The New York Rangers have won the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery and will pick first in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
It is likely that Alexis Lafreniere will be the first overall pick. The Rimouski Oceanic winger is expected to be a franchise player and the Rangers will have first kick at the can.
In 2019, the Rangers had the second overall draft pick and went with Kaapo Kakko.
Eight teams, including the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Winnipeg Jets, had balls in the NHL Draft Lottery. The balls were confirmed by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman before the machine did its work and the Rangers were pulled.
The ball selection was the second phase in the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery, which began with the first phase to set up picks two through eight.
We now know the top eight selections in the draft, barring any trades, are as follows:
- New York Rangers
- Los Angeles Kings
- Ottawa Senators
- Detroit Red Wings
- Ottawa Senators
- Anaheim Ducks
- New Jersey Devils
- Buffalo Sabres
The Rangers will be a nice fit for Lafreniere, should they choose to draft him. He’ll have time to develop on a franchise that finds itself working toward a solid rebuild.
The Rangers secured the pick in part because they were swept from the qualifying round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, so this is quite the consolation prize.
“Any time you can pick first especially this year, it’s a special year…we’re excited to have this happen to us,” general manager Jeff Gorton said. “I think, along with his skills, it’s his competitiveness. If you go back to the world juniors right away you can see he has the kind of talent we’re all looking for.”
The 2020 NHL Entry Draft is tentatively scheduled for October 9 and will be held virtually.