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What you need to know about COVID-19: October 9, 2020
Now the focus can turn squarely to the NHL draft for the Ottawa Senators.
Yes, general manager Pierre Dorion, assistant GM Peter MacTavish, chief scout Trent Mann and the rest of the staff have done a boatload of preparations, but with the NHL closing in on a final plan to Return to Play with a 24-team tournament in the summer, the league is also expected to finalize what route it’s going to take with the 2020 lottery and draft sometime in the future.
The decision by the NHL Players’ Association on Friday night to accept the league’s proposal to return with 24 teams in the summer to award the Stanley Cup was one of the elements commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly were waiting on before finalizing plans for the draft.
The NHL has decided it will use the winning percentage in the games they played before the league paused to determine the odds in the draft. That means the Detroit Red Wings will have an 18.5 per cent chance of winning the lottery while the Senators are going to have a 13.5 per cent chance with their own pick and an 11.5 per cent opportunity with selection they have from the San Jose Sharks in the Erik Karlsson deal.
The Senators also own a third pick in the first round, which they acquired from the New York Islanders in a deal for Jean-Gabriel Pageau at the deadline.
Daly indicated in an email Wednesday there are a lot of moving parts involved with making a decision on the lottery and the draft, but was hopeful there’d be something in place this week. There’s been a lot of opposition from some GMs about holding the draft before the regular season is technically completed, which is why the league has studied several different formats for the lottery.
The NHL would like to hold the lottery next month and the draft later in the summer.
“For our scouts, they’re really well-prepared for this draft,” Dorion said in a conference call last month. “We knew heading into the trade deadline that this would be a draft where we have a lot of picks. We were ready. We’re even more ready and we’re looking forward to the draft.”
The Senators have seven picks in the first two rounds, nine in the first three rounds and 13 in total in what’s considered to be a strong draft.
“We did our homework and in this plan, with the rebuild, we always felt that this 2020 draft would be one of the deepest that’s coming along in many years,” Dorion said. “For us, having the chance to have two picks in the top five is something that we’re fortunate (to have) and we’ll be ready for.
“At the same time, we feel it’s a good draft class for the first 20, where you’re going to get really good NHL players. From then on, for the first three rounds, we feel there will be a lot of regular NHL players in the first three rounds that will be no-brainers. We’re really excited about this draft pick, and, when it happens, we’re looking forward to making all these selections.”
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020