If the Blackhawks lose the best-of-five play-in series to the Edmonton Oilers, then they have a 12.5% chance of landing the first overall pick.
The Chicago Blackhawks potentially caught another break thanks to the NHL’s draft lottery on Friday night, as one of the eight placeholder spots reserved for teams eliminated in the play-in round of the 24-team postseason won the lottery. The Los Angeles Kings won the second overall pick, and the Ottawa Senators won both the third and fifth picks. The fourth pick belongs to the Detroit Red Wings, who tragically fell four spots after being projected to have the No. 1 pick with a dreadful 17-49-5 record this season.
Phase 2 of the lottery will take place after the play-in series and before the first round to determine which team wins the placeholder spot. Each of the eight teams that lose in the play-in round will have a 12.5% chance of landing the No. 1 pick, AKA 18-year-old standout forward Alexis LaFreniere. The no-brainer first-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft is coming off a dominant 2019-20 season where he racked up 112 points (35G, 77A) in just 52 games to lead the QMJHL in scoring. Lafreniere also had an impressive showing at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship back in January, earning MVP honors after tallying four goals and six assists in five contests en route to a gold medal while playing two years up.
If the Blackhawks do somehow steal the No. 1 pick, they will select in the top three for the second consecutive year after drafting Kirby Dach third overall last summer. The 2020 NHL Draft does not yet have a date at the moment but will be sometime after the conclusion of the potential 24-team postseason this fall.
For more Blackhawks news and updates, follow the author (@TalkinHawkey) on Twitter. Make sure to check out the author’s podcast, Locked On Blackhawks, which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Twitter (@LO_Blackhawks).