up back-to-back 100-point seasons with Rimouski in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. 

Lafreniere may not end up as the only rookie who shines during the 2020-21 campaign, but he will enter with the highest expectations because of what he has done over the last 24 months. 

Quinton Byfield will likely be the second player off the board, but he was outperformed by Lafreniere when they played together for Canada's U-20 side. 

Byfield is a solid player in his own right, as he totaled 82 points in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sudbury Wolves, but he carries less potential than Lafreniere. 

If the Red Wings finish on top of the draft order, the addition of Lafreniere should give them a boost as they try to move past a rough 2019-20 campaign.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from EliteProspects.com.