The Lafreniere lottery was won by the New York Rangers.
Yes, a team that was on pace for a 90-plus-point season will select first overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
Which means a year after the Rangers selected second overall, taking the talented winger Kappo Kakko, the Blueshirts are projected to select sensation Alexis Lafreniere, the gifted forward expected to make an immediate impact on the franchise.
Fair? Of course not, because it’s a lottery.
When you buy a lotto ticket you do so knowing the likelihood of winning the jackpot — and you’re OK with that.
The draft lottery is the same way.
Yes, some teams have a better chance to win, but in the end, it’s not just about the odds, it’s luck. It’s a bunch of numbered balls dancing around together.
Think of settling in on a Saturday evening to watch Kathy Kennedy call out Kinsmen Jackpot Bingo: she doesn’t always call out what you need to win and you know that will likely be the case. But you play because there is a chance she just might — just like there is a chance that each lottery team, which are all non-playoff teams, may end up with a first-overall selection.
Case in point, the Rangers, who finished 11th in the Eastern Conference, 18th in the 31-team league, who won the lottery over last-place Detroit. It may suck for the cellar-dweller Red Wings, who had the best odds to win big, but that’s the way the balls bounce.
The Winnipeg Jets, who had a chance at the No. 1 spot, will pick 10th in the draft.