Penguins Hold 12.5% Chance to Win Alexis Lafreniere 2020 NHL Lottery Sweepstakes

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 7, 2020

Canada's Alexis Lafreniere celebrates after winning the U20 Ice Hockey Worlds gold medal match between Canada and Russia in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Petr David Josek/Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Penguins' season ended early with a qualifying-round loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday, but there's a potential consolation prize that could make the upset worth it and then some. 

Pittsburgh will now enter the NHL's Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery, giving the club a 12.5 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick and the opportunity to draft uber-prospect Alexis Lafreniere. 

Because a placeholder team won the initial NHL draft lottery, the league will hold a second drawing made up of the eight teams eliminated from qualifying play during the restart.

Despite finishing third in the Metropolitan Division with 86 points, the Penguins are in that group alongside the New York Rangers, Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers. Each of the eight teams has an equal chance of winning the second lottery. The losing teams will all have their draft positions determined by the reverse order of points percentage.

Pittsburgh has drafted No. 1 overall three times in its history, grabbing a surefire Hall of Famer each time with Mario Lemieux (1984), Marc-Andre Fleury (2003) and Sidney Crosby (2005).

Lafreniere would be a worthy addition to that list. The Canadian star has scored at least 100 points in 50-plus games during his last two seasons playing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for Rimouski Oceanic—which just so happens to be the same program that produced Crosby 15 years ago.