The Pittsburgh Penguins had a one-in-eight shot of winning tonight’s NHL lottery draft and move up to the first overall pick of the 2020 NHL draft.
Which unfortunately also meant they had a seven out of eight chance to not win the lottery draft, and due to their points% in the regular season, pick 15th overall.
The odds weren’t in the Pens’ favor today, and they did not win the rights to draft Alexis Lafreniere. That honor goes to the New York Rangers, a division rival of the Pens.
However, for the draft scheduled to start on October 9th, the Pens WILL have a first round pick for only the second time since 2015, if they so choose. That’s because a clause in their February trade with Minnesota for Jason Zucker allowed the Pens to keep their 2020 first round pick in the event they did not make the playoffs. Due to the 2020 upheaval of the coronavirus, the season stop, and the return to play that featured a five game qualification series, the Pens entered the draft lottery.
Reports stated Pittsburgh as one week to determine if they want to pass this 2020 first round pick to Minnesota, or elect to keep this year’s pick. In that case, the Wild will take Pittsburgh’s 2021 first round pick, regardless of where it falls.
As a result, they will have their highest naturally earned pick since 2006, and highest overall pick in the draft since 2012 when the Jordan Staal trade recouped in portion the eighth overall pick.