Don’t tell me the odds: Weighing the Calgary Flames’ draft lottery chances

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
Since the last time we dove into the standings math, things have gotten much simpler for the Calgary Flames. They were formally eliminated from the 2024 Stanley Cup playoff contention, and so their season will end with Game 82 on Thursday, Apr. 18.
But in terms of the upcoming 2024 NHL Draft – where the Flames will select twice in the first round – there’s a lot yet to be determined.

Flames playoff contention/elimination

The Flames are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

Draft lottery contention

First off, by virtue of the Flames missing the playoffs, their draft selection cannot land in the range (between 20th and 32nd overall) that would give Montreal the option to take it rather than wait for a future draft pick. In short: the Flames will maintain control of their own first-round pick.
The draft lottery odds increase as you work backwards in the standings. Here’s a snapshot of the inverse standings as of the end of Sunday’s games, with each team’s current point totals, as well as their maximum possible point totals.
32ndSan Jose4454
23rdNew Jersey7987
The Flames have six games remaining, where they’ll be facing (in order) San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Arizona, Vancouver and San Jose (again).
Mathematically, the Flames cannot finish lower than 28th overall – they cannot be caught in the standings by Columbus, Anaheim, Chicago or San Jose. It seems unlikely that the Flames can catch Seattle, New Jersey or Buffalo at this point unless those three teams flat-out stop winning games between now and the end of the season. So the probable spot for the Flames to finish is between 25th and 28th.
As such, that means the Flames will have a realistic shot at the fifth to eighth-best draft lottery odds, and somewhere between a 6% and 8.5% chance to get the first overall pick. We’ll get into the specifics of the various prospects available in the upcoming draft, but suffice it to say the Flames will probably be getting somebody really good.
We’ll keep providing updates on the draft lottery math as things progress.

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