The Detroit Red Wings and their fans suffered through the worst season in over three decades in 2019-20, amassing only 39 points prior to the COVID-19 pandemic forced the shutdown of the season on March 12.
The hope all year was that Detroit would at least be able to reap the benefits of the top overall draft selection, which was ultimately used to select QMJHL forward Alexis Lafreniere.
The only problem was that Detroit never got the change to land Lafreniere – or the next two top draft positions.
The NHL Draft Lottery drawing in late June saw the Red Wings land the No. 4 overall pick behind the Senators and Kings, who both were ahead of Detroit in the standings – with the New York Rangers, who lost in the qualifying round of the 2020 playoffs, landing the first pick.
The Red Wings have actually dropped in the lottery compared to where they finished in the standings the past four seasons.
And now, things are changing.
According to sources, the NHL has approved changes to the Draft Lottery system. Among the changes is the reduction to two teams from three that will be determined via lottery for the top two spots, as well as a team being able to win the lottery no more than twice in a five year span. The team who finishes with the worst record in 2021 will drop no father than 3rd in the lottery.
This year’s NHL Draft is tentatively scheduled for July 23-24, though no date has been announced for the draft lottery. Currently, the Red Wings sit in 28th spot in the NHL in terms of points earned.