With the way the NHL schedule is lining up due to the pandemic, there aren’t a lot of dates for the Kings look forward to during the rest of the 2020 calendar year.
One of them, however, is coming up soon. Next Friday is the first phase of the NHL Draft Lottery, which will include the teams that did not qualify for the expanded postseason: Detroit, Ottawa (who also owns San Jose’s pick thanks to the Erik Karlsson trade), Los Angeles, Anaheim, New Jersey, and Buffalo.
Like any other lottery in a normal year, the first three picks will be drawn. The Kings have a 9.5% chance of winning the first overall pick and thus the right to select Alexis Lafreniere. They also have a 28.8% chance of ending up in the top three. The eight teams who will be eliminated in the round-robin series will be entered into the lottery as placeholders. If any placeholder team is drawn into the top three, The NHL will conduct a phase two of the lottery. There is no date for that event because the players have not yet approved phase 4 of Return to Play, and there is thus no playoff schedule.
As Lisa Dillman noted in The Athletic’s lottery missive, outside of earning the top pick, any player other than Lafreniere isn’t going to significantly change the team’s outlook over the next few seasons. I like to think the lottery gods reward teams that don’t tank, and the Kings certainly didn’t play out the string to end their 2019-20 season. That should earn them some good fortune.
On to the links…