The New Jersey Devils have a chance once again to win the Draft Lottery tonight. It would be the third time in four years. This is what you need to know.
It is finally the day. After the New Jersey Devils season had to come to an early end thanks to COVID-19, we had to sit here and wait for the offseason. We knew the team had no chance at the playoffs so the draft and futures conversations were the main focus of the Devils’ community. Well, we finally made it to the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery. Tonight is the night we will know where the Devils are selecting in the 1st round.
The seven teams not participating in the NHL’s “Return To Play” are all in the lottery. The Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, and Anaheim Ducks are the participants. The Senators hold the Sharks pick and it is unprotected so San Jose really has no actual dog in the fight and the Sens have to chances. There are eight other picks in the lottery that will be put aside for the teams who lose in the play-in round.
The Devils have the sixth-best odds out of seven with a 7.5% chance of winning the lottery. This would make it the third time in four years if they got so lucky. In 2017, they won the right to draft Nico Hischier with the first pick and in 2019 they won the right to select Jack Hughes with that year’s first pick. Both of those players are huge for this team going forward, but they need a lot more depth on this team to max their potential.
If they are so lucky and win the lottery, that means they will have the right to select Alexis Lafreniere with the first overall pick. Lafreniere is a left-winger that played for the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL. He is the consensus number one overall pick and whoever is the lucky team tonight will select him.
The second and third-overall picks are going to be determined by the lottery as well. The Devils would even be lucky if they won one of those two spots because they would be getting one of two really good players. When Lafreniere goes at pick number one, the team with the second overall pick needs to choose between Quinton Byfield and Tim Stutzle while the team picking third will take whoever wasn’t taken second.
There is also a chance that the Devils sit right in their current spot of six or even drop a spot of two. This is a very deep draft so anyone they get in the top ten is going to be a great player for them for a long time. This is going to be a fun night for us Devils fans. Hopefully, we get extremely lucky one more time.