The first phase of the 2020 NHL draft lottery was held Friday night, as hockey inches toward a return to play, so of course things went directly off the rails.
If you're behind on how this year's draft Lottery works — and there's no way you're alone in that regard — here's a quick refresher:
- Friday's drawing set the order for the top eight draft picks
- If any of the league's bottom seven teams secured picks Nos. 1, 2, and 3, there would be no phase two
- If a team outside of the bottom seven, represented in the lottery by a placeholder, landed in the top three, phase two would be triggered
Guess what: a qualifying round team landed in the top three on Friday night. And it didn't just land in the top three. The yet-to-be-determined team landed the dang No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft.
Now, the league will hold a second phase draft lottery, in which all eight teams entered into the lottery will have the exact same odds (12.5 percent) of being selected as the No. 1 overall pick.
That's ... insane, and hockey fans and observers reacted accordingly:
This is amazing lmao— Steph Driver (@StephaliciousD) June 27, 2020
Alexis Lafreniere could very well end up on an already good team in the Metropolitan Division and that's absolutely ridiculous.— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) June 27, 2020
There have been many “peak NHL” moments, but tonight probably is top three.— Anthony Mingioni (@AnthonyMingioni) June 27, 2020
This whole thing is both objectively hilarious and insanely stupid, so in other words it's basically peak NHL— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) June 27, 2020
Lol @NHL— Liz ☀️🦖 (@OhHeyLiizz) June 27, 2020
it really is the absolute dumbest league on earth. respect.— 🦖 ryan lambert 🦕 (@twolinepass) June 27, 2020
What the hell just happened in the NHL lottery lol— k24bruno (@k24bruno) June 27, 2020
It’ll be a Metro team I’ll put $5 on it right now— Yo (@FlyGoalScoredBy) June 27, 2020
Why is the @nhl so terrible— Gene Shallot (@SpoonfedRedhead) June 27, 2020
Now, Flyers fans have a crucial choice to make: would they rather see the rival Penguins have a chance at the Stanley Cup? Or a chance at the No. 1 overall pick?
That's officially a scenario. The No. 5 seed Penguins face the No. 12 seed Canadiens in the qualifying round. If the Penguins happen to lose to the Canadiens — unlikely, but possible — they'll have a 12.5 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick, widely expected to be winger Alexis Lafreniere.
It's kind of a tough choice.
And while it's fair to remind folks that the Penguins would still have an 87.5 percent chance of not landing the pick, here's a little weird cosmic coincidence that seems to be pointing toward Pittsburgh: the last time the Penguins picked No. 1 overall, they selected an 18-year-old Canadian forward who played for the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic.
His name was Sidney Crosby.
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