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Penguins Lose NHL Draft Lottery, Rangers Win Lafreniere Sweepstakes

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Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Draft Lottery Alexis Lafreniere

It would have been an extraordinary consolation prize. Because the Pittsburgh Penguins lost to the 12th seeded Montreal Canadiens in the Qualifying Round, they were thrust into the Phase 2 NHL Draft Lottery with a 12.5% percent chance at consensus top pick, Alexis Lafreniere.

Instead, the Penguins will remain with the bitter taste of defeat as the New York Rangers will get the first overall selection for the first time in the expansion era. The last time the New York Rangers drafted first was 1965.

The eight teams which lost the Qualifying Round were put into the Phase 2 Draft Lottery because the NHL considered them to not have made the playoffs, though in a twist, by virtue of participating in the Qualifying Round the NHL deemed the Penguins playoff streak to be intact. So, technically, the Penguins both did not make the NHL playoffs this season and their consecutive playoff streak extended to 14.

The Penguins will select 15th overall by virtue of having the most points among the Qualifying Round losers. The 2020 NHL Draft was originally scheduled to be held in Montreal on June 26 and 27 but was postponed due to COVID-19. The draft will be held on Oct. 9 and 10, virtually.

The Penguins owe the Minnesota Wild a first-round draft choice this season or next through the Jason Zucker trade. The Penguins could choose to cede the pick to Minnesota as protection against unfortunate results and a lottery pick next season, too.

Though it seems unlikely.

The top eight draft picks were determined via lottery on June 26, however, “Team A” which denoted a Qualifying Round team won the lottery. The top 15 picks, in order:

  1. NYR

  2. LA

  3. OTT (SJ)

  4. DET

  5. OTT

  6. ANA

  7. NJ

  8. BUF

  9. MIN

  10. WPG

  11. NSH

  12. FLA

  13. TOR

  14. EDM

  15. PIT

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