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NHL Draft Lottery: Chaos leads to situation where the Penguins could get #1 overall pick

2020 has been a crazy year, and it’s not close to over yet

2020 NHL Draft Lottery Photo by Bruce Bennett/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL’s lottery draft through a curve ball. It’s a convoluted process where the worst seven teams in the league, who didn’t qualify for the play-in had an overwhelming chance to win the lottery and have the rights to the first overall pick.

Per the NHL Network, there was a 2.5% chance that a team outside of the top would earn the first overall pick.

So, naturally, guess what happened.

As mentioned above, all eight losers of the play-in will have an equal 12.5% (1 in 8) chance of winning a “phase 2” lottery draft to get the first overall pick.

The Penguins have a chance, but given that they are heavy favorites over the Montreal Canadiens right now, it isn’t THAT big of a chance.

Overall, the chaos is that presumptive #1 pick Alexis Lafreniere will be going to one of the teams listed above. This is a real kick in the pants for the worst teams in the league. Ottawa had a 25% chance of winning it, they dropped to picks No. 3 and 5. The Detroit Red Wings were terrible this year, had a 18.5% chance of winning the draft, a bigger chance of having a top three selection. They dropped all the way to picking fourth overall.

Does this change anything for the Penguins? No, not really.

Their focus and goal is going to be to NOT have a 1-in-8 chance to get the number one pick. They would rather try and win another Stanley Cup. While there’s the possibility for a nice consolation if something crazy happens, there’s still an overwhelming chance that the Pens wouldn’t get the first overall pick.

It is a positive for the Pens that the Devils did not win the draft tonight, they did have a 7.5% chance of doing so. However, given that Columbus, NY Ranger, NY Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes, amazingly enough there’s a bigger chance that Lafreniere ends up in the Metropolitan division somewhere than there was a few hours ago.

Chaos has reigned supreme this year, and the lottery draft builds upon that even further. Tough breaks for the doldrums of the league (OTT, DET, LAK, BUF) but the door is open somewhat more for the Pens to get a pick that, right now at least, they’d rather not be eligible for.