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The Calgary Flames’ conditional draft picks for the next three years are a confusing mess

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Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
2 months ago
The Calgary Flames added two draft choices to their stockpile on Thursday, sending Nikita Zadorov to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a third-round pick in 2026 and a fifth-round pick in 2024.
When you take a look at the picks the Flames have over the next three drafts, one thing is apparent: there are a lot of conditional picks, and the conditions have created a gigantic, confusing mess.
The confusing mess is important because teams are not allowed to move picks that could be needed to fulfill agreed-upon trade conditions. And the Flames have a lot of picks tied up as a result of conditions that could potentially be triggered.
Here’s our best attempt at making sense of this absolute mess.

The 2024 draft

1st round: The Flames control their own selection. However, if that pick is between 20th and 32nd overall, the Montreal Canadiens have the option (from the Sean Monahan trade) to take that pick rather than wait for a conditional first-rounder in a later year.
2nd, 3rd & 4th rounds: The Flames control their own selections.
5th round: The Flames traded their selection to Chicago in exchange for Ryan Carpenter. From the Nikita Zadorov trade, they’ll receive either Chicago’s pick or their own, whichever is earlier. (Vancouver acquired this conditional pick from Chicago, and the condition transfers onward to Calgary.)
6th & 7th rounds: The Flames control their own selections.

The 2025 draft

1st round: Okay, this is where it gets complicated.
The Flames control their own first-round pick, and they receive Florida’s (from the Matthew Tkachuk trade) if Florida’s 2024 first-rounder is not in the top 10 (and goes to Philadelphia as a condition of the Claude Giroux trade) AND Florida’s 2025 first-rounder is not in the top 10 (and stays with Florida, through lottery protection in the Tkachuk trade). If either pick is in the top 10, the conditional pick to Calgary defers to 2026.
If Montreal doesn’t opt to receive Calgary’s 2024 first-rounder (see 2024 conditions), they’re owed a 2025 first-rounder from the Flames.
  • If the Flames receive Florida’s pick:
    • If Calgary’s pick is in the top 10, Montreal gets Florida’s pick.
    • If Calgary’s pick is not in the top 10, Montreal gets whichever pick is earlier.
  • If the Flames don’t get Florida’s pick:
    • If Calgary’s pick is not first overall, Montreal gets that pick.
    • If Calgary’s pick is 1st overall, the Flames keep that pick and Montreal gets Calgary’s 2025 third-rounder (and defer their conditional first-rounder to 2026).
2nd round: The Flames control their own selection.
3rd round: As noted above, this pick goes to Montreal if Florida’s 2024 or 2025 first-rounders are in the top top 10 (so Florida’s 2025 first-rounder doesn’t transfer to Calgary) AND Calgary’s 2025 first-rounder is 1st overall.
4th round: The Flames control their own selection. But if they receive Florida’s first-rounder – if their 2024 and 2025 first-rounders both are not in the top 10 – then the Flames send their fourth-round pick in the same year to Florida.
If Florida’s 2024 first-round pick was in the top 10 (causing their 2025 pick to go to Philadelphia) AND Florida’s 2025 pick is not in the top 10 AND Calgary’s 2025 pick is not in the top 10 AND Florida’s 2025 pick (transferred to Philadelphia) is earlier than Calgary’s, Montreal gets Calgary’s 2025 fourth-round pick.
5th, 6th & 7th rounds: The Flames control their own selections.

The 2026 draft

1st round: The Flames control their own selection. They receive Florida’s first-round pick if either of their 2024 or 2025 first-rounders are in the top 10. If Montreal’s conditional pick defers to this year – because the Florida pick deferred to this year AND Calgary’s 2025 first-rounder was 1st overall – they get the earlier of Calgary or Florida’s first-rounders.
2nd: The Flames control their own selection.
3rd: The Flames control their own selection, and acquired Vancouver’s in the Nikita Zadorov trade.
4th round: The Flames control their own selection. But if they receive Florida’s first-round pick – if either of their 2024 or 2025 picks are in the top 10 – then the Flames send their fourth-round pick in the same year to Florida.
5th, 6th & 7th: The Flames control their own selections.

Sorting it out

If we assume that neither the Flames or Florida will have picks that are top 10 in 2024 or 2025 – and that the Flames’ pick in 2024 won’t be 20th to 32nd, things get simple.
2024: The Flames would have one pick in each round.
2025: The Flames would receive Florida’s 2025 first-rounder, and Montreal would receive whichever of the two first-rounders (Calgary’s or Florida’s) is earlier. Florida would receive Calgary’s fourth-rounder. So the Flames would have one pick in each round except the fourth round.
2026: The Flames would have one pick in each round, plus an additional third-rounder from Vancouver.

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