The Avs will have a top three pick for the third time in five years at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in June after they were announced as the draft lottery winners, breaking the Edmonton Oilers' three-year streak of lotto luck.
The rest of the draft order for the non-playoff teams is as follows (via TSN):
7. Edmonton Oilers
10. Dallas Stars
12. Phoenix Coyotes
13. Winnipeg Jets
The Flames will officially pick sixth overall, as was originally believed, as no team above them in the standings won the lottery, which is good. The Oilers will pick seventh, so the prospect of the Flames snatching a good player from right under their noses as punishment for them tanking the past three seasons is enough to make Flames fans salivate. Luck was never on their side with only a 6.2% chance of winning it all, but a small, gleaming sliver of hope was still there.
Regardless, sixth overall is not too shabby. It's the highest pick the Flames have had since they selected Dion Phaneuf at number nine in 2003, and drafting in the top ten means they'll have a pretty decent chance at landing a skilled player, assuming they don't go off the board. I'm not sure what the consensus is on the top five picks in this year's draft, but if another team reaches a bit like the Leafs possibly did with Morgan Rielly at number five last summer, the Flames could potentially find themselves with an even better player.
With two months still to go before the draft, there is a lot of time to evaluate talent and the needs that the Flames can and cannot address through the draft and via free agency in July with the cap space they have at their disposal. Overall I'm feeling optimistic for the time being, but we all know how quickly that can change.