As the qualifying round ends and the Stanley Cup playoffs draw closer, the 2020 NHL draft will briefly return to the headlines.
In June, the NHL held Phase 1 of the lottery. But with eight more franchises eliminated from the postseason race, the remainder of the lottery slots must be filled. That reveal happens in Phase 2, which is scheduled for Monday.
And one lucky team—despite the disappointment of its season ending in the bubble—is about to receive the No. 1 pick.
2020 NHL Lottery Details
Date: Monday, Aug. 10
Time: 6 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
2020 NHL Draft Order
2. Los Angeles Kings
3. Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks)
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Ottawa Senators
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Buffalo Sabres
Despite holding the NHL's worst record, the Detroit Red Wings fell to fourth overall. That fall hurts because top prospect Alexis Lafreniere is viewed as the type of player who will speed up a rebuild.
Instead, one of the eight teams eliminated in the qualifying round has a chance to pad the roster.
All thanks to Team E.
In the first draw of Phase 1, the placeholder card left the first overall pick vacant. Each of the eight teams involved in Phase 2—for reference, that group is highlighted in the next section—holds a 12.5 percent chance at landing the No. 1 pick.
Phase 2 Lottery Teams
Minnesota Wild (.558 points percentage)
Winnipeg Jets (.563)
New York Rangers (.564)
Florida Panthers (.565)
Toronto Maple Leafs or Columbus Blue Jackets (.579)
Nashville Predators (.585)
Edmonton Oilers (.585)
Pittsburgh Penguins (.623)
Only one series in the qualifying round reached Game 5, and that almost didn't happen.
Friday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs put together a three-goal comeback in the final four minutes of regulation in Game 4 of their series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. They forced overtime, and Auston Matthews scored the winner to stun Columbus.
Game 5 is slated for Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET.
It must be strange to face an elimination game and still have a chance at the No. 1 pick. But, hey, welcome to 2020.
Since both Toronto and Columbus ended with a .579 points percentage, the other portion of Phase 2 is settled. Relative to the NHL draft, the only effect of Sunday's game is slotting Toronto or Columbus into the official order.
After the Phase 2 winner is announced, the remaining teams will be positioned 9-15 based on the inverse of the points percentages seen above. For example, the Wild will be first or ninth, and the Penguins will select first or 15th.
And now we wait to learn how the ping-pong balls bounce.
Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.