Skip to main content

NHL Draft 2020: Understanding the League's Updated Lottery Format

On Tuesday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that if the league resumes play, it will hold a modified Stanley Cup playoffs with 24 clubs in two "hub cities" and not resume the regular season. 

The modified postseason will feature 12 teams from the Eastern and Western conferences based on points percentage when the NHL paused on March 12. 

As a result, the league's other seven teams will look toward the upcoming draft lottery, which is now set for June 26.

The league announced a new protocol for the upcoming draft lottery. Here's a look at how it will work:

SI Recommends

  • The seven teams that did not qualify for the 24-team playoff will automatically be entered into the lottery.
  • The eight teams that lose in the qualifying round of the postseason tournament will be entered in the first phase of the drawing.
  • On June 26, the league's first phase, the NHL will draw for the first three selections, using placeholders for the eight teams in competition.
  • If any team still competing are among the top three selections, a second phase will be triggered. The second draft lottery would be held between the end of the qualification round and the beginning of the Stanley Cup playoff quarterfinals.
  • After the completion of the qualifying round, all eight teams entered into the lottery will have the exact same odds of being selected to move into the top three (where the placeholder was drawn).
  • Once the first three picks are determined, the remaining order for the lottery order will be determined by 2019-20 percentage points.

Here are the current lottery odds for the first pick in the 2020 NHL draft:

1. Detroit Red Wings: 18.5%
2. Ottawa Senators: 13.5%
3. Ottawa Senators (via San Jose Sharks): 11.5%
4. Los Angeles Kings: 9.5%
5. Anaheim Ducks: 8.5%
6. New Jersey Devils: 7.5%
7. Buffalo Sabres: 6.5%
8. Team A: 6.0%
9. Team B: 5.0%
10. Team C: 3.5%
11. Team D: 3.0%
12. Team E: 2.5%
13. Team F: 2.0%
14. Team G: 1.5%
15. Team H: 1.0%