The New York Rangers have known they will have the number overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft for over a month. Now they have a firm date and time when the club will announce to the hockey world who this year’s top pick will be.
The NHL announced on Friday that the Virtual NHL Draft will be held on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7.
— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) September 11, 2020
The first round will take place Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. ET, with Rounds 2-7 held the next day, beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET. The broadcast schedule has yet to be announced but it will most likely be televised by NBCSN and/or the NHL Network.
The Rangers won the draft lottery in August and are expected to use the number one overall selection on 18-year old forward Alexis Lafreniere of Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Lafreniere was number one in the NHL’s Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters.
“Anytime you can pick first, especially this year, it’s a special year, we all know that,” Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said to NHL.Com that Monday night.
At last year’s draft, the Blusheirts used the second overall pick in the draft to select Kaapo Kakko. Beginning with the 2017 NHL Draft, the Rangers have had six players chosen in the first round, (2017) Lias Andersson (7) and Filip Chytil (21), (2018) Vitali Kravtsov (9), K’Andre Miller (22), Nils Lundkvist (28), (2019) Kakko (2).
Prior to that, the Rangers had five years of not holding a first-round draft pick. In 2012 the Rangers drafted Brady Skjei with the 28th selection in the first round. They never had another first-round pick until the 2017 NHL Draft as the team made several trades that never panned out for the most part over that time.
The NHL also announced that free agency would begin on Thursday, Oct. 9.