Update: New York Rangers win first overall, Maple Leafs’ 2020 first-round pick (13th overall) transfers to Carolina


2020 NHL Draft Order — Picks #1-15

Pick Team Points Percentage
1 NY Rangers .564
2 Los Angeles .457
3 Ottawa .437
4 Detroit .275
5 Ottawa .437
6 Anaheim .472
7 New Jersey .493
8 Buffalo .493
9 Minnesota .563
10 Winnipeg .563
11 Nashville .565
12 Florida .565
13 Toronto to Carolina .579
14 Edmonton .585
15 Pittsburgh .623

Nobody in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization wanted to be talking about lottery odds on August 10th, eight days after the opening of the NHL Return-to-Play playoff tournament. But here we are.

The Leafs have a 12.5% chance — 1 in 8 odds — at the first-overall draft selection tonight when commissioner Gary Bettman draws the lottery ball that will determine which playoff qualifying round also-ran will replace the Team E placeholder, which won the NHL draft lottery back in late June despite 2.5% odds, triggering this second phase of the lottery.

For some perspective, the Leafs‘ odds tonight at first overall are better than all but Ottawa and Detroit’s were originally before the first phase of the lottery was completed — better than San Jose, LA, Anaheim, and so on. It’s just one percent shy of the odds the 30th-place (i.e. second-last) team entered the June 26 lottery with.

The unique part of the Leafs‘ situation, though, is that it’s all-or-nothing on the first-round pick front. There is an 87.5% chance the Leafs aren’t drafting in the first round at all; as it is top-10 protected, the Leafs‘ 2020 first-round draft selection will transfer to Carolina as part of the Patrick Marleau trade if one of the other seven teams in the mix — Edmonton, Florida, Minnesota, Nashville, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, or Winnipeg — wins the lottery tonight.

Depending on which team leapfrogs into first overall, the Leafs’ 2020 first-rounder could be either the 13th or 14th overall pick — an expensive cap dump in the end, to be sure.

Among the non-winners tonight, draft selections #9-#15 will be decided in the inverse order of where the teams finished in the regular-season based on points percentage at the pause. Here is how the eliminated teams rank in that regard:

Team Points Percentage
Minnesota 0.563
Winnipeg 0.563
NY Rangers 0.564
Nashville 0.565
Florida 0.565
Toronto 0.579
Edmonton 0.585
Pittsburgh 0.623

The prize at the top of the draft this year is a future superstar talent who happens to play the wing position (LW) where the Leafs don’t currently have an elite forward on the roster, but we won’t put the cart before the horse here.

The NHL draft lottery will air at 6 p.m. ET tonight on Sportsnet, NBCSN, and the NHL Network.