The NHL Draft Lottery had a different look to it this year. And it had some drama.
Phase 1 was held on Friday to determine where the seven non-playoff teams will pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and what the Top 3 order will look like. A second phase was only going to be conducted if a placeholder team jumped inside the Top 3.
Well, that's exactly what happened.
The No. 1 overall pick will go to one of the eight teams eliminated from the qualifying round of the NHL's Return to Play plan. Which means, if the Blackhawks are knocked out by the Edmonton Oilers in their five-game series, they will have a 12.5 percent chance — all eight teams share equal odds — at securing the first selection.
For reference, the Blackhawks had an 8.2 percent chance of moving inside the Top 3 last year and jumped nine spots to take Kirby Dach with the third overall pick. Crazier things have happened.
If the Blackhawks fail to advance and are NOT the team that picks first, the lowest draft pick they can get is No. 10 overall because the remaining seven positions will be ranked in inverse order of the eliminated teams' points percentage at the time of the regular season's pause. Only the Montreal Canadiens (.500) had a worse percentage than the Blackhawks (.514).
If the Blackhawks advance past the qualifying round, they will not be eligible for Phase 2 of the draft lottery and their position will be determined based on where they finish in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, as normal.
Here's a look at the order following Phase 1:
2. Los Angeles Kings
3. Ottawa Senators
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Ottawa Senators
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Buffalo Sabres
The consensus No. 1 overall pick is Alexis Lafrenière, who registered 35 goals and 77 assists for a league-leading 112 points in 52 games this season with the Rimouski Océanic of the QMJHL. He also served as the team captain.
Phase 2 will be conducted at some point between the qualifying round and the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And what an exciting event that will be.