New York Rangers awarded first-overall selection in 2020 NHL Draft

The New York Rangers win the first overall pick at the 202 NHL Draft Lottery, with a chance to select Alex Lafreniere from the QMJHL.

The New York Rangers have won the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

In doing so, they’ve earned the chance to draft likely first-overall pick Alexis Lafreniere, the Rimouski Oceanic standout who recently became the only player aside from Sidney Crosby to nab back-to-back QMJHL MVP honours.

Lafreniere will join an up-and-coming Rangers team that recently re-tooled with some key additions — most notably, dynamic winger Artemi Panarin, whose career-best 95-point campaign earned him a Hart Trophy nomination this season.

That accelerated rebuild has come with a youth movement as well, as New York added Finnish standout Kaapo Kakko with the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft, and has fellow young stars like Adam Fox and Igor Shesterkin in the fold, too.

The news was announced Monday during the Second Phase of the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery, which saw the eight teams eliminated from the post-season’s Qualifying Round each enter the day with an identical 12.5-per cent chance of being granted the first-overall pick.

The First Phase of the lottery locked up picks two through eight. Now, with the final puzzle piece awarded to New York, the top slate of the 2020 NHL Draft is officially laid out, allowing the teams involved to move forward with assessing their options among this year’s draft class or exploring a potential trade.

Here’s how the first round looks to shake out, now that the Second Phase is in the books:

The two-phase lottery was implemented due to the lengthy pause that interrupted the NHL’s 2019-20 campaign, that hiatus coming as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that brought professional sports to a halt globally.

Originally scheduled to take place in June, the 2020 NHL Draft has been rescheduled to Oct. 9-10 and will be held online.

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