The NHL has announced the format for the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.

The Draft Lottery this year will determine the top-three picks in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and will take place in two separate phases.

Gary Bettman
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The first phase will take phase on June 26 and will consist of the seven teams who were not eligible to play in the resumed playoff format as well as generated odds for eight teams as place holders for teams who are playing in the play-in round.

The second phase will then include the remaining eight teams contingent on how phase one goes.


Format for the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery

The odds for the first phase of the Draft Lottery are as follows based on points percentage (P%):

  1. Detroit Red Wings – P% .275 – Odds 18.5%
  2. Ottawa Senators – P% .437 – Odds 13.5%
  3. Ottawa Senators – P% .437 – Odds 11.5%
  4. Los Angeles Kings – P% .457 – Odds 9.5%
  5. Anaheim Ducks – P% .472 – Odds 8.5%
  6. New Jersey Devils – P% .493 – Odds 7.5%
  7. Buffalo Sabres – P% .493 – Odds 6.5%
  8. Team A – P% N/A 6%
  9. Team B – P% N/A 5%
  10. Team C – P% N/A 3.5%
  11. Team D – P% N/A 3%
  12. Team E – P% N/A 2.5%
  13. Team F – P% N/A 2%
  14. Team G – P% N/A 1.5%
  15. Team H – P% N/A 1%

The Senators received the San Jose Sharks pick as a part of the Erik Karlsson trade, this giving them the third-best odds in this draft in addition to their original second-best odds pick. The Devils and Sabres had the same points-percentage and the odds were determined regulation/OT win-percentage.


The remaining eight teams cannot technically be determined given that teams will have yet to play their qualifying round games. As such, placeholder teams will be put into the mix with authentic lottery odds to years-past which will determine whether or not Phase 2 is needed.

The first draw will determine the first overall selection, the second draw will determine the second overall selection and the third draw will determine the third overall selection.


If none of these draws include one of the remaining eight teams who are resuming play then Phase 2 will not be necessary. If any of Teams A through H come out in these top-three picks, however, Phase 2 will take place with each of the eight teams having equal odds (12.5%) to move into the top three.

This is a far more confusing format than the NHL has had in past seasons but given the state of things, the league has done a good job at finding a good compromise for things all the same.

It’s easy to be jaded and find reason to complain about things but the NHL has handled this about as well as they could have for both the 24-team playoff format and for the lottery format.