This past Friday night was very much a disaster for the NHL and the networks that hosted a one hour NHL Draft Lottery show. The show ended with no one knowing who will be getting the first overall pick.
Only the NHL would have something as incredibly stupid as this happen. I don’t see this flying in the NFL.
Here's the real irony: the NHL primarily did the draft lottery tonight so that the non play-in teams could have something to talk about, generate some buzz in those markets. The only buzz generated tonight was in the play-in markets, and it's the wrong kind of buzz.
— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) June 27, 2020
For me, though I was able to look past the negativity and find the team that already won the draft lottery, and no doubt – that team is the LA Kings. The Kings moved up in the lottery and snagged the number 2 overall selection at the upcoming draft and will now have the ability to fill the gap at centre that will be left when Anze Kopitar retires. The Kings should have their eye on Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves, who is an absolute monster down the middle.
Byfield wasted little time producing in the OHL after being the first overall pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Draft, leading all Rookies in scoring with 29 goals and 32 assists for 61 points in 64 games. That big rookie season eventually helped him earn both the OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year Awards.
He added eight points in eight playoff games that season, as well.
Last year he continued to build on his amazing numbers, putting up 32 goals and 50 assists for 82 points in just 45 games played. He also made Team Canada for the World Junior Championships, and while he was in a limited role, he still helped secure a gold medal for his home country. Adding Byfield to a prospect group that already includes Gabriel Vilardi, Samuel Fagemo, Alex Turcotte, and Tobias Bjornfot – the future in LA is as bright as the California sun.