Devils Fall to Seventh in Draft; Unknown Team to Pick First

Tonight, the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery set the order of picks for the teams who did not qualify for the postseason tournament… sort of. The first overall pick is up for grabs still, but at least we know where the Devils are picking.

The Devils, with an 87.5-percent chance of gaining pick number one for the third time in four years, actually fell a spot from sixth to seventh. They will have the seventh overall pick in the Draft later this Summer.

For the record, in his final mock draft, TSN’s Bob McKenzie had Austrian forward Marco Rossi at the seventh position. Obviously things can change based on who is taken before and what the Devils feel they need or want – which is something Martin Brodeur mentioned a lot in his interviews with Matt Loughlin on the Devils preshow and in his interview on NBCSN prior to the Draft Lottery itself – that the Devils were going to be drafting for the future, not the present.

Rossi was the first European-born player to lead the Ontario Hockey League in scoring when he notched 129 points (39 goals and 81 assists) for the Ottawa 67’s last season according to

The rest of the known first round sees Buffalo picking behind the Devils at the eighth spot, then Anaheim just above the Devils at six, Ottawa (their own pick) at fifth, Detroit at fourth (the Red Wings actually had the best odds on their own of getting the first overall pick, so this has to be disappointing to them), Ottawa (via San Jose) at three, Los Angeles at number two and an unknown team getting the rights to pick Alexis Lafreniere at number one.

The unknown team will be one of the teams that qualified for the play-in round but get bounced and do not make the playoffs. As a refresher, the 16 teams that are in the qualifying round are: Carolina, the Rangers, Florida, the Islanders, Columbus, Toronto, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Arizona, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Minnesota, Chicago and Vancouver.

Once eight of those teams are eliminated, they will be put back into phase two of the Lottery and Lafreniere will know his destination. The second part of the Lottery will obviously take place following the qualifying round of the NHL’s Return to Play initiative.

This kind of adds another layer of intrigue to the qualifying round. Eight teams will continue on to the playoffs while eight teams will take their chances at another lottery and the rights to the first overall pick. Keep in mind that, technically, the qualifying round is not the playoffs so nobody is making the playoffs and also getting the first overall pick in the Draft.

While this may be a little disappointing to Devils fans, keep in mind that the top ten of this Draft are very deep and we will likely be ending up with a good player no matter what. Plus, there is still the matter of Arizona (the Taylor Hall trade) and Vancouver’s (via the trade that sent Blake Coleman to Tampa Bay) first round picks to hash out for the Devils. That, again, hinges on the qualifying round. There should be a lot to look for once hockey gets going again and that makes it all the more exciting.

Devils to Host Virtual Draft Lottery Show on June 26

The Devils sent out a press release today announcing plans for a Virtual Draft Lottery Show to be held on Friday, June 26.

The show, presented by New Jersey Lottery – appropriately enough, will run from 7:30 PM to 8:45 PM EST on the day of the NHL Draft Lottery.

The press release noted that Devils season ticket members, known now as “The Black and Red,” will be able to access “a 30-minute Exclusive Pre-Show at 7:30 p.m. EST prior to the 8 p.m. EST start for the general public.”

The show will be presented on the Devils’ official website ( but will also be accessible via and on the Devils’ social media channels (@NJDevils).

The press release then ran down the odds for the Devils: sixth best in the Lottery – a 7.5 percent chance to come out first overall. It also mentioned the Devils’ past success in getting the first overall pick from the Lottery. Of course, 2017 netted us Nico Hischier while 2019 got us Jack Hughes.

The Draft Lottery will be shown on TV itself – NBCSN in the United States and Sportsnet and TVA in Canada. It will also be “streamed across NHL digital and social platforms.”

The press release outlined the Devils’ Lottery Show itself. It will kick off with TJ the DJ playing “iconic songs heard at Prudential Center” and mascot NJ Devil. There will be interactive events for the fans for chances to win prizes. These prizes include such things as “virtually signed photos and retweets from New Jersey Devils players.” The contests will include ‘Lottery Predict the Pick’ and virtual trivia.

There will be an “hour of live programming highlighting exclusive interviews with New Jersey Devil players, Alumni, management and others.” These guests include Hughes, Martin Brodeur and Chico Resch in the 7:30 PM “Black and Red” portion.

When the show starts proper at 8 PM, guests will include Hischier, Travis Zajac, women’s Olympian Meghan Duggan, Interim General Manager Tom Fitzgerald, Devils President Jake Reynolds and more.

According to the presser, the event will be hosted by Devils media personalities Matt Loughlin, Amanda Stein and Chris Wescott.

The release ended with some quotes including this one from Reynolds: “The New Jersey Devils fan base is one of the most passionate in the NHL, and we are reminded of that when one year ago, thousands of Devils fans filled Championship Plaza for the Devils 2019 Draft Festival. The virtual Draft Lottery Show Presented by New Jersey Lottery is one way that we are honoring our fans’ appetite for Draft insights from the best minds in hockey, the stars on our team and special guests. We are thrilled to share this experience with our fans in an innovative and entertaining way.”

James Carey, Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery said: “As part of the New Jersey Lottery’s ongoing partnership with the Devils, we are always looking to engage with Devils fans around the state in fun and innovative ways. We believe ‘Anything can happen in Jersey,’ and the virtual Draft Lottery is a perfect example of that. We are thrilled to maintain the Lottery’s close connection to Devils fans on various social and digital platforms as part of this exciting event.”