The complete Rangers fans guide to the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery

The NHL Draft Lottery starts tonight at 8:00 PM EST on NBCSN and NHL Network for U.S. audiences. In Canada you can catch the action on Sportsnet and TVA Sports. 

Of course, many people are still confused how this will work considering there could be a phase two lottery later in August.

NHL Draft Lottery and odds

Gary Bettman stated the Draft Lottery will not just be for the seven teams left out of the Return to Play format. He also included the other eight teams that will be knocked out in the qualifying rounds as well. At this time, those teams will be labeled Teams A thru H. 

If one of those teams wins the lottery, there will be a phase two drawing in August. Yes, we are all still confused. No one stands a better chance of winning it all with the Ottawa Senators having two very high lottery picks.

The Trades and how they impact Rangers picks

June 22, 2019: Toronto trades a conditional 2020 first-round pick, a 2020 seventh-round pick and center Patrick Marleau to Carolina for a 2020 sixth-round pick. If the Leafs’ pick is in the top 10 in 2020, the Canes receive Toronto’s 2021 first-round selection.

Feb. 24, 2020: The New York Rangers trade defenseman Brady Skjei to Carolina for a conditional 2020 first-round pick. The condition is that the Rangers will receive the lower (lesser) of the Canes’ two first-round choices, with the other being the aforementioned top-10 protected pick from Toronto.

Steve Kournianos (aka: The Draft Analyst) is here to break all the scenarios down for you. So Let’s begin as there are six, I repeat, SIX scenarios to cover.

Staal and Zibanejad (Getty Images)

Scenario 1: Carolina and Toronto both lose in play-in round and both win lottery

Outcome: Toronto keeps their 2020 first-round pick no matter if it’s first, second, or third overall; Carolina’s own 2020 first-round pick automatically goes to the Rangers no matter if it’s first, second, or third overall.

Why: The Canes lose control of the condition they made with the Rangers in the Skjei trade once that pick goes to the Maple Leafs. Thus, Carolina’s own pick automatically becomes unprotected once they lose the conditions from the Marleau deal with the Leafs. Some feel that Carolina keeps their own pick in the event Toronto gets into the top 10, but that would mean their 2021 first-round pick (or some other conditional pick) would go to the Rangers – a condition that was never mentioned in any official press release.

Scenario 2: Carolina loses play-in and Toronto wins play-in — Carolina wins lottery

Outcome: Carolina keeps their own lottery pick and the Rangers get the Toronto 2020 first-round pick, which will be between picks 16 to 31.

Why: Carolina will always keep their own pick as long as the Maple Leafs don’t receive a top-10 pick and it’s higher/better than where Toronto’s pick ends up. In this scenario, Toronto finishes higher in the standings to release the conditions from the Marleau trade and give it to Carolina outright. The Canes then keep the better pick (their own) and give the Rangers the lesser (Toronto’s).

Scenario 3: Carolina and Toronto both lose play-in and lose lottery

Outcome: Toronto’s 2020 first-round pick goes to Carolina and the Rangers get the Canes’ 2020 first rounder.

Why: As long as the Maple Leafs don’t end up with a top-10 pick, this scenario is almost the same as above, only Carolina finishes with the better points percentage and Toronto doesn’t make the top 10. Keep in mind that there is no mathematical chance for the Maple Leafs to lose both the play-in round and the lottery and still get a top-10 pick. This is based on Toronto owning a better points percentage than seven of the Western Conferences eight play-in teams coupled with the fact that a maximum of three play-in teams can leapfrog into the top-three lottery. Thus, outside of a lottery win, at least 10 teams will always finish ahead of the Maple Leafs in the points-percentage standings.

Scenario 4: Carolina wins play-in and Toronto loses play-in and doesn’t win lottery

Outcome:  Carolina acquires Toronto’s 2020 first-round pick and the Rangers acquire Carolina’s 2020 first-round pick.

Why: Toronto’s pick becomes the higher/better of the two and is outside the top 10, so it slides to Carolina somewhere between 11th and 15th overall. The Rangers get the lower/lesser pick from Carolina which will be between 16th and 31st overall.

Scenario 5: Carolina and Toronto both win respective play-in series and do not participate in the lottery.

Outcome:  Carolina acquires Toronto’s 2020 first-round pick and the Rangers receive the 2020 first-round pick from whichever team advances the farthest in the playoffs. Both picks will be between 16th and 31st overall.

Why: The Maple Leafs disqualifying from receiving a top-10 pick automatically transfers their 2020 first-round pick to the Canes, who will keep the higher/better pick and send the lower/lesser pick to the Rangers. 

Scenario 6: Carolina wins play-in and Toronto loses play-in and wins lottery

Outcome: Toronto keeps it 2020 pick between 1st and 3rd overall and Carolina gets the Leafs’ 2021 first-round pick. Rangers receive Canes’ 2020 first-round pick between 16th and 31st overall.

Why: Similar situation to Scenario 1 in that the second the Leafs earn a top-10 pick — which can be top-3 at best — Carolina walks away with no first rounders in 2020. 

NHL Draft’s top prize, Alexis Lafreniere

Lafrenière (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan)

Alexis Lafreniere was born on October 11, 2001 in the town of Saint-Eustache, Canada. At an early age, he seemed to excel and looked destined to be a top draft pick in the NHL. The kid has all the makings to be an elite player in the league and has been under the microscope for years.

The term “generational talent” is sometimes overused when talking about potential first round picks but Lafreniere has a chance to be exactly that. Is he the next Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid, who knows. 

It also isn’t fair, but so far his skill sets, hockey IQ and vision make it him then everyone else in this upcoming draft. One thing is for sure, he is NHL ready, and whomever wins the No. 1 pick will be playing him immediately.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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