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NHL Draft News: NHL Teams Without First Round Picks in 2020

A total of 6 NHL teams are missing first round selections at this years 2020 Draft.

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The 2020 draft will feature six NHL teams without first-round choices. Of the six teams, four are void of a 1st and 2nd round picks. Of those four teams, the Arizona Coyotes, are missing a pick in the top three rounds.

Coyotes Missing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Round Picks

Unfortunately for the Arizona Coyotes, they will have to wait until pick #110 of the fourth round to make a draft selection in 2020. Of course, the first round Coyote pick was spent on the acquisition of Taylor Hall from the New Jersey Devils in December of 2019. Phoenix’s 3rd round selection and Kevin Connauton were sent to Colorado for Carl Söderberg during the summer of 2019. And, in an ugly decision that the Coyotes will regret for some time, the second-round pick was forfeited as a penalty for illegally testing prospects.

The Coyotes are also tight on cap room, and there has been no shortage of chatter about teams circling around top two Swede defenders – Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Niklas Hjalmarsson. What about Phil Kessel? Could any of these players fetch the ‘Yotes a premium pick or two?

One cannot help speculate whether the tight cap space and lack of picks may have had something to do with the sudden disappearance of John Chayka. For an organization that seems to be in constant transition, the current outlook for the Coyotes is less than ideal. Especially considering they will also be missing two additional top three round picks in 2021.

Islanders, Penguins, Canucks Missing 1st & 2nd Round Picks

The New York Islanders are another team that spent some picks at the deadline to make a playoff push. After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals, the Islanders will have to wait until pick #89 in Round 3 before they select a player. Adding Jean-Gabriel Pageau from the Ottawa Senators accounts for the missing first-round selection. Finally, the Islanders also bolstered the blue line with Andy Greene in return for a 2020 2nd round selection.

Having won two Stanley Cups over the last five years, the Pittsburgh Penguins find themselves without a 1st or 2nd round selection. In 2017, the ‘Pens used a 2nd round pick on ‘Expansion Draft Considerations’ for Vegas to select Marc-Andre Fleury. Fortunately for Vegas, the pick is now due. The Penguins also traded the 15th overall selection to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Kasperi Kapanen deal.

The last team missing 1st and 2nd round picks in 2020 are the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks will need to wait until pick #81 in the third round to make a selection. When the Canucks acquired JT Miller in the summer of 2019, the price was this year’s 1st round pick. The LA Kings picked up a 2nd round selection when Vancouver added Tyler Toffoli in February. A young team, will the Canucks try and make a move into the top two rounds?

Bruins and Lightning Missing 1st Round Selection

Both the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning are ‘only’ missing their 1st selections in 2020. When the Bruins acquired Ondrej Kase from Anaheim Ducks in February of 2020, they sent David Backes, prospect Axel Andersson, and this years first round selection back to the Ducks.

Before the 2020 trade deadline, the Tampa Bay Lightning had two first-round selections in hand. Of course, the Lightning cashed in one of their two first-round selections when they picked up the Plano Kid – Blake Coleman, from the New Jersey Devils at the trade deadline. The pick to New Jersey for Coleman was originally the Canucks which Tampa acquired for JT Miller. The Lightning swapped out their own 1st round selection in 2020 for a third-round San Jose pick – in the same deal, Tampa Bay acquired Barclay Goodrow and sent prospect Anthony Greco to the Sharks.

At this stage, nearly 20% of NHL teams will not be needed on October 6th for 2020’s 1st round. A lot can change in the next two weeks. Will any of above noted teams try to stick handle back into the first round? Stay tuned as the NHL entry draft is now less than two weeks away.

NEXT: Prospect and NHL Draft News: American-Based Prospects 2020

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