Ottawa Senators hoping for some good luck ahead of NHL Draft Lottery

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TORONTO — The Ottawa Senators are hoping for some good luck when the first phase of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery goes on Friday.

The lottery — used to determine the first 15 picks in the draft — will include the seven teams that did not make the Stanley Cup qualifiers, plus eight teams that will be eliminated in the playoff qualifiers.

Of the seven franchises outside the league’s 24-team plan to resume the season later this summer, the last-place Detroit Red Wings come in with the best singular odds at 18.5 per cent through to the Buffalo Sabres at 6.5 per cent.

The Senators own the second-best odds at 13.5 per cent after sitting 30th overall at the time the NHL season was paused on March 12, but also possess the San Jose Sharks’ first-round pick (11.5 per cent) for a combined 25 per cent chance at picking No. 1.

The Los Angeles Kings (9.5), Anaheim Ducks (8.5) and New Jersey Devils (7.5) also have a chance for the top pick.

Things could get interesting if at least one of the top-3 picks is secured by one of the eight unknown teams waiting to play in the best-of-five playoff qualifiers. Those eight squads have odds between six and one per cent.

Rimouski Oceanic forward Alexis Lafreniere, a flashy winger and two-time Canadian Hockey League player of the year, is projected to be the top pick at the draft.

The draft lottery is usually held in April at the conclusion of the regular season and before the playoffs, but was pushed back because of the pandemic before the NHL came up with a new format last month.