NHL draft lottery

2020 NHL Draft postponed Combine Awards
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2020 NHL Draft, Combine, Awards have been postponed

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While the 2019-20 season remains on “pause,” the NHL announced that the 2020 NHL Draft, Combine, and Awards have all been postponed.

The league explains that the “location, timing, and format” of the 2020 NHL Draft (and corresponding lottery) will be announced once details have been finalized. This makes sense, as The Athletic’s Craig Custance reports that the league and team executives are battering around different ideas about how to handle the lottery (sub required).

(Sadly, Custance’s report also mostly shoots down the most-fun ideas, like a tournament among cellar dwellers to decide who gets the top pick. Perhaps that would be too exciting?)

The Combine was originally set for June 1-6 in Buffalo, the awards ceremony was going to take place in Las Vegas once again on June 18, while the 2020 NHL Draft was originally set for June 26-27 in Montreal.

If the NHL parallels other sports leagues, these events will likely be handled mostly online and in scaled-down formats, but we’ll wait and see.

Lamenting the Draft, Combine, Awards being postponed

Those looking for the biggest losers of this announcement will focus on:

  • Scouts, and other people who want to know if someone can or cannot do pull-ups.
  • People who love to laugh at awkward Combine photos, assuming that sweaty event doesn’t happen at all.

Actually, quick question. Which genre of Combine photo is more amusing? Do you rate the various funny faces while lifting shots the highest?

NHL Draft Lottery postponed no Combine lifting faces Lias Andersson
Sorry, Lias Andersson. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

… Or those V02 tests from earlier Combines, where the shenanigans went from cheeky to cruel once they got rid of those masks? (Waits for bad Bane impressions.)

NHL Draft Lottery postponed no Combine Bane Leon Draisaitl
Sorry, too, to Leon Draisaitl (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Actually, the answer is probably c) wild hockey hair photos.

NHL Draft Lottery postponed no Combine Timothy Liljegren
Timothy Liljegren somehow not touching one of those static energy machines at a science museum (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
  • Also losing: anyone wondering if Kenan Thompson would be back for another strong Awards performance. Would his rivalry with the Lightning have continued? We may never know.

Anyway, we still await bigger announcements regarding the 2019-20 NHL season, but now we know that the Draft, Combine, and Awards will be postponed. (Again, it’s fair to wonder how the Combine can really function. Rigorous workouts on Skype or Zoom? I’m running out of streaming platforms here, gang.)

Let’s be honest, shutting down the Awards in Vegas was kind of a no-brainer for public health, if nothing else. Trust me on that one.

MORE:

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Push for the Playoffs: In the event the push doesn’t go on pause

Push for the Playoffs if NHL does not pause regular season
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(Update: The NHL decided to “pause” the 2019-20 season, so Thursday’s games have been canceled. Read more.)

Push for the Playoffs will run every morning through the end of the 2019-20 NHL season, barring a pause. We’ll highlight the current playoff picture in both conferences, take a look at what the first-round matchups might look like, see who’s leading the race for the best odds in the draft lottery and more.

As discussed in Thursday’s Morning Skate, it’s difficult to ignore the elephant in the room. While the NHL pushed the decision back on Wednesday, they’ll need to make the call soon. Will they put the season (and thus the Push for the Playoffs) on pause because of the coronavirus, much like the NBA, or will there be another solution? Could we see each team play multiple games in empty arenas?

A lot is unknown as of this writing.

Frankly, there’s also a lot to settle when it comes to various playoff races. If Thursday’s 10 games do take place, they will have serious implications for the standings.

Teams in dogfights for playoff spots cannot allow distractions to disrupt their games. That’s easier said than done, but teams like the Hurricanes, Panthers, Predators, Islanders, Coyotes, and others have little choice but to battle until the league blows the whistle to pause the Push for the Playoffs … you know, or not.

IF PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Bruins vs. Blue Jackets
Capitals vs. Hurricanes
Lightning vs. Maple Leafs
Flyers vs. Penguins

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Blues vs. Predators
Golden Knights vs. Jets
Avalanche vs. Stars
Oilers vs. Flames

TODAY’S GAMES WITH PLAYOFF CONTENDERS

Games canceled, season put on hold.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

 

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via Hockey Reference)

Bruins – 100 percent
Lightning – 100 percent
Capitals – 99.9
Flyers – 99.4
Penguins – 95.5
Hurricanes – 79.3
Maple Leafs – 73.9
Islanders – 53.2
Panthers – 43.6
Blue Jackets – 33
Rangers – 22.2
Canadiens – 0
Sabres – 0
Senators – 0
Devils – 0
Red Wings – OUT

WESTERN CONFERENCE

 

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via Hockey Reference)

Blues – 100 percent
Avalanche – 100
Golden Knights – 99
Stars – 95.6
Oilers – 93.3
Canucks – 67.9
Flames – 65
Jets – 56.8
Predators – 54.7
Wild – 49.6
Coyotes – 15.5
Blackhawks – 2.6
Ducks – 0
Kings – 0
Sharks – 0

THE DRAFT LOTTERY PICTURE

Detroit Red Wings — 18.5 percent
Ottawa Senators  — 13.5 percent
Ottawa Senators* — 11.5 percent
Los Angeles Kings — 9.5 percent
Anaheim Ducks — 8.5 percent
New Jersey Devils — 7.5 percent
Buffalo Sabres — 6.5 percent
Montreal Canadiens — 6 percent
Chicago Blackhawks — 5 percent
New Jersey Devils** — 3.5 percent
Minnesota Wild  — 3 percent
Winnipeg Jets — 2.5 percent
New York Rangers — 2 percent
Florida Panthers — 1.5 percent
Columbus Blue Jackets — 1 percent

(* SJ’s 2020 first-round pick owned by OTT)
(** ARZ’s lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick owned by NJ. If top three, moves to 2021)

ART ROSS TROPHY RACE

Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 110 points
Connor McDavid, Oilers – 97 points
David Pastrnak, Bruins – 95 points
Artemi Panarin, Rangers – 95 points
Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche – 93 points

ROCKET RICHARD RACE

David Pastrnak, Bruins – 48 goals
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals – 48 goals
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 47 goals
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 43 goals
Mika Zibanejad, Rangers – 41 goals

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Push for the Playoffs: Big game between Predators and Wild

Push for Playoffs Predators Wild
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Push for the Playoffs will run every morning through the end of the 2019-20 NHL season. We’ll highlight the current playoff picture in both conferences, take a look at what the first-round matchups might look like, see who’s leading the race for the best odds in the draft lottery and more.

Plenty of teams face playoff implications on Tuesday, but the Predators and Wild rank among those with the most urgency. So, in taking on each other, two teams on similarly bumpy paths try to push the other off-road.

Nashville might feel especially dazed despite needing to push for the playoffs.

To start, they must quickly shake off a stunning 8-3 loss to the Oilers from Monday. Pekka Rinne and the Predators imploded during a cataclysmic third period where Edmonton scored five goals in less than six minutes. John Hynes was not pleased with the Predators’ (lack of) pushback.

“We didn’t come out with any intensity,” Hynes said of his team’s effort in the third period, via The Tennessean. “No emotion. Lackadaisical with the puck. Soft in puck battles.

“That’s something we’re going to have to discuss (Tuesday), how we come out in a tie game at home and have zero passion, focus, intensity level, (with the) game on the line. Lots of time you like to give your opponent credit, but I thought the third period for us was no good.”

On a more personal note, the Predators also must try to maintain focus after tornadoes caused casualties and heavy damage in the Nashville area.

The Wild saw their own recent loss boil down to brief-but-blistering breakdowns, so both teams must work to head into a significant test with the right mindset. A regulation win for either team would be big for their Push for the Playoffs.

IF PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Bruins vs. Blue Jackets
Capitals vs. Islanders
Lightning vs. Maple Leafs
Flyers vs. Penguins

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Blues vs. Predators
Golden Knights vs. Canucks
Avalanche vs. Stars
Oilers vs. Flames

TODAY’S GAMES WITH PLAYOFF CONTENDERS
Canadiens at Islanders, 7 p.m. ET
Blues at Rangers, 7 p.m. ET
Senators at Penguins, 7 p.m. ET
Bruins at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. ET (watch live on NBCSN)
Predators at Wild, 8 p.m. ET
Sabres at Jets, 8 p.m. ET
Ducks at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. ET
Oilers at Stars, 8:30 p.m. ET
Devils at Golden Knights, 10 p.m. ET
Maple Leafs at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. ET

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES(Via Hockey Reference)
Bruins: 100 percent
Lightning: 100
Capitals: 99.9
Flyers: 97.6
Penguins: 93.1
Maple Leafs: 87.8
Islanders: 81.2
Hurricanes: 57.2
Blue Jackets: 34
Rangers: 29.1
Panthers: 18.2
Canadiens: 1.4
Sabres: 0.5
Devils: 0
Senators: 0
Red Wings: out

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (Via Hockey Reference)
Avalanche: 100 percent
Blues: 100
Stars: 99.7
Golden Knights: 96.1
Oilers: 94.7
Canucks: 81.4
Flames: 63.7
Wild: 48
Predators: 46.2
Coyotes: 3.7
Jets: 29.7
Blackhawks: 7.8
Ducks: 0
Sharks: 0
Kings: 0

THE DRAFT LOTTERY PICTURE
Red Wings – 18.5 percent
Kings – 13.5 percent
Senators – 11. 5 percent
Ducks – 9.5 percent
Senators – 8.5 percent*
Devils – 7.5 percent
Blackhawks – 6.5 percent
Sabres – 6 percent
Canadiens – 5 percent
Devils – 3.5 percent**
Jets – 3 percent
Wild – 2.5 percent
Panthers – 2 percent
Rangers – 1.5 percent
Blue Jackets – 1 percent

(* SJ’s 2020 first-round pick owned by OTT)
(** ARZ’s lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick owned by NJ. If top three, moves to 2021)

ART ROSS RACE
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 107 points
Connor McDavid, Oilers – 94 points
David Pastrnak, Bruins – 91 points
Artemi Panarin, Rangers – 90 points
Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche – 86 points

ROCKET RICHARD RACE
David Pastrnak, Bruins – 47 goals
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals – 45 goals
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 45 goals
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 43 goals
Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes – 36 goals

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

NHL 2019 Draft Lottery: Details, No. 1 pick odds, top prospects

Now that the 2018-19 season is over, we not only know the 16 teams that will vie for the Stanley Cup but also the teams who have their eyes on the top pick in June’s NHL Draft. One team that will have its eyes closed are the Ottawa Senators, who finished 31st in the league but do not have a first-round pick this year after dealing it away to the Colorado Avalanche in the Matt Duchene trade last season.

For the last four years, the draft lottery has taken place during the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The NHL announced last month that it is going back to the old way and holding it the night before the opening round begins — April 9th (NBCSN; 8 p.m. ET).

Per the NHL, here’s how it will work:

The 2019 NHL Draft Lottery will consist of three drawings: the 1st Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting first overall, the 2nd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting second overall and the 3rd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting third overall.

The odds for the remaining teams will increase on a proportionate basis for the 2nd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 1st Lottery Draw, and again for the 3rd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 2nd Lottery Draw.

The 12 clubs not selected in the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery will be assigned 2019 NHL Draft selections 4 through 15, in inverse order of regular-season points.

Via the NHL, the allocation of odds for the first Lottery Draw of the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery is as follows:

(Fewest Points to Most)               Odds
Colorado Avalanche (from OTT)  18.5%
Los Angeles Kings                         13.5%
New Jersey Devils                         11.5%
Detroit Red Wings                           9.5%
Buffalo Sabres                                 8.5%
New York Rangers                          7.5%
Edmonton Oilers                             6.5%
Anaheim Ducks                               6.0%
Vancouver Canucks                        5.0%
Philadelphia Flyers                          3.5%
Minnesota Wild                                3.0%
Chicago Blackhawks                       2.5%
Florida Panthers                              2.0%
Arizona Coyotes                              1.5%
Montreal Canadiens                        1.0%

Finally, here are the midterm NHL Central Scouting rankings of the top prospects in this year’s entry draft, which will be held June 21-22 in Vancouver. Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko are expected to be the top two selections.

North American Skaters

European Skaters

North American Goalies

European Goalies

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

NHL Draft Lottery to be held April 9

The 2018-19 NHL regular season will come to a close in less than a month, and over the next few weeks the playoff hopes of many teams will fizzle out and their eyes will turn to the draft lottery in hopes of winning the chance to select either Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko.

For the last four years, the draft lottery has taken place during the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The NHL announced on Wednesday that it is going back to the old way and holding it the night before the opening round begins — April 9th.

The draft lottery will feature the 15 teams that did not make the playoffs. This year, if they find a way to get into the postseason, could also see the Colorado Avalanche take part as they hold the Ottawa Senators’ first-round pick this season.

Per the NHL, here’s how it will work:

The 2019 NHL Draft Lottery will consist of three drawings: the 1st Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting first overall, the 2nd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting second overall and the 3rd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting third overall.

The odds for the remaining teams will increase on a proportionate basis for the 2nd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 1st Lottery Draw, and again for the 3rd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 2nd Lottery Draw.

The 12 clubs not selected in the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery will be assigned 2019 NHL Draft selections 4 through 15, in inverse order of regular-season points.

From Thursday’s latest Playoff Push update, here’s how the race for Hughes/Kakko looks:

Senators – 18.5 percent*
Red Wings – 13.5 percent
Kings – 11.5 percent
Devils – 9.5 percent
Ducks – 8.5 percent
Canucks – 7.5 percent
Rangers – 6.5 percent
Oilers – 6 percent
Sabres – 5 percent
Blackhawks – 3.5 percent
Avalanche – 3 percent
Panthers – 2.5 percent
Wild – 2 percent
Flyers – 1.5 percent
Canadiens – 1 percent
(*OTT’s 2019 first-round pick owned by COL)

The Avalanche are currently three points behind the Wild for the last wild card spot in the Western Conference, so they could very well have two chances at one of the top picks this season if they miss. That should go over well in Ottawa.

The 2019 NHL Draft will take place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The first round will be held Friday, June 21. Rounds 2-7 will take place Saturday, June 22.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.