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When is the NHL Draft 2020? New date, time, pick order & more

Sporting News — (Jackie Spiegel)

The NHL Draft is always a critical juncture in hockey's calendar.

With the newest Stanley Cup champion normally anointed a week or two prior, it officially signifies the onset of preparations for the upcoming season and the future for the NHL's 31 franchises. 

Things are a bit different this year after the COVID-19 pandemic paused the season and shifted everything around. The 2020 draft was originally set to take place June 26 and 27 and at Montreal's Bell Centre for the first time since 2009, when John Tavares was selected first overall by the Islanders. The league announced the postponement of the draft and scouting combine on March 25, which also put the draft lottery on the back burner. 

Now, though, things are officially a go. 

Sporting News has everything you need to know about the rescheduled 2020 NHL Draft.

When will the 2020 NHL Draft take place?

After months of speculation and a little jiggering, the official dates of the NHL Draft were announced Sept. 11.

Round 1

  • Date: Tuesday, Oct. 6
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET | 4 p.m. PT
  • TV channel (USA): NBCSN
  • TV channel (Canada): Sportsnet, TVA

Rounds 2-7

  • Date: Wednesday, Oct. 7
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. ET | 8:30 a.m. PT
  • TV channel (USA): NHL Network
  • TV channel (Canada): Sportsnet

MORE: Top NHL free agents | All 31 teams' UFAs, RFAs

Where will the 2020 NHL Draft take place?

As mentioned, this year's draft was supposed to be in Montreal but now, like every other sports league in 2020, the draft is expected to take place virtually. 

What happened with the draft lottery?

The draft lottery happened in two parts; the first on June 26 and the second on Aug. 10. Why were there two rounds? Well . . . that'll take some explanation.

Normally, the draft lottery includes the 15 teams that don't make the postseason. This year, the seven teams that were not invited to the bubble were there — the Red Wings, Senators, Kings, Ducks, Devils, Sharks (whose pick went to Ottawa) and Sabres — along with eight unnamed teams. Those unnamed teams would eventually be the eight teams eliminated in the qualifying round.

That was Phase 1. Why was this a two-parter? Because chaos happened on June 26 — an unnamed team jumped the seven worst teams for the No. 1 pick, thus activating Phase 2.

Phase 2 in August had tons of tension and drama. In the end, the Rangers' ping pong ball was sucked up the tube for the top pick.

MORE: Rangers win lottery | Was it rigged?

Who is expected to be the No. 1 pick?

The pick has been cemented for some time: Alexis Lafreniere will be tapped first overall. Ranked the top skater among North Americans by the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau, the 6-1, 193-pound left winger torched the competition in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) this past season. He led the league with 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists) in 52 games for the Rimouski Oceanic. 

MORE: Who is Alexis Lafreniere?

What does the draft order look like?

While the exact order won't be known until teams walk to their virtual podium and make their picks, teams have already swapped spots — some at the trade deadline last winter and some since being bounced from the bubble.

MORE: 2020 NHL offseason trade tracker

Here's the current order for the first round:

TEAM
1. New York Rangers
2. Los Angeles Kings
3. Ottawa Senators (from SJS)
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Ottawa Senators
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. New Jersey Devils
8. Buffalo Sabres
9. Minnesota Wild
10. Winnipeg Jets
11. Nashville Predators
12. Florida Panthers
13. Carolina Hurricanes (from TOR)
14. Edmonton Oilers
15. Toronto Maple Leafs (from PIT)
16. Montreal Canadiens
17. Chicago Blackhawks
18. New Jersey Devils (from ARI)
19. Calgary Flames
20. New Jersey Devils (from VAN via TBL)
21. Columbus Blue Jackets
22. New York Rangers (from CAR)
23. Philadelphia Flyers
24. Washington Capitals
25. Colorado Avalanche
26. St. Louis Blues
27. Anaheim Ducks (from BOS)
28. Ottawa Senators (from NYI)
29. Vegas Golden Knights
30. Dallas Stars
31. San Jose Sharks (from TBL)

For the full draft order, Rounds 1-7, click here.