Canucks will have plenty of options if Jacob Markstrom leaves
Phase one of the NHL draft lottery process went down on Friday night and with that, the Vancouver Canucks could be the mystery team that’ll have the first pick.
The results are in: A mystery team has won phase one of this year’s very different, very strange draft lottery process. But what does it all mean for the Vancouver Canucks, you ask? That’ll depend on how Bo Horvat and the Canucks fare against the Minnesota Wild in their best-of-five play-in series this August.
With a conditional pick being traded off to Tampa Bay in exchange for J.T. Miller, things can understandably seem a little complicated. Win, and the Canucks forget about the draft pick which would no longer belong to them. Lose, and the Canucks maintain their selection and enter phase two having an equal chance at drafting first overall for the first time in 50 years.
According to The Province, Team E won phase one with a 2.5% chance. That’s a one in forty chance! Phase two will happen after the play-in round and will see the eight losing play-in teams (which could be the Canucks) all get an equal 12.5% chance of winning the first overall draft pick. Or in other words, Alexis Lafreniere.
Could you imagine that, a dynamic duo of Elias Pettersson and Lafreniere? It’s hard to cheer against the beloved Canucks, but a one in eight opportunity at drafting a franchise player does sound pretty mouth-watering. The new-look top-six would immediately catapult Vancouver into being an offensive powerhouse that dominates the Western Conference for years to come.
On the flip side of things though… if COVID-19 shuts down the 2019-20 season permanently, the Canucks conditional pick they gave to Tampa ends up in the hands of the New Jersey Devils (because the Lightning traded it away), and Vancouver loses out on the Lafreniere sweepstakes.
It’s an interesting year, to say the least. The Canucks have a chance to win the silver trophy, but they’ve got an even bigger look at possibly winning that first overall pick.
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