The league staged its first lottery in June but failed to answer the biggest question heading into the draft. The identify of the franchise landing the No. 1 overall pick was unknown, with the selection belonging to one of the eliminated teams from the Stanley Cup qualifying round.
The matter was finally resolved on Monday.
Many will now expect the Rangers to make Lafreniere the No. 1 overall pick after he registered 35 goals and 77 assists in 52 QMJHL games. What happens after that will be a little more difficult to predict.
2020 NHL Mock Draft
1. New York Rangers: LW Alexis Lafreniere, Rimouski (QMJHL)
2. Los Angeles Kings: C Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
3. Ottawa Senators (via Sharks): C Tim Stutzle, Adler Mannheim (DEL)
4. Detroit Red Wings: D Jamie Drysdale, Erie (OHL)
5. Ottawa Senators: C Marco Rossi, Ottawa 67's (OHL)
6. Anaheim Ducks: C Cole Perfetti, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
7. New Jersey Devils: LW Lucas Raymond, Frolunda HC (SHL)
8. Buffalo Sabres: RW Alexander Holtz, Djurgardens (SHL)
9. Minnesota Wild: RW Jack Quinn, Ottawa 67's (OHL)
10. Winnipeg Jets: F Dylan Holloway, Wisconsin Badgers (NCAA)
11. Nashville Predators: RW Dawson Mercer, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
12. Florida Panthers: D Kaiden Guhle, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
13. Carolina Hurricanes (via Maple Leafs): D Braden Schneider, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
14. Edmonton Oilers: LW Rodion Amirov, Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)
15. Pittsburgh Penguins: C Anton Lundell, HIFK (Liiga)
16. Montreal Canadiens: D Kaiden Guhle, Prince Albert (WHL)
17. Chicago Blackhawks: G Yaroslav Askarov, SKA Saint Petersburg (KHL)
18. New Jersey Devils (via Coyotes): RW Noel Gunler, Lulea HF (SHL)
19. Calgary Flames: D Braden Schneider, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
20. New Jersey Devils (via Canucks): C Connor Zary, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
21. Columbus Blue Jackets: C Jacob Perreault, Sarnia (OHL)
22. Ottawa Senators (via Islanders): C Hendrix Lapierre, Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL)
23. Dallas Stars: C Mavrik Bourque, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
24. New York Rangers (via Hurricanes): RW Seth Jarvis, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
25. Philadelphia Flyers: D, Yan Kuznetsov, UConn Huskies (NCAA)
26. San Jose Sharks (via Lightning): LW Lukas Reichel, Eisbaren Berlin (DEL)
27. Colorado Avalanche: D Justin Barron, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
28. Vegas Golden Knights: C Marat Khusnutdinov, St. Petersburg (MHL)
29. Washington Capitals: C Brendan Brisson, Chicago (USHL)
30. St. Louis Blues: D William Wallinder, Modo Hockey (HockeyAllsvenskan)
31. Anaheim Ducks (via Bruins): D Jeremie Poirier, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
Draft order is via Tankathon
The Detroit Red Wings were by far the biggest loser when the NHL staged its first draft lottery. They collected 39 points before the NHL suspended the season, 23 fewer than the next closest team, the Ottawa Senators. Their reward for that futility was slipping to the fourth overall pick.
Not only did Detroit lose out on the chance to land Lafreniere, but it likely won't have the opportunity to select Quinton Byfield, either.
Marco Rossi and Cole Perfetti should still be on the board if the Red Wings want to strengthen their forward line, while defenseman Jamie Drysdale should also be available. Perfetti made similar strides as a playmaker during his second year in the OHL. The Saginaw Spirit star ended with twice as many assists (74) as goals (37).
Over the last two years in the OHL, Rossi has scored 68 goals. His assist tally climbed from 36 in 2018-19 to 81 over only three more games in 2019-20.
The Ottawa Senators will be on the clock at Nos. 3 and 5. Like Detroit, they probably came away frustrated with the results of the lottery since they had two reasonable cracks at the top pick.
Ottawa was 25th in goals per game (2.68) and could use another young forward or two to pair with Brady Tkachuk. General manager Pierre Dorion could use those two top-five selections to double up on the attack, or he could target Drysdale and a goalscorer for a nice balance.
Fans are now left to wait until the fall. The NHL has set Oct. 9 and 10 as the tentative dates to stage the 2020 draft.