Phase two of the NHL Draft Lottery will take place at 3pm Pacific Time today. Phase one of the Lottery concluded June 26th with the holder of the number one pick still unknown. Today’s phase two lottery drawing will be an equally weighted drawing with each of the eight Stanley Cup Qualifier losing teams having a 12.5% chance of winning. The winner will own the first overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and the right to select consensus top prospect Alexis Lafrenière.
While the Kraken won’t participate in the Draft Lottery, the results will affect them. Seattle will almost certainly face Lafrenière once they begin play in 2021. A talent like Lafrenière has the ability to shift the league’s power balance to the Kraken’s benefit or to their detriment. Which teams should the Kraken want to win the lottery?
Tier 1: Florida Panthers, New York Rangers
The Panthers or Rangers winning would be a best case scenario for the Kraken. It would keep Lafrenière out of the Western Conference and the addition of a star winger wouldn’t push either of these teams over the top into elite status.
Tier 2: Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins
While a Leafs or Penguins lottery win would keep Lafrenière in the Eastern Conference, Toronto or Pittsburgh would be stacked with forward talent if they won. If they handled the offseason well, either of these teams could become a perennial juggernaut with Lafrenière. That eventuality wouldn’t seem to be a huge threat to Seattle. However, given Vegas’ early results, it might not be so far-fetched to consider potential Stanley Cup Final opponents.
Tier 3: Minnesota Wild, Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators
Although having Lafrenière in the Western Conference is not ideal, one of these three teams winning the lottery should still be fine for the Kraken. With the current division-centric playoff format, Seattle will see a lot more of the Pacific Division than the Central Division, especially come playoff time. Lafrenière’s addition to any of these teams wouldn’t necessarily create another Western Conference threat either. In this case, the lottery winner would be more of a counterbalance to Colorado and St. Louis than a powerhouse themselves.
Tier 4: Edmonton Oilers
This would be far and away the worst outcome for the Kraken. Grab your good luck charms and repeat: “Any team but Edmonton. Any team but Edmonton.” Not only would Lafrenière be in Seattle’s division, he would be joining two of the best hockey players in the world, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, free to terrorize Pacific Division defenses for more than a decade. Even the Oilers can’t screw that up…right?