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The NHL Draft Lottery and What Awaits The Flames

In 8 days we'll know where the Flames will be picking, but WHO will they be picking?

Saturday, April 30, 7 p.m. ET. That's when the hockey world will find out who will slot where in the NHL Draft Lottery. It will also most likely determine who will be taking coveted prospect Auston Matthews with the #1 pick. If you were looking forward to the Flames joing the Tankapalooza to get near the top of the lottery, well you'll be disappointed. NHL Lottery Simulator has the Flames with an 8.5% chance at getting the top pick and most Mock Drafts have the Flames slotted in the 5th spot. Now, it's not like the 5th spot is the 23rd pick in the Draft. Everyone needs to walk away from the ledge and realize the Flames are still in a very good spot if they land at #5. Sportsnet.ca has done all the work for you. Here's their graph of all the team %'s and where they can land:

(Courtesy Sportsnet.ca)

Opinions vary, but after reading through 6 mocks drafts, most experts have the Flames at #5 and taking 18 year old Matthew Tkachuk of the London Knights. Two other players linked in mock drafts to the Flames are Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Jakob Chychrun of the Sarnia Sting. If you're not thrilled with those three prospects, NHL.com has a list of ALL the prospects that are available for the Flames to pick from. Now, mock drafts are what they are: a rough guess at what could happen should everything go according to plan. We all know that certain teams will throw a curve ball and draft someone too early or skip over the BPA. There's also the Draft Day trade that can throw a monkey wrench into the process. But for now, let's assume that everything "goes according to plan" and the Flames end up at #5 and these are 3 players that are available to them.

Matthew Tkachuk, LW

The 5'11, 188 lb American born winger is 18 years old and currently playing for the London Knights of the OHL. He played in 57 games and registered 107 points (30 goals, 77 assists) and collected 80 PIM. He also represented Team USA at the World Juniors in 7 games and had 4 goals, 7 assists and 6 PIM.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, LW

Pierre is a 6'3, 211 lb winger who is 17 years old and hails from Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, QC. He's a left handed shot who slots in at the LW. He currently plays for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles where he registered 99 points (42 G, 57 A) and a robust 112 PIM. EliteProspects.com says  Dubois "May well be the most complete player in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft."

Jakob Chychrun, D

Jakob is a 18 year old, US born player who plays for his current nation of Canada. He's a 6'2, 194 lb D who shoots left handed. Chychrun played 62 games for the Sarnia Sting with season where he scored 11 goals and had 38 assists. He also managed to spend 51 minutes in the penalty box. He represented Team Canada's U18 team where he played in 5 games and had only 1 point (assist).

So there's a look at the 3 players that seem to be linked to the Flames in most mock drafts. Again, take them with a grain of salt. We don't even know where the Flames will end up yet, so it's all a crap shoot. Any of those 3 would seem to be a good fit for the Flames. I'm partial to Tkachuk after watching his performance in the World Juniors. Calgary could use a few more wingers and Tkachuk and Dubois both would fill that void. The Flames have a stock pile of defencemen at the NHL level, so much so they need to move a few. I don't know if grabbing a defencemen that high in the Draft is a smart idea. Again, none of this is settled and this is all just guess work, but in 8 days we'll know where Calgary will be picking and then the real fun begins.