The 2020 NHL Draft Lottery just occurred, and the news is out — the Vancouver Canucks now have a 12.5% chance of drafting first overall. Kinda. Sorta.
The eight “mystery” placeholders in the lottery had first draw odds ranging between 6% and 1%, and one of them managed to win — but we don’t know which one yet, and we won’t for a while. Here’s what needs to happen before the actual recipient of first overall can be determined.
First and foremost, the NHL’s 24-team altered postseason needs to actually happen. That’s no longer a sure thing, but we don’t know what will happen to the lottery results if the play-ins are cancelled, so let’s assume they proceed.
Then, the eight play-in series need to finish so we can find out which eight teams end up technically missing the playoffs. Those eight teams will then enter a second phase of the Draft Lottery — and the Canucks could be one of those teams, if they lose to the Minnesota Wild. In doing so, they’d shift their lost first round draft pick — owed to New Jersey by way of Tampa Bay in the JT Miller and Blake Coleman trades — to 2021 and keep this year’s pick, which now enters a second drawing.
In the first and only draw of the second phase, each of the play-in losers has an equal 12.5% chance of receiving that first overall pick. Once that’s determined, the other seven teams are slotted through picks 9 to 15 in descending order of points percentage.
Yes, you read that right. All the Canucks need to do in order to have a 12.5% chance of drafting Alexis Lafrenière — or whomever else they want — is drop three games to the Wild in August.
Ultimately, only time will tell — just like only time will tell if 1/8th of a shot is enough to bring about a resurrection of “Team Tank.”