Image c/o: SNO
The National Hockey League’s draft Lottery took place Monday evening, and it’s safe to say that New York Ranger fans have the upper hand.
The initial draft lottery was in June, and covered seven teams that, unfortunately, did not qualify for this summer’s expanded twenty-four team tournament.
In June, each team that did not make the playoffs had a chance to qualify for the first overall pick. During that selection, the seven qualifying teams were not granted the pick, instead, a placeholder ball was chosen. Meaning, the pick would go to one of the teams playing in the Play-Ins. Due to the coronavirus, NHL was on a time restraint, so they expanded the playoffs to twenty-four teams of which, sixteen teams would advance to the playoffs. The eight teams that were eliminated went into the draft loto for the first overall pick.
The winner of the August lottery for the first draft pick was granted to the New York Rangers, which made this their sixth first-round pick over the past three years. With that being said, the number one selection this season looks like eighteen year-old Alexis Lafreniere, a left wing from Quebec. An NHL Central Scout voices, “Lafreniere offers high-end puck skills and vision to create plays, has an impressive complete level every time he’s on the ice, and elevates his game in pressure situations while demanding leadership skills… every game I have seen him play, certain plays are made that we don’t even think are possible, but he still gets them done.”
The Rangers have not chosen a specific person for their number one draft pick yet, but as everyone suspects Alexis Lafreniere is looking like a good candidate. Jeff Gorton, general manager of the New York Rangers states, “We knew we needed luck, and luck was on outside tonight.” Luck aside, there are many conspiracy theories behind their win.
Claims and rumors have emerged insisting that the league rigged the draft. If there is one thing sports fans enjoy, it’s making claims as to why their team was given the unfair hand, so, of course, not much light has been given to this rumor. Some hockey fans are claiming that the Rangers ball was a different weight explaining why they won the lottery, however others are convinced that the way the rangers ball was dropped into the ping pong ball machine was unlike the way the other NHL balls were dropped.
In all, the New York Rangers won the draft pick and everyone is on the edge of their seats waiting for their next move. Will they choose Alexis Lafreniere or will they completely and utterly surprise Ranger fans with their number one pick?