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Red Wings will find out Friday if they'll pick first in NHL Entry Draft

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — The NHL will hold its 2020 Entry Draft Lottery at 8 p.m. Friday.

The lottery will be held at the NHL Network’s studio in Secaucus, N.J., and be broadcast live on NBCSN and NHL Network.

Alexis Lafreniere

The Red Wings, by virtue of having the NHL's worst regular-season record before the pandemic shut down the season in mid-March, have an 18.5-percent chance of winning the lottery and selecting first.

But, Ottawa, which has its own pick (second-worst record, 13.5 percent) and San Jose’s pick (the Sharks had the third-worst record, 11.5 percent), have a better combined chance of winning the top pick.

The Red Wings can pick no worse than fourth overall.

The 2020 Entry Draft Lottery will be held in two phases, this season, if necessary.

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Fifteen teams will be eligible in Phase 1 of Friday’s lottery — the seven teams that have not qualified for the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs (the Wings are in this group) and eight “placeholders” that represent the to-be-determined qualifying-round teams that do not advance in the upcoming playoff tournament.

Only the top three picks in the 2020 Entry Draft will be awarded via the lottery.

If any of the eight teams in the qualifying round are selected in any of the three picks Friday, it’ll force a Phase 2 of the lottery that would take place between the qualifying round and first round of the NHL playoffs.

It’s generally considered the No. 1 pick in the Entry Draft will be forward Alexis Lafreniere. The 6-foot-1, 186-pound left wing concluded a dominating junior career for Rimouski in the Quebec junior league with 112 points (35 goals) in only 52 games.

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Lafreniere also dominated for Canada in the world junior championships, leading his country to the gold medal with 10 points (four goals, six assists) in five games.

After Lafreniere, there are a pool of players expected to be potential top-five picks. Forwards Quinton Byfield, Tim Stutzle and Cole Perfetti (Saginaw/OHL), defenseman Jamie Drysdale, and goalie Yaroslav Askarov all are highly-regarded potential picks after Lafreniere.

As for the actual NHL Entry Draft, that too has a date and time yet to be determined, given the unknown exact times and dates of the upcoming playoffs. If the playoffs are completed as expected, it should sometime in mid- to late-October.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

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