There’s one team the Vegas Golden Knights hope don’t strike gold in the NHL Draft Lottery tonight.
We live in strange times and, in keeping with the current climate, we are set for Phase 2 of the NHL Lottery later although the Vegas Golden Knights won’t be involved.
Those teams recently eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs Qualifying Round will be involved however after a placeholder team won the No.1 overall pick in the original Lottery Draft, and one of those franchises will have their future altered later.
All eight teams eliminated each have a 12.5 percent chance of winning the Lottery and the chance to draft generational talent Alexis Lafreniere with the No.1 overall pick.
The 18-year-old recorded a staggering 297 points in 173 games for the Rimouski Oceanic, which is at a 1.72 points per game pace by the way, and the talent would give any team a boatload of firepower.
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Vegas fans in need of a hockey fix before the Stanley Cup Playoffs start on Tuesday can watch Phase 2 of the NHL Lottery Draft at 3:00 p.m. PT on NBCSN and the NHL Network.
The Golden Knights won’t be in the running for the future face of the franchise, of course, but that’s the fair swap you make when you are a genuine Stanley Cup contender.
After all, Vegas won’t be dreaming of Lafreniere if they succeed in their ultimate goal of lifting the Stanley Cup this year.
However, there is one clear reason why the Knights probably will be invested in the festivities tonight.
Of the eight teams currently praying for a gift from the Gods to fall into their laps, there is one the Golden Knights will be hoping doesn’t get so lucky.
Step forward the Edmonton Oilers.
There are four Western Conference teams that could win the Lottery tonight, including the Nashville Predators, the Minnesota Wild and the Winnipeg Jets, but only the Oilers are in the same Division as Vegas.
While it would be better if Lafreniere ended up in the Eastern Conference, the Knights could probably get over it if the stud forward ended up on the Preds, the Jets or the Wild.
But it would be a different story if Lafreniere became an Oiler.
For starters, the Golden Knights would end up seeing the winger a hell of a lot if he ended up in the Division and the Pacific is packed to the brim with enough exciting young talent as it is.
But the main fear is just imagine who Lafreniere would be playing with.
Yes, that’s right. Two of the best players in the National Hockey League right now would be getting another shiny weapon to aid to their pursuit of the Stanley Cup.
The mere thought of Draisaitl, McDavid and Lafreniere on the same roster is just scary.
And, with the LA Kings and the Anaheim Ducks rebuilding and the San Jose Sharks swimming in dangerous waters, the Pacific is wide open.
So the Oilers adding another superstar to a team that already has two of the world’s best at its disposal would spell trouble for Vegas’ hopes of dominance in the Pacific.
Also, Lafreniere would be under control for three years on a rookie deal, thus giving the Oilers cap flexibility to go out and add other pieces.
Let’s be honest too, Edmonton has had four first overall picks already from 2010-15 and it almost wouldn’t be fair if they got another one tonight.
Granted, from a hockey fanatic point of view it would be a hell of a lot fun to watch McDavid, Draisaitl and Lafreniere all on the same team wreaking absolute havoc on the rest of the NHL.
But, for the Vegas Golden Knights, their hopes of being the dominant force in the Western Conference for the foreseeable future would be significantly threatened if the Edmonton Oilers win the jackpot later.
Let’s hope for the Golden Knights’ sake that some other team, preferably one from the Eastern Conference, wins the 2020 NHL Lottery Draft and the chance to draft a generational talent in Alexis Lafreniere.