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How the NHL determines the draft order (and where the Calgary Flames will likely pick) in the 2024 NHL Draft

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Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
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Friends, the National Hockey League’s annual draft lottery takes place this coming Monday. Every year, the lottery has an impact on the first round order of the non-playoff teams. However, the overall order of the draft is largely dependent on the regular season performance of the non-playoff teams and the 12 playoff teams that don’t advance to the conference finals.
Here’s a quick rundown of how the NHL generally determines the draft order, and where the Flames are tentatively expected to draft.

The general draft order

The ideal behind the entry draft and its order is the worst teams need the most help to stay competitive, so the draft order – before the lottery – sets the draft order from worst to best in each round.
  • Spots 1 to 16 are given to the 16 teams that missed the playoffs, in reverse standings order (worst to best).
  • The next spots are given to the playoff teams that didn’t win their divisions, in reverse standings order.
  • The next spots are given to the division-winning teams, in reverse standings order.
  • The 29th and 30th overall spots go to the teams that lost in the Conference Final round, in reverse standings order.
  • The 31st overall spot goes to the team that lost in the Stanley Cup Final.
  • The 32nd overall spot goes to the team that won the Stanley Cup.
The draft lottery potentially moves picks around, but only in the first round. For every subsequent round, things default to the formula we described. So if the Flames somehow win the draft lottery, they would only select first overall in the first round, and would otherwise land at ninth spot in every other round.

Calgary’s 2024 picks, as it stands

Some of the Flames’ draft choices have been slotted already, and some could move around a bit. As of Tuesday morning, here’s how things are trending. (Stick-taps to CapFriendly on a lot of these details.)

1st round, 9th overall

Pre-lottery, the Flames’ own first-round pick is 9th overall.

1st round, 25th to 32nd overall (from Vancouver)

The Flames received Vancouver’s first-rounder in the Elias Lindholm trade. Depending on how far Vancouver progresses, the pick could be as low as 25th (if they get eliminated before the conference finals) or as high as 32nd (if they win the Stanley Cup).

2nd round, 41st overall

The Flames’ own second-round pick is 41st overall.

2nd round, 60th to 65th overall (from Dallas)

The Flames received Dallas’ second-rounder in the Chris Tanev trade. Depending on how far Dallas progresses, the pick could be as low as 60th overall (if they get eliminated before the conference finals) or as high as 65th overall (if they win the Stanley Cup).

3rd round, 74th overall

The Flames’ own third-round pick is 74th overall.

3rd round, 83rd or 84th overall (from Vegas) [conditional]

The Flames received Vegas’ third-rounder in the Noah Hanifin trade. If Vegas wins in the first round, this pick converts into a second-round pick in 2025. If Vegas loses in the first round, this pick would be 83rd or 84th overall – 83rd if the NY Islanders survive until the conference finals, otherwise 84th.

4th round, 106th overall

The Flames’ own third-round pick is 106th overall.

4th round, 107th overall (from New Jersey) [conditional]

The Flames received New Jersey’s fourth-rounder in the Elias Lindholm trade with Vancouver, which lands at 107th overall. The Canucks acquired this selection from New Jersey for Curtis Lazar, and the Flames were entitled to the earlier of Vancouver’s fourth-round picks – their own or New Jersey’s – via the Lindholm trade. If Vancouver advances to the conference finals this year, this pick converts to Vancouver’s third-round pick this year (which would be somewhere between 94th and 97th overall).

6th round, 170th overall

The Flames’ own sixth-round pick is 169th overall.

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