Should the Carolina Hurricanes lose their series against the New York Rangers, it will provide a small benefit to the Montreal Canadiens at the 2022 NHL Draft.
The 2022 1st round pick that the Montreal Canadiens acquired from the Calgary Flames in the Tyler Toffoli deal earlier this year will not have an official rank until the end of the Rangers-Hurricanes series. That’s because the outcome of that series can directly alter the position of Calgary’s 1st round pick.
With Calgary being eliminated last week, the latest their pick can land is 27th overall, but it could go down to 26th overall with a loss from the Hurricanes in their final game against the resilient New York Rangers. With the last four picks in the Draft (32 to 29) given to the final four teams left in the playoffs, an eliminated divisional champion like Florida, Calgary and potentially Carolina would pick immediately after (picks 28 to 26).
The Flames, being among four divisional champions, with Florida Panthers (122 points), the Colorado Avalanche (119 points) and the Carolina Hurricanes (116 points), had the lowest point totals of the bunch and thus their 1st round pick would be the earliest in this group. As of this junction, the Flames’ 1st rounder sits at 27th overall, but a Carolina Hurricanes loss tonight would see the draft ranks play out as such:
- 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 Panthers –> Buffalo Sabres)
- 27th overall: Divisional Champion With 2nd most points (Carolina Hurricanes-> Arizona Coyotes)
- 26th overall: Divisional Champion With 3rd most points (Calgary Flames –> Montreal Canadiens)
It seems like a small gain for the Montreal Canadiens to move up a spot or two thanks to NHL Playoffs outcomes, but it could help them to pick a falling player at the 2022 NHL Draft with greater ease, or cost them a little less to trade up in the Draft to grab a coveted player.