The NHL is doing its best to fill the void. With the season halted since March 12th and no hockey seemingly on the horizon until July at the earliest, the league has been pushing the idea of hosting a virtual Entry Draft in early June.
Last week Bill Daly, the NHL’s Deputy Commissioner, reportedly sent a memo to all 31 teams making the case for an early Draft.
There are obviously all sorts of issues that come with holding the Draft prior to the conclusion of the season. Elliotte Friedman listed them all including the league’s proposed solutions. Here, I’m going to go through each to illustrate the effects each will have on the Golden Knights.
Using each team’s points percentage to determine the Order of Selection. (That’s under the current playoff format, so 16 teams would be out of the lottery and 15 would be in.) -Elliotte Friedman, TSN.ca
That would mean the Golden Knights’ 1st round pick would happen at #24. Vegas is without a 2nd round selection but hold four more selections in the 2020 Draft.
1st – #24
3rd (from NJD) – #68
3rd – #86
6th – #179
7th – #210
There’s a chance this could have negatively affected the Golden Knights a bit as Vegas was set to play out the rest of the regular season without Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty. On February 12th, just one month before the league stopped, the Golden Knights were in 17th by points percentage, but 11 wins in 13 before the pause shot Vegas up the standings.
We’ll obviously never know how things would have played out, but it’s reasonable to think Vegas was at its peak when the season was postponed. Six teams were within .027 points percentage of the Golden Knights while Vegas had only one team within that range above them. So, Vegas could have reasonably fallen as low as about 15th (draft selection 17), while risen as high as 7th (draft selection 25).
However, points/points percentage only comes into play if a team busts out of the playoffs prior to the conference finals. So, if the season were to resume and the Golden Knights were to make it out of the first two rounds, their pick would have dropped to 28-31.
All in all, using points percentage as of March 12th isn’t ideal for the Golden Knights, but selecting 24th isn’t the end of the world, and if the season does resume, they’ll have the chance to make #24 look like a gift by winning at least two playoff rounds.
Changing the lottery format this season only — picking just one winner, and limiting any move-up to a maximum of four spots. -Friedman, TSN.ca