Leave it to the NHL to make a simple process unnecessarily convoluted. The draft lottery, which is usually comprised of the 15 teams that do not make the playoffs, was an item of discussion since the league released its 24 team playoff format. Giffer extraordinaire @FitzGSN_ was the first to get his hands on the leak, which has been made official.
BEFORE the play-in games: lottery done for picks 1, 2, 3 between 7 non-playoff teams and 8 “unassigned” teams (losers of playin series)
If 1 or 2 “unassigned” picks move up, there will be a 2nd lottery AFTER the play-in series for the losing teams to see who gets the picks
— Fitz (@FitzGSN_) May 26, 2020
The league is going to hold two draft lotteries, which is again complicated. The first draft will be to determine half the draft order, so the bottom seven teams that do not make the play-in rounds will know where they draft. The rest of the order will be filled in by the other eight teams that lose in the play-in round of the playoffs. There will be a separate draft lottery to determine which teams get those eight spots that have already been set.
What this means is that an “unassigned” team can win the first overall pick, but we won’t know which team gets that pick until the second lottery. Seems silly.
The simple way was to hold one draft lottery that was all-encompassing of these two lotteries. Simply wait until the bottom-15 were identified and do it once. But TV revenue and whatnot I guess.
If the New York Rangers lose to the Carolina Hurricanes in the play-in round, then they will be in a lottery for the unassigned spots, the order to be determined by points-percentage. If they beat Carolina, they will be in the playoffs and will not be participants in the lottery.