What’s at stake in Saturday’s draft lottery?

Saturday night could be a pretty big night in the history of the Calgary Flames. By virtue of being a non-playoff team (and a substantially bad team to boot), the Flames have some fairly decent odds in this year’s revamped draft lottery.

Rather than drawing numbers just for the first overall selection, this year’s lottery will determine the first three selections in the 2016 NHL Draft. Since our friends at The Leafs Nation compiled a Consolidated Draft Ranking from a slew of sources, we can provide a brief glimpse of what’s at stake when the ping-pong balls are drawn on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. MT (live on the CBC!).

The potential future Flames are listed here with their position in the Consolidated Rankings and the odds that the Flames will get that pick.


Turns 18 on June 24; 6’3″, 210 lbs; left-shooting left winger.

He had 42 goals and 57 assists in 62 games with the Saint John Screaming Eagles (QMJHL). Played for Canada at the Hlinkas (won gold) and last year’s U18s (won bronze).

Scouting report via Elite Prospects:

dexterous and driven competitor that has all the makings of a dynamic
two-way winger. Not the most electric skater, but is shifty and plays to
the extent of his physical capabilities; he knows his limits and plays
within them, which facilitates a student-like approach to the growth of
his game. Possesses high hockey-IQ and is consistent in his efforts. Not
the most physical player, but is when he needs to be. All-in-all,
Dubois is an invaluable all-around player who plays in all situations
and exceeds expectations when the opportunity arises.

Flames draft sixth if: one team behind Calgary in the standings wins one of the lottery picks.


Turned 18 in March; 6’2″, 195 lbs; left-shooting defenseman.

He had 11 goals and 38 assists in 62 games with the Sarnia Sting (OHL); his father, Jeff, played 262 NHL games. Played for Canada in this year’s U18s.

Scouting report via Elite Prospects:

unyielding two-way defenceman, Jakob Chychrun is a rising star with a
toolbox bursting at the seams. Consistently displays elite four-way
skating ability and is not afraid to throw his weight around physically.
Plays with poise and composure through high pressure situations and,
with the puck on his stick, can direct the play up-ice. Exhibits a
particularly potent shot that works its magic on the power play and on
the forecheck. Excellent first pass and uses his vision and awareness to
keep the puck moving in the direction of the opposition’s tail or to a
teammate with more time and space. Defensively adept at tracking the
puck and staying a step ahead of the opposition. Proactive with his
stick and body, exerting pressure on the opposition and forcing them to
make hurried decisions. All-in-all, a well-rounded two-way defender
that competes with pro-level drive and makes his authoritative presence
felt at both ends of the ice.

Flames draft seventh if: two teams behind Calgary in the standings win lottery picks.


Turned 18 in March; 6’0″, 176 lbs; right-shooting winger.

He had 28 goals and 47 assists in 57 games with the Mississauga Steelheads (OHL); father is former Flame Michael Nylander, his brother is Leafs pick William Nylander. Played for Sweden at Hlinkas (won silver), U18s (won silver) and World Juniors.

Scouting report via Future Considerations:

The son or former NHLer Michael Nylander, Alexander is a dynamic skating offensive catalyst that just produces points. His skating can go from effortless to shifty as he has the ability to use his edges to deke or juke through traffic with ease. Possesses soft hands and very creative puck skills plus the ability to make his teammates better with some jaw dropping passes. He is not a one trick pony however as he can also finish off plays. Top line NHL potential.

Flames draft fifth if: zero teams behind Calgary in the standings win any lottery picks.


Turns 18 in May; 6’3″, 201 lbs; right-shooting winger.

He had 13 goals and 15 assists in 50 games with Karpat (SM-Liiga). Played for Finland in last year’s Hlinkas, this and last year’s U18s (won gold and silver), and this and last year’s World Juniors (won gold).

Scouting report via Elite Prospects:

is a big winger who combines size, skating and skill. A strong skater
who can blast past the opposition in full speed. Able to use his size,
reach and stickhandling skills to retain the puck in speed. A smart
player at both ends of the ice, both on and off the puck. Great work
ethic and positive attitude. More of a playmaker than a scorer and could
improve his shooting skills. Doesn’t shy away from physical play, but
could use his size more to his benefit.

Flames draft third if: other teams win the first two lottery picks but Calgary wins the third.


Turned 18 last week; 6’4″, 210 lbs; right-shooting winger.

He had 17 goals and 16 assists in 46 games with Tappara (SM-Liiga). Played for Finland in last year’s Hlinkas, last year’s U18s (won gold) and this year’s World Juniors (won gold).

Scouting report via Elite Prospects:

natural scorer, Laine’s greatest asset is his intimidating shot. He’s
not a speedy skater, but possesses power and a long stride, and protects
the puck well with his large frame and longer stick. Overall, skating
has been a minor issue through Laine’s development but has improved with
some help from his ability to read the game. Laine has the hunger to
create chances on his own from the wing and actively looks for and
creates opportunities to use his shot. His elite wrist shot is notable
for its quick release and his powerful one-timer from the top of the
circle is a constant threat on the man-advantage.

Flames draft second if: another team wins the first lottery but Calgary wins the second.


Turned 18 in September; 6’2″, 195 lbs; left-shooting center.

He had 24 goals and 22 assists in 36 games with the ZSC Lions (National League A). Played for the United States in the 2014 and 2015 U18s (won gold twice) and this and last year’s World Juniors (won bronze this year).

Scouting report via Elite Prospects:

high octane dynamo that thrives under the microscope, Auston Matthews
is a complete offensive forward who consistently boasts quick hands,
feet, and thinking at both ends of the ice. Naturally nimble skater that
accelerates to top speed very quickly. An unwavering focus on fine
tuning elements of his own game facilitates confidence and competence in
his young, but mature, mind. Prolific goal scoring ability and doesn’t
wait for opportunities to show themselves. He makes his own luck, so to
speak, maximizing the use of his body and stick to gain leverage against
the toughest of opponents. All-in-all, a generational talent that has
the potential to develop into a top flight franchise center.

Flames draft first if: they win the first lottery.


Turns 18 in May; 6’2″, 185 lbs; left-shooting defenseman.

He had nine goals and 33 assists in 57 games with the London Knights (OHL). Played for Finland in last year’s Hlinkas and this year’s World Juniors (won gold).

Scouting report via Elite Prospects:

competitive spark-plug, Olli Juolevi is a complete, all-around
defenceman that can hem the opposition in their own end or make things
difficult for the opposition at home; either way, he puts the pressure
on and lays it on thick. A strong and balanced skater, he can rush the
puck through the neutral zone with ease or backcheck with haste. Uses
his size to his advantage, but knows his physical limits and plays
within them. Instead of playing overly physical, he makes his presence
felt by exhibiting his high-end playmaking ability and puck possession
play. All-in-all, a well-rounded blueliner who thrives under pressure
and can be trusted in all situations.

Flames draft eighth if: three teams behind Calgary in the standings wins each win lottery picks.


If the Flames can win one of the three lotteries, they’ll be able to land a crazy-good Finnish winger (or maybe even Auston Matthews). That would be a bevy of riches, so to speak.


“Settling” in a lottery situation is basically hoping for a Finn or Matthews and ending up with Pierre-Luc Dubois. Given how much Central Scouting is going nuts for him nowadays, that might not be a terrible thing.

  • freethe flames

    Interesting that Nylander is on your list but not Tkachuk, any reasoning? Also no mention of Sergachev whom many scouts are higher on than either of the other defenders. Personally I think any of the top 3 forwards can make our team (and probably ever team in the NHL) next year. After that I think they will all be a year away although Dubois has the physical size and skill set to surprise with the Flames. A line of him, Bennett and say Mangiapane could be an effective unit.

    Yesterday the article on trading our first pick away if it is not top 3 for a goalie made me laugh(almost cry), no goalie other than a healthy Price is worth giving that pick away. The deal would have to include a young power forward ad the other team taking one of our questionable contracts. We are not in a win now stage of the rebuild. Yes we need a goalie but their are suitable 1 or 2 year replacements available via free agency or for a whole lot less of trade value. We have discussed these names for quite awhile now; BT should not overpay.

    This team needs a lot of things including at least 2 if not 3 skilled forwards, needs a rugged stay at home defender to compliment and play in the top 4 (Eng’s despite being better than I expected last year is not that guy). These may be harder to find than a good NHL goalie this year. Gilles may indeed be that guy once he get’s some pro experience and I’m not prepared to give up on him or the other young goalies we have under contract. Next year I hope to improvement but I am not expecting a playoff team. Overpaying for a goaltender might give the impression of being close but it will just hide the other shortcomings like Kipper did for years.

  • cberg

    No way we should be trading this year’s pick, unless its trading down from 1st to 2nd or 3rd and picking up some excellent pieces to do so. Even at the worst (8th) we either get Nylander or a rugged Top4 D (Sergachev), both huge wins for the rebuild.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    If the Flames win, lose or draw in the draft, my opinion will not change. The NHL lottery system is a bad format. It does nothing to fix its primary aim of eliminating perpetual tanking.

    Remove teams that win a draft from the next 1 or 2 subsequent drafts, and teams will not view losing as a long term strategy.

    European soccer uses an opposing philosophy. The worst teams in a league are kicked out, and placed in a lower league. It won’t work in pro hockey, but image the Oilers facing a year in the AHL, if they finished 30th. Imagine if players only received AHL money. That’s motivating!

    • KACaribou

      Interesting idea. But they wouldn’t go to the AHL in my thinking, the NHL would have 2 tiers; Premier and Division 1.

      Only Premier teams would be able to compete for the Stanley Cup. The last place team in the Premier drops to Division 1 and vice versa. Divison 1 teams fight for a new trophy. As far as draft picks, Premier chooses after all the Division 1 teams already have.

      It’s a crazy idea I know, but it’s this soccer comparison I had never thought of before until you brought it up.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        The soccer system won’t work in North American pro sports. My point is to say that NA Pro sports reward failure by providing top picks in their draft systems. The NHL needs to figure out how to give bottom feeders a chance to compete and improve, while punishing perpetual tank machines. The current draft lottery iteration does not fix the inherent issue.

        • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

          You know that if the NHL would not have kept changing the draft rules Edmonton only would have had 2 first overalls instead of 4. Google it it’s a fact.

        • Baalzamon

          I’ve always liked the idea of a team only being able to own the first overall pick once in any three year period (or something along those lines). Instead of fooling around with the lottery percentages, and what picks can be won, put restrictions on what can be won and how often.

      • phockey489

        I like the intent of re-vamping the current format to keep the stench of the Oilers off of future drafts but please, Let’s keep soccer and any soccer associated thinking far away from Hockey.

  • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

    Thought… if you win the lottery and someone in the 2 or 3 hole REALLY wants Matthews (Toronto for example). Do the Flames listen? I mean if TO would move Nylander and the 3 pick, would you do that? Would Toronto do that? I guess my thought is the Flames actually need a couple of skilled wingers and a deal that does that (even if you give up Matthews) MIGHT be worth it….

  • beloch

    “We’re going to win it,” Nicholson told the Sun earlier this week.

    Nicholson is sending general manager Peter Chiarelli to Hockey Night in Canada with a secret lucky charm, just as he did with Bill Scott’s lucky socks in ’15.

    “It’s Peter’s turn to win. We have something lucky that he’ll be given. If we win, we’ll unveil it. If we don’t, we won’t,” Nicholson said. “I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t think it’s right that we even have a chance to win, but our goal is to go in there and win it and then see what happens.”

    Oilers oiling

    Doesn’t it just make you want to throw up? Normally I am a fan of both Alberta teams, but not today!

    • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

      I hope you barf all over yourself later today! ?

      wouldn’t it be something if the Flamers won . This place would light up like a Christmas tree!

    • al rain

      Ya know, I just completely assumed that everyone in the Oilers org would have been thoroughly embarrassed by their utter ineptitude as a hockey team in spite of numerous gifts from heaven, that they have had no right to expect, and that can compare to no other team in history. And that would be BEFORE being handed McDavid a year ago.

      But, what? They’re actually gunning for the FOA again? Like it’s their friggin’ birthright or something? Like they’re thinking: “Yeah, one more #1 will get us over the hump”? How can they not be slinking into the darkest corner they can find, hoping that no one notices them during the lottery and laughs them out of everywhere? Honestly, if they win the lottery and another promising Generational Talent (there sure are a lot of those, aren’t there?) has his career flushed down the toilet in the toilet of the NHL I’m absolutely certain I’ll never stop throwing up. And not in a “Boy the Oilers sure have all the luck” kind of way, but in a “How can they even think of showing their faces, do they have no idea how pathetic they are?” kind of way.

      I want to see the NHL, if they can’t actually kick those losing losers out of the league, at least implement a rule requiring everyone to use quotation marks when referring to them, as in “NHL team”.

      I have no more words…

  • ChinookArchYYC

    The fact of the matter is that Edmonton has benefited from a culture of abismal failure and matching results. The NHL is complicit in rewarding failure without a balanced penalty for purposeful failure in perpetuity. The draft system is still broken.

  • Theo4HoF

    When I do the Draft simulator I find that the flames seem to usually get the 6th or 7th pick more often than anything else. So I’m expecting we move down.

    Watch a team that just missed the playoffs will win like boston.

    • Baalzamon

      When I do the Draft simulator I find that the flames seem to usually get the 6th or 7th pick more often than anything else.

      That’s not at all surprising given the percentages. You don’t need to run the simulator at all to know that, you just need to look at the lottery odds.

  • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

    I have been wearing my autographed CCM Mike Vernon Jersey (autographed by Lanny McDonald, mind you) all day for luck, there’s no way we don’t draft in the top 3!

  • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

    I can’t believe how bad the Lightning commentary team were on 960. Whiny like teenage girls, and Phil Esposito; holy Christ I think my ears are bleeding!