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Canes 2020 first-round scenarios: Post-Phase 1

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Phase 1 of the NHL Draft Lottery has concluded, but a major upheaval has appeared: The first overall pick is still up for grabs. What does this entail for the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2020 draft?

2019 NHL Draft - Round 2-7 Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With Phase 1 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery having concluded in the highest form of chaos last night, with the number one overall selection being designated to Placeholder Team E (RIP Winnipeg Jets), it now means that a Phase 2 will have to occur to figure out who is getting that coveted pick.

Phase 2 of the Draft Lottery will take place after the qualifying rounds are concluded, but before the first playoff round begins and will include the eight teams eliminated from the play-in rounds. All eight teams will have the same exact odds of winning the pick, ignoring regular season rankings for weighting.

What this means for the Hurricanes is that there are still quite a few options on the table, but less than previously thought. Let’s take a look at the potential outcomes.

What to remember

  • The Hurricanes owe a 2020 first-round pick to the New York Rangers for Brady Skjei
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2020 first-round pick that was sent to Carolina for Patrick Marleau is top-10 protected

In terms of Toronto

Based on regular season point percentages, there is only one way for the Leafs to obtain a top-10 pick and that is by winning the Phase 2 Draft Lottery. If that were to happen, then Toronto keeps its 2020 first-round pick and instead will give its 2021 first-round pick to the Hurricanes, meaning that the Hurricanes would give their 2020 pick to the Rangers no matter where it falls.

With picks 2-8 already set, the lowest the Leafs can draft without winning the lottery is 12. That’s because three of the Western Conference matchups (Nashville Predators vs. Arizona Coyotes; Vancouver Canucks vs. Minnesota Wild; Calgary Flames vs. Winnipeg Jets) will all have a loser with a lower point percentage than Toronto no matter who advances.

Because of that, Toronto can only keep its 2020 first-round pick by winning the lottery. If they lose in the qualifying round, the Leafs pick, without the lottery, can fall as low as 12th overall and go as high as 16th.

This, therefore, also hinges on the Columbus Blue Jackets defeating the Leafs in the qualifying round.

If Toronto advances over Columbus, the Hurricanes will have a guaranteed pick to work with at the draft.

Where can the Hurricanes draft then?

Well first off, the Canes theoretically have a shot at winning the first overall pick. In the event that they lose to New York in the qualifying round, then Carolina will have a 12.5% chance to be awarded the first overall pick, the same as every other losing team. Not terrible odds for the losers of the qualifying round.

If the Canes lose in the qualifier and don’t win the lottery, their own pick can be as low as 14th and as high as 15th.

Past that, the places can vary greatly based on what teams advance, but it’s important to keep in mind that the Hurricanes had the ninth highest points percentage at the conclusion of the regular season.

Clear Breakdown

If both Carolina and Toronto lose in the qualifying round, and neither win the lottery, Toronto’s pick will become Carolina’s, ranging from 12th to 15th. The same scenario applies if Carolina wins its play-in and Toronto loses theirs and doesn’t win the draft lottery.

If both lose the qualifying round and Toronto wins the draft lottery, then the Leafs keep their pick and Carolina’s pick goes to New York, leaving them without a first-round pick in 2020.

If both lose the qualifying round and Carolina wins the draft lottery, then the Canes keep the first-overall pick and Toronto’s pick is sent to the Rangers.

If both teams win, the team that advances further will send their pick to New York and if both are eliminated in the same round, the Canes keep Toronto’s pick and send their own to the Rangers.

If play does not resume

This is all still relying on play resuming and apparently there are scenarios for if it doesn’t. According to Bob McKenzie, if play doesn’t resume, it is assumed that the 9-12 seed of each conference...

… would be the eight teams represented for the Phase 2 drawing for the first-overall selection with the same equal odds that would have been used for the teams that didn’t advance in the qualifying round. In this case, Carolina would pick 19th with Toronto’s pick and send their own (23rd) to the Rangers.