Rangers Win First-Overall Pick in 2020 NHL Draft

The New York Rangers have won the Phase 2 NHL Draft Lottery, giving them the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

The Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Winnipeg Jets all entered the Phase 2 Draft Lottery with a 12.5% chance of landing the top pick. The teams that didn’t win the lottery will enter the draft in reverse order of their points percentage from the regular season, as seen below.

The Rangers are very likely to take top-ranked prospect Alexis Lafrenière first overall, after an incredible season that will see him enter the draft as one of the most decorated prospects ever.

Related: 2020 NHL Lottery Draft: Who Needs the First-Overall Pick Most?

In 2019, the Rangers landed the second-overall pick, drafting right winger Kappo Kaako after the New Jersey Devils selected centreman Jack Hughes. This is on top of landing top free agent Artemi Panarin, trading for defender Jacob Trouba, and the emergence of young goaltender Igor Shestyorkin.

If the Rangers to in fact draft Lafrenière first overall, he’ll become the first winger to be taken first since the Oilers took Nail Yakupov in 2012. To get to know the likely new prospect for the Rangers, here’s an excerpt from The Hockey Writers prospect profile on Lafreniere:

“Lafrenière truly is an all-round, elite player with an offensive gift. The offense runs through him. He can cycle the offensive end on his own, finding the perfect pass for an assist or the best positioning for a shot. His offensive awareness is off the charts. He reads defences so well that when you watch him play it looks like he visualizes the path to the net and he takes it.

Related: 2020 NHL Draft Guide

“If you’re one-on-one against him, expect to lose. He’s a very creative player, that can go through the opposition or blow past them. His biggest progression this season has been his skating. He’s a powerful skater who can accelerate with ease, often leaving defenders in his snow. It’s evident that he likes to pass, based on his assist totals through the years, but when he pulls out his wrist shot – watch out. It’s hard, it’s fast, it’s accurate.”

Rimouski Oceanic Alexis Lafreniere
BOISBRIAND, QC – NOVEMBER 23: Alexis Lafrenière in action in a QMJHL game between the Rimouski Océanics and the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on November 23, 2019, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (Photo by Vincent Ethier/CHL)

The June 26 Phase 1 Lottery saw a Play-In (Team E) team win the lottery, resulting in fans – and teams – having to wait to find out how the top of the draft will look. But it did lock in the No. 2 to No. 8 selections, as seen below.

Top 15 NHL Draft Order Now Set

No. 1: New York Rangers

No. 2: Los Angeles Kings

No. 3: Ottawa Senators (via San Jose Sharks)

No. 4: Detroit Red Wings

No. 5: Ottawa Senators

No. 6: Anaheim Ducks

No. 7: New Jersey Devils

No. 8: Buffalo Sabres

No. 9: Minnesota Wild

No. 10: Winnipeg Jets

No. 11: Nashville Predators

No. 12: Florida Panthers

No. 13: Carolina Hurricanes (via Toronto Maple Leafs)

No. 14: Edmonton Oilers

No. 15: Minnesota Wild (via Pittsburgh Penguins)*

*Once the selection of the Penguins is confirmed, the team has seven days to decide if they want to keep it and give the Wild their 2021 selection instead, which seems likely given their spot in this draft.

2020 NHL Draft Set for Oct. 9-10

While we now know who’s picking first overall down to 15th overall, the remaining selections will be based on the results of the 2020 NHL Playoffs. We know that the Draft will be held on Oct. 9 (Round 1) and 10 (Rounds 2-7), after the Stanley Cup is awarded and before Free Agency begins. While this is a schedule like we’ve never seen before, the 2020 NHL Draft picture is getting clearer by the day.

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