At the start of the lottery unveiling, deputy commissioner Bill Daly was announced that one of the placeholder teams had jumped into the top three, giving the Kings a smaller probability of moving up. The bottom three picks, disclosed in reverse order, came in without surprise with Buffalo, New Jersey, and Anaheim at no. 8 through no. 6.
If the order had held, the Kings would have been at no. 5. However, Daly revealed Ottawa at no. 5, meaning that Los Angeles had leapfrogged at least one team into the top three picks. At this point, Bailey was sweating on the Zoom lottery party. Detroit fell to no. 4, its lowest possible outcome, and San Jose came in at no. 3, but the Sharks owe their pick to the Senators.
Then came the no. 1 pick, which was a placeholder team, leaving the Kings at no. 2. The last time that L.A. had the second pick was in 2008, when they selected Drew Doughty. The Kings also had the second pick in 1981 and 1986, picking Doug Smith and Jimmy Carson in those two drafts.
Center Quinton Byfield and left-winger Tim Stützle are the prospects most commonly mocked at second and third on the draft big boards. Essentially, L.A. will have its choice of any player not named Alexis Lafrainère. The projected no. 1 overall pick’s destination is unknown right now, as each of the 16 teams in the best-of-five playoff round is theoretically still in the running for the 18-year-old.
This is a great night for the Kings, as they’ll be able to add another excellent player to their deep pool of prospects. It’s also funny to watch the Ducks fall one spot and the Sharks surrender a lottery pick. Good times all around.