New York Islanders could lose their chance at Alexis Lafreniere if 2019-20 is canceled.
With Team E winning the first overall pick at the first 2020 draft lottery, teams in the play-in round, like the New York Islanders, find themselves with a great consolation prize for missing on the playoffs: a chance at Alexis Lafreniere.
Just in case you missed it; with a 2.5 percent chance at the first overall pick, a placeholder team (Team E) won the first-overall pick in 2020. With the new lottery structure, a second draft lottery will take place where all play-in round losers will get an even 12.5 percent chance to win the first-overall pick.
But if the 19-20 season just can’t go on, that chance may go away for the New York Islanders.
Just on the Outside
On Friday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted that if the 19-20 season is canceled only the bottom, eight teams, in the play-in round (based on points percentage) would have a chance at the first-overall pick in 2020.
That list would exclude the New York Islanders who the second wild-card team in the Eastern Conference base on points-percentage. That means the following teams make the cut:
- Montreal Canadiens: 0.500
- Chicago Blackhawks: 0.514
- Arizona Coyotes: 0.529
- Minnesota Wild: 0.558
- Winnipeg Jets: 0.563
- New York Rangers: 0.564
- Florida Panthers: 0.565
- Columbus Blue Jackets: 0.579
Yes, the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, and Nashville Predators are in the play-in rounds and have a lower points percentage than the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Florida Panthers (Nashville is tied with Florida). But all three are in a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Vancouver is the third-ranked team in the Pacific Division, Nashville is the first Western Conference wild-card and Calgary is the second Western Conference wild-card based on points percentage.
With a 0.588 point percentage, the Isles are the second wild-card team in the Eastern Conference and thus wouldn’t get a chance at Alexis Lafreniere, assuming the NHL cancels that season of course. Something the NHL doesn’t plan on doing.
But if that happens I agree with this suggestion that the four wild-card teams in both Conferences should still get a shot at the pick.
After all, if the point of the draft is to allow lower-ranked teams to pick the best players first it doesn’t seem fair that the Columbus Blue Jackets would get a chance at Alexis Lafreniere while the Calgary Flames who hold a lower points-percentage wouldn’t have a chance.
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Now, to be fair, I’m using Calgary’s predicament to the benefit of the Islanders. But if the NHL is looking for a fair or equitable solution, the bottom eight (excluding the seven already eliminated) and the four wild-card teams make sense. If that happens to benefit the Isles then so be it, right?