Detroit Red Wings: Organizations’ future hinges on tonight’s NHL lottery

(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Tonight we will learn whether or not the Detroit Red Wings will win the NHL Draft lottery or fall in the draft order once again.

It’s crazy to think that the Detroit Red Wings are once again hoping to land the first overall pick in the NHL draft for the fourth straight year.  It seems like it’s been ten years since the Red Wings have been competitive, and you could argue that to be true after the organization continued to limp their way into the playoffs only to be swiftly eliminated in the first round.

For years the Detroit Red Wings organization took pride in the 25-year playoff streak but failed to realize it was deteriorating the franchise.  Year after year, the Red Wings struggled to replenish their prospect pool with elite talent due to the fact they’d always be picking in the ’20s rather than conceding that playoff streak knowing they didn’t have the horses to make a run at another Stanley Cup championship.

The Detroit Red Wings are desperate to land a top tier talent like Alexis Lafrenière with the first overall pick.  The forward isn’t just an impactful player; he’s likely to immediately play as a top-six forward on this underwhelming group of players head coach Jeff Blashill has at his disposal.

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It’s exciting to ponder a Red Wings top line that may consist of Lafrenière, Dylan Larkin, and Anthony Mantha.  Now, we’re talking.  Lafrenière is precisely the type or generational talent general manager Steve Yzerman needs to get things turned around and pointed in the right direction in Detroit.

Tonight the top three picks will be determined in three separate drawings.  The Ottawa Senators own the top odds of landing the first overall pick when you combine their 13.5% chance along with the 11.5% chance they’ve added via a trade with the San Jose Sharks.  Their 25% chance of acquiring the top overall pick edges out the Red Wings 18.5% after finishing dead last in the entire NHL this past season.

The thought of falling back in the draft order for a fourth straight season leaves me with an unsettled stomach.

Sure, there are plenty of talented players that will be selected in the first ten picks of the draft, but when you consider the current state of the Detroit Red Wings, it’s Lafrenière or bust.

The Red Wings can’t afford to miss out on the talented Lafrenière, who accumulated 112 points, 35 of which were goals playing with Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL. The left-winger stands 6-foot-1 and plays around 195-pounds.

Lafrenière earned himself Canadian Hockey League player of the year in back-to-back seasons.  The young forward led Team Canada to a gold medal in the World Junior tournament this past Winter, scoring 10 points in 10 games played.  He’d later be named as the tournament’s MVP.

Next. 2020 NHL Draft Lottery means the wait is finally over. dark

If the Red Wings indeed corral the top pick, it will be first overall pick since the team selected Joe Murphy first overall in 1986.  The lottery will take place tonight at 8 p.m. The event will be broadcasted live on NHL Network and NBCSN.