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Draft positioning is at stake over the next three games

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA Today Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
The Calgary Flames begin their final three games of the season tonight against the Vancouver Canucks. Playoffs aren’t at stake, but the Flames can improve or damage their positioning in the 2021 NHL Draft.

The lottery order, at a glance

The draft order, pre-lottery, is set in reverse order of the standings. Seattle is guaranteed to have the third-best odds (and therefore defaults to the third-best pick).
PickTeamPointsRegW
1Buffalo3711
2Anaheim4311
3Seattlen/an/a
4New Jersey4515
5VANCOUVER4716
6Columbus4812
7Detroit4815
8San Jose4915
9Los Angeles4919
10Ottawa5118
11CALGARY5121
12Arizona*5419
13Chicago5515
14Philadelphia5817
15Dallas6017
16NY Rangers6024
(Note: Arizona forfeited their first round pick, so the league is going to re-draw the lottery if they win. But passing Arizona would diminish the Flames’ relative lottery odds.)

The realm of the possible

Here are the possible outcomes for the Flames from these three games:
If they earn zero points – via three losses in regulation – they’ll finish with 51 points. Vancouver would get six points, finish with 53 points and pass Calgary. The Flames would have the 10th-best lottery odds.
If they earn one point – via an overtime loss and two regulation losses – they’ll finish with 52 points. Vancouver would get six points, finish with 53 points, and pass Calgary. The Flames would have the 10th-best lottery odds.
If they earn two points – via a win or two overtime losses – they’ll finish with 53 points and have the 11th-best lottery odds. Even if Vancouver won all three games, the Flames would finish ahead of them via the regulation wins tiebreaker.
If they earn three points – via a win and an overtime loss or three overtime losses – they’ll finish with 54 points. They would tie with Arizona in the standings and pass them based on the regulation wins tiebreaker, finishing with the 12th-best lottery odds.
If they earn four points – via two wins or a win and two overtime losses – they’ll finish with 55 points. They would pass Arizona and tie Chicago in the standings and pass them based on the regulation wins tiebreaker, finishing with the 13th-best lottery odds.
If they earn five points – via two wins and an overtime loss – they’ll finish with 56 points. They would pass Arizona and Chicago in the standings, finishing with the 13th-best lottery odds.
If they earn six points – via three wins – they’ll finish with 57 points. They would pass Arizona and Chicago in the standings, finishing with the 13th-best lottery odds.

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