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Holland: Oilers want deep playoff run, not No. 1 pick

Dave Sandford / National Hockey League / Getty

The No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 NHL Draft is up for grabs, but Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland has his sights completely set on winning in the playoffs.

"I don't think anybody's thinking of the No. 1 selection now," Holland said, according to the Edmonton Sun's Jim Matheson. "The eight losers will readjust after (the play-in). I want our team to make some noise, go on a playoff run."

Friday's draft lottery awarded the No. 1 selection in the 2020 NHL Draft to a placeholder team. The eight clubs that lose in the play-in round of the league's 24-team postseason will all have a 12.5% chance at securing the top pick in a second lottery at a later date.

The Oilers - who finished the abbreviated 2019-20 regular season in second place in the Pacific Division - are set to take on the Chicago Blackhawks in the best-of-five play-in round.

"Anytime you're playing hockey, you're playing to win … we want the Edmonton Oilers to be the last team standing, and if not, we want the playoff experience as far as we go," Holland said. "End of the day, only one play-in loser gets the No. 1 pick, the others are picking later.

"I look at this tournament as being relatively wide-open. Regular season ended about four months ago if we start in August. If a play-in team wins the Stanley Cup, they will have to have won five series - even more difficult than usual. But everybody's dream is to have your name on the Stanley Cup.

The Oilers have had their fair share of top picks over the last several years. They held the No. 1 selection in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015.

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