The NHL draft lottery is all set for Friday evening, and it won't be quite the same process fans are used to.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic and the league's restart plan, the NHL may feature two phases to help determine the full draft order.
The first phase will include a set of three drawings to determine which teams land the top three picks. Depending on the outcome, a second phase may be necessary.
Here's how it will work: The lottery is comprised of 15 teams—the seven who are not invited to league's restart and eight placeholders—each with weighted odds. The first draw will select the team drafting No. 1, the second draw for the team selecting No. 2 and the third draw for the team picking No. 3.
If a team outside the bottom seven is drawn for any of the top three picks, the lottery will trigger a Phase 2, which would take place between the qualifying round and first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs once the season resumes. Phase 2 would involve only the eight placeholder teams. The eight teams would all have the same odds (12.5 percent) in Phase 2, and the winner would slot into whichever draft position the placeholder team was selected for.
The remainder of the draft order will be filled by the teams with the next lowest points percentage from the 2019-20 season.
While the Detroit Red Wings have the best chance at landing the No. 1 pick, the Ottawa Senators have two chances thanks to the pick they acquired from the San Jose Sharks in the Erik Karlsson trade.
How To Watch
What: NHL Draft Lottery (Phase 1)
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: NHL Network, NBC Sports Network (United States), Sportsnet, TVA Sports (Canada)
Streaming: NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com
NHL Lottery Odds
Detroit Red Wings: 18.5%
Ottawa Senators: 13.5%
Ottawa Senators (via San Jose): 11.5%
Los Angeles Kings: 9.5%
Anaheim Ducks: 8.5%
New Jersey Devils: 7.5%
Buffalo Sabres: 6.5%
Team A: 6.0%
Team B: 5.0%
Team C: 3.5%
Team D: 3.0%
Team E: 2.5%
Team F: 2.0%
Team G: 1.5%
Team H: 1.0%
What's At Stake
The top prize in this year's draft is left winger Alexis Lafreniere, the consensus No. 1 pick who is expected to follow the path of Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Jack Hughes in taking on the role of franchise savior.
Lafreniere would be an incredible boost to either the Red Wings or the Senators, with both teams hitting rock bottom in recent years. After a playoff streak that lasted an eye-popping 25 years, Detroit hasn't made the postseason since 2017.
Ottawa, meanwhile, has missed each of the last three playoffs and has dealt with a number of missteps both on and off the ice under owner Eugene Melnyk. Lafreniere would serve as a much-needed bit of positivity for a fanbase that's had little to cheer for over that span.
Left winger Tim Stuetzle and center Quinton Byfield round out the top three prospects. While the talent levels may vary compared to Lafreniere, both are expected to become impact players immediately as top six forwards next season.