BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — The Buffalo Sabres will likely find out where they'll be drafting on Friday evening when the NHL holds their draft lottery for 2020. This year, the league is breaking the lottery into two phases.
Here are the official 2020 NHL Draft Lottery rules explained from the league [courtesy NHL.com]:
-The top three picks in the 2020 NHL Draft will be awarded via the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery: the 1st Lottery Draw will determine the team selecting first overall, the 2nd Lottery Draw will determine the team selecting second overall and the 3rd Lottery Draw will determine the team selecting third overall.
-The 2020 NHL Draft Lottery will be held in two phases, if necessary.
-Fifteen teams will be eligible in Phase 1 of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery (which will be held June 26): the seven teams that already have not qualified for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs – ranked in inverse order of their points percentages at the time of the pause in the regular season – and eight “placeholders” that represent the to-be-determined Qualifying Round teams that do not advance, thus maintaining previously established odds for the Draft Lottery.
So what does that mean for the Sabres? They'll have a 6.5% chance at landing the first overall pick in the 2020 Draft. The worst they can pick will be No. 10 overall, although they are most likely to land either pick No. 7 or pick No. 8.