The NHL’s recent announcement of a new draft-lottery format confused most, but Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion knows his club will end up in good shape regardless of the results.
The Senators have been given a 25% chance of winning the No. 1 pick thanks to their own odds from finishing in 30th place, and owning the San Jose Sharks’ first-round pick as a part of the package that sent former Sens captain Erik Karlsson to the west coast. The Sharks finished 29th.
“We’re very happy with how the draft lottery will proceed,” Dorion told TSN. “We know we’re going to get two players in the top six, in the worst-case scenario, or best-case, one and two.”
The Senators also own the New York Islanders’ 2020 first-rounder thanks to the deadline deal involving Jean-Gabriel Pageau. However, if the Isles earn a top-three draft choice in 2020, the pick will be deferred to 2021.
This year’s draft lottery could be done in two phases, and the first will be held June 26. The seven teams outside the expanded 24-team playoff cutline will be included in the first lottery, along with eight placeholders to represent the clubs eventually knocked out after the play-in round. If one of the placeholders wins a top-three pick in the first phase, the lottery will be settled at a later date.
Ottawa finished the regular season with a 25-34-12 record, missing the playoffs for the third consecutive campaign. The franchise faces a tremendous opportunity to accelerate its rebuild in the upcoming draft while owning up to nine picks in the first three rounds.
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