You don't often find franchise-altering wingers at the top of the NHL Entry Draft, but if there was ever a year to have, it would be 2020.
The 2020 class will forever be remembered as the year that Alexis Lafrenière didn't end up on the 6 worst teams in the NHL from the 2019-20 season, but rather a placeholder team, which will be decided in another lottery draft.
Following Friday night's debacle that saw the basement-dwelling Detroit Red Wings fall to 4th overall despite having the best odds to pick 1st overall, the hockey world couldn't believe that one of 16 play-in teams (eight when you factor in the losers) will have a chance at landing the Rimouski Oceanic super prospect.
So the question becomes, if you're a fan of one the play-in teams, would you rather win a round or have a chance at the first overall pick?
We already covered what would be the most unfair scenario if Lafrenière were to land on a team like the Edmonton Oilers or Pittsburgh Penguins, so let's now look at what team needs Lafrenière the most.
Columbus Blue Jackets
One of the hardest-working teams in the NHL needs an injection of top-end talent after losing Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and Sergei Bobrovsky to free agency last season. There's no question they'd welcome Lafreniere with open arms. He would be a natural fit on the top line with fellow Frenchman Pierre-Luc Dubois in the middle with sniper Cam Atkinson on the right-side. John Tortorella would have a field day with the physical 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, who's known for being a tireless worker with top-end pucks skills and elite hockey sense.
He's been called "The Great Quebec Hope" by TSN's Michael Farber. Now imagine if the next great French Canadian hockey player got the chance to wear the Canadiens' colours. Could you imagine the shockwaves that would send through the league and other fanbases? "The fix is in!"
The Habs have an impressive list of prospects coming through the ranks, and adding the Montreal product would do wonders for the team, both on and off the ice. The last francophone player to go first overall was when the Tampa Bay Lightning landed Vincent Lecavalier back in 1999. He would be the biggest French Canadian star in La Belle Province since the days of Vincent Damphousse.
With the uncertainty surrounding whether Taylor Hall will re-sign in the desert, 'Yotes fans would feel better about themselves if they were able to replace Hall with Lafrenière via some draft lottery luck. The Coyotes have been unable to groom an in-house superstar upfront, but slotting the reigning back-to-back CHL player of the year on a top line with Clayton Keller would allow his talent to flourish. The Coyotes always seem to hang around that playoff hump, and if they were to land the projected first overall pick in Lafrenière, they might just climb over that edge.
They aren't the most talented team in the NHL and they don't play the prettiest hockey by any means. While they need help down the middle, the Minnesota Wild would be a much more enjoyable team to watch if they landed the World Junior star. His dynamic playmaking ability would fit nicely on a line with budding star winger Kevin Fiala, and give the Wild their best offensive talent since Marian Gaborik.
New York Islanders
Lafrenière would be adored by Islanders fans the same way John Tavares was when he was selected first overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. While he's known for his offensive wizardry, adding a talented winger to one of the best defensive systems in the NHL courtesy of coach Barry Trotz's coaching tactics would give the Isles a deadly top-line combo with Mathew Barzal. Lafrenière would go head-to-head with Kaapo Kakko and Jack Hughes for New York supremacy in years to come.
We should note that if the season does not finish because of COVID-19, the following teams will have a chance at picking first overall.