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Explaining the Complicated NHL Draft and Lottery Format



NHL return, 2020 NHL draft lottery, Penguins Draft

The NHL sure can make things complicated. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman laughed when the conversation about the complex 2020 NHL Draft Lottery began after his internationally televised video conference to explain the NHL Return to Play Plan.

It had shades of schoolyard logic which works in the end but takes a winding path to get there. Read the full breakdown, details, and unanswered questions here. 

Despite the video conference perhaps being Bettman’s finest moment as NHL Commissioner, the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery explanation was harder to follow than the final season of Game of Thrones.

The league will hold Phase 1 of the draft Lottery on June 26 and the 2020 NHL Draft after the conclusion of the 24-team NHL return.

We’ll start with the basics. Seven teams failed to qualify for the 24-team NHL playoffs. Those seven teams (LA, ANA, SJ, DET, OTT, NJ, BUF) are guaranteed lottery spots, and if those teams win the three lottery picks at the top of the draft, the story ends there.

But…it probably won’t.

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