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Playoff Outcomes Could Help Montreal Canadiens Draft Rank

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens’ 1st round pick will be decided by the NHL Draft Lottery on May 10, but that’s not the only 1st round pick whose rank is yet to be determined.

The 2022 1st round pick that the Montreal Canadiens acquired from the Calgary Flames in the Tyler Toffoli deal earlier this year is not yet finalized. The Flames’ playoff outcome is directly tied to the rank of their 1st round pick, and, should things continue the way they’re going, it may be an earlier pick than previously thought.

 

NHL Draft Order

The Flames currently trail in their series with the Dallas Stars 2-1. If they were to be eliminated in the 1st round of the NHL Playoffs, the latest selection would be 28th overall. That’s because the last four picks in the Draft (32 to 29) are given to the final four teams left in the playoffs.

  • 32nd overall: Stanley Cup Champion
  • 31st overall: Runner-Up
  • 30th overall: Conference Final Loser With Most Points
  • 29th overall: Conference Final Loser With Least Points

However, there are even more scenarios that could allow Calgary’s pick to be as high as 25th overall, so let’s dive into the hypotheticals.

 

McLean's Pub

Montreal Canadiens Receiving Help From Other Sources

If the Flames fail to make the Western Conference Finals, we’ve now established that the latest their 1st round pick can be is 28th overall, but other Playoff outcomes could make the pick an even earlier one. Despite the Calgary Flames finishing with the 6th most points in the NHL this past season with 111, a loss in the first two rounds of the NHL Playoffs would guarantee the pick would be between 25th and 28th overall.

That’s because the Flames are among four divisional champions that include the Florida Panthers (122 points), the Colorado Avalanche (119 points) and the Carolina Hurricanes (116 points). If any of these teams fail to make it to the Conference Finals, the Flames’ 1st round pick would become an even earlier selection. That’s because divisional champions who fail to make the Conference Finals pick right before those that made it to the final four. So, for example, should the Flames and the Panthers, who both trail their series at this moment, were to be eliminated, the Flames’ pick land at 27th overall. Here’s how:

  • 32nd overall: Stanley Cup Champion
  • 31st overall: Runner-Up
  • 30th overall: Conference Final Loser With Most Points
  • 29th overall: Conference Final Loser With Least Points
  • 28th overall: Divisional Champion With Most Points (Florida in this case)
  • 27th overall: Divisional Champion With 2nd most points (Calgary in this case).

 

Because Florida finished with more points in the NHL standings than the Calgary Flames, Florida would pick later than Calgary if both are eliminated in Round 1. Finally, if all four divisional champions failed to make it to the Conference Finals, this is where Calgary’s 1st rounder would fall:

  • 32nd overall: Stanley Cup Champion
  • 31st overall: Runner-Up
  • 30th overall: Conference Final Loser With Most Points
  • 29th overall: Conference Final Loser With Least Points
  • 28th overall: Divisional Champion With Most Points (Florida-> Buffalo)
  • 27th overall: Divisional Champion With 2nd most points (Colorado-> Arizona)
  • 26th overall: Divisional Champion With 3rd most points (Carolina-> Arizona)
  • 25th overall: Divisional Champion With 4th most points (Calgary-> Montreal).

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