Positioned for the Draft Lottery - LA Kings Insider

The 2020 NHL Draft Lottery will be conducted on June 26 at 5 PM (PT) and broadcast live on NBCSN and NHL Network in the U.S. How can fans watch? What are the odds for the Kings at the first overall selection? What is the history behind the lottery itself?

Read on and find out.

NHL Draft Inception
The NHL introduced the draft system in 1963 with what was originally referred to as the NHL Amateur Draft. Designed to eliminate the sponsorship of amateur teams and players by its member clubs, the Draft created an equal opportunity for each team to acquire amateur players by giving the teams draft choice based on a reverse order of the standing.

NHL Draft Lottery Introduced – Kings Win!
In 1995, the NHL Draft Lottery was introduced for teams missing the playoffs. The lottery allowed a non-playoff team the chance at moving up a maximum of four spots, which also came with the chance of moving down a maximum of one place and gave only the bottom-five finishers a shot at the No. 1 selection.

Going into the ‘95 Draft Lottery, the Kings finished with the seventh-worst regular-season record, meaning the highest spot the club could move would be third, a 4.2% chance. Despite the odds, the Kings won the first NHL Draft Lottery and received the third selection at the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, which was used to select Finnish defenseman Aki Berg.

Elsa Hasch / Allsport


NHL Draft Lottery Changes
The lottery format remained in place until 2012 and, like the Kings in 1995, 10 of the 17 other NHL Draft Lottery drawings during that span saw the team that finished last in the standings fail to retain the first overall selection.

From 2013 to 2015, the rules changed so that any team that won the lottery would automatically receive the No. 1 selection, eliminating the maximum four-place advancement. Beginning in 2016, the lottery was again altered, this time determining the first three selections as opposed to just altering one selection. Any non-playoff team has a weighted chance to select in the top three, with the team finishing last receiving the highest percentage to win at least one of the top three selections.

2020 NHL Draft Lottery
With the current season being halted due to COVID-19, the NHL announced on May 26 that the draft lottery was once again adjusted and be held in two phases, if necessary.

The First Phase will take place this Friday, June 26, and consist of three drawings featuring the seven teams that did not qualify for the postseason as well as eight placeholder positions for the eight teams that lose in the Stanley Cup Playoff Qualifiers. If a team not in the bottom seven wins any of the first three drawings, a Second Phase will take place prior to the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs and feature the eight teams eliminated in the Stanley Cup Playoff Qualifiers.

The lottery odds for the seven non-playoff teams were determined by their point percentage during the 2019-20 regular season, which, of course, was paused March 12. The eight potential losing teams from the Qualifying Round will be represented in the First Phase of the draft lottery as unassigned picks.

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1st Lottery Draw
If the winning team of the 1st Lottery Draw is from the #1-7 group, that team wins the right to the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The remaining teams’ odds will increase on a proportionate basis for the 2nd Lottery Draw, based on which team wins the 1st Lottery Draw.

If the winning team of the 1st Lottery Draw is from the #8-15 group, the right to the first overall pick will be determined in Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.

2nd Lottery Draw
If the winning team of the 2nd Lottery Draw is from the #1-7 group, that team wins the right to the second overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The remaining teams’ odds will increase on a proportionate basis for the 3rd Lottery Draw, based on which team wins the 2nd Lottery Draw.

If the winning team of the 2nd Lottery Draw is from the #8-15 group, the right to the second overall pick will be determined in Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.

3rd Lottery Draw
If the winning team of the 3rd Lottery Draw is from the #1-7 group, that team wins the right to the third overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. If the winning team of the 3rd Lottery Draw is from the #8-15 group, the right to the third overall pick will be determined in Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.

What If All Three Draws Are Won by Teams in the #1-7 Group?
The winning teams receive the respective top three selections in the 2020 NHL Draft. The remaining four teams in the #1-7 group are assigned 2020 NHL Draft positions 4 through 7, in inverse order of their points percentages at the time of the pause in the regular season. The next eight 2020 NHL Draft positions (8 through 15) are assigned to the eight teams that do not advance from the Qualifying Round, in inverse order of their points percentages at the time of the pause in the regular season. In these circumstances, Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery will not be necessary.

Still with us?

What If Any of the Three Draws Are Won by Teams in the #8-15 Group?
The draws for the corresponding selections will be conducted during Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery among only the eight Qualifying Round teams that fail to advance.

Phase 2 of 2020 NHL Draft Lottery (If Necessary)
Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery, if necessary, will be conducted between the Qualifying Round and First Round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Exact date and time TBD.

Phase 2 participants will include all eight teams that do not advance from the Qualifying Round (or the teams that have acquired their first-round picks).

In each Phase 2 draw, all participants will have the same odds.

Following each Phase 2 draw, the winning team will be assigned the corresponding top three selection in the 2020 NHL Draft and, if another Phase 2 draw is necessary, that team’s numbered lottery ball will be removed.

When all Phase 1 and Phase 2 draws are completed and the top three selections in the 2020 NHL Draft have been awarded, the remaining selections in the top 15 will be assigned to the 12 teams that did not win a draw, in inverse order of their points percentages at the time of the pause in the regular season.

There will not be a test on this.

How To Watch The Lottery
The NHL announced at the start of this week that the First Phase of the 202 NHL Draft Lottery will be broadcast live at 5 pm (PT) on NBCSN and NHL Network in the U.S. as well as Sportsnet and TVA Sports for our friends in Canada. The event will be conducted at NHL Network’s studio in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Enjoy.

NOTE – Kaylea Konoval works for the Kings and is one of many contributors to LA Kings Insider at this time. Our organization understands the importance of LAKI to you and remain committed to evolving the platform and providing even more content once we resume usual operations.