The Metropolitan Division was pretty loaded in 2019-20.
On Monday night, it got even better for the 2020-21 season.
That's because the Rangers won the first overall pick in Phase 2 of the 2020 NHL draft lottery. Alexis Lafreniere, a 6-foot-1, 193-pound winger, is the consensus No. 1 pick. The 18-year-old is a dynamic scorer who put up 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists) in 52 games for the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic during the 2019-20 season.
In the 2019-20 NHL regular season, four Metropolitan Division clubs (Capitals, Flyers, Penguins, Hurricanes) had top-10 point percentages and six (Capitals, Flyers, Penguins, Hurricanes, Islanders, Blue Jackets) finished among the top 15. The Rangers, not exactly lacking talent (Artemi Panarin is a Hart Memorial Trophy finalist and Mika Zibanejad scored 41 goals), were in the top 20 but bowed out of the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament during the best-of-five qualifying round.
Total points by division from the 2019-20 NHL regular season.— #StanleyCup Playoffs on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) July 6, 2020
Note: The Central Division has one less team. pic.twitter.com/vRId8urknJ
Not only is the Metropolitan Division deep, but it has also landed some big picks in recent past. In the 2019 draft, the Devils took Jack Hughes No. 1 overall and the Rangers selected Kaapo Kakko No. 2 overall. In the 2018 draft, the Hurricanes nabbed Andrei Svechnikov with the second overall pick, while the 2017 draft saw Nico Hischier go No. 1 to the Devils and Nolan Patrick No. 2 to the Flyers.
With the 2020 draft tentatively scheduled for Oct. 9-10, the Rangers are expected to add Lafreniere to a young, building picture. For Flyers fans, New York landing the No. 1 pick was probably the lesser of two evils. The Penguins had as fair of a chance (12.5 percent) at Lafreniere but the Rangers were the lucky ones to have their ping-pong ball selected.
The Flyers are happy to not be worrying about the lottery. They open the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday as the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed.
Below is the 2020 draft order for the first 15 picks, while the remaining 16 first-round selections will be determined by the results of the playoffs.
4. Red Wings
Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.