The Flyers’ season has only a few games left, but it’s been over for a while.
Many fans are keeping an eye on the fight for the first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, even if the club is battling for pride and some players’ jobs next season. The winner gets to choose between Connor Bedard and a number of other excellent possibilities.
With 71 points, the Flyers are in 26th place in the league. With only five games remaining, their best possible record is 81 points. It may help them avoid finishing in the league’s cellar, but it would cripple their prospects of moving up in the draft.
The Flyers will not finish in the top three and earn a draft pick. With 56 points apiece, Anaheim, Columbus, and Chicago are in first through third. With five games yet to play, the most points each side may have is 66. The Sharks’ current 60 points rank them dead last in the league. They’ll probably end up with a maximum of 70 points, putting them only one point behind the Flyers.
If Philadelphia fails to pick up any more points for the remainder of the season, what may their situation be?
Flyers Might Get a Top-5 Choice
The Flyers might fall in the rankings and still finish in the top five in terms of draft position. At the present, Montreal is in first place with 66 points. They still have a chance to finish with 74 points if they win their last four games.
Montreal has lost four in a row, therefore they probably won’t win the rest. They’ll be taking on the Capitals, the Maple Leafs, the Islanders, and the Bruins. While Toronto and Boston have secured their playoff berths, the Washington Capitals have already been eliminated. By the time the Canadiens play the Islanders, it’s possible that they’ll have already done so.
Just a win in one of their last five games will prevent the Flyers from falling below Montreal in the standings. They have 73 points after their latest victory. Yet, if they continue to lose games until the end of the season, they will have the greatest chance of any team to finish in the top five.
As it relies on Montreal winning out and the Flyers losing out, it’s a long shot that this scenario will play out.
Flyers Should Probably Make the Top 10
The Flyers now own the seventh-worst record in the NHL.
St. Louis and Detroit would need to lose their last four and five games, respectively, for that to happen. It’s hard to believe it might actually occur.
But, looking at the Flyers’ rivals, Dallas and Boston have already secured playoff spots, while Columbus and Chicago have been eliminated. When the Flyers visit the Islanders this weekend, the former are likely still in the postseason hunt. The Flyers’ best chances of clinching a playoff spot come in their last two games of the season. Even though Boston could be saving some of its best players for the postseason, the Bruins have outscored the Flyers 10-1 this year.
Vancouver is now in first place, one point ahead of Philadelphia with both teams having five games remaining. Despite being on a four-game losing run, Rick Tocchet’s Canucks have been competitive. It’s tough to imagine them finishing the season in last place. The next closest team is Washington, with 77 points and five games remaining. They have lost their past four as well, but they did get a point in a shootout defeat.
The Flyers have the best shot of making the playoffs if they finish between seventh and ninth. They look like they’ll finish the season in the same position they’re in now. Philadelphia has a 6.5% probability of getting the first overall choice in the draft lottery and a 6.9% chance of getting the second overall pick if they end with the seventh poorest record in the league.
This wouldn’t be the Flyers’ first miraculous lottery turnaround. Philadelphia rose from the ranks of thirteenth to second in 2017. Never assume anything. Unless they make a huge leap, the Flyers will likely choose seventh overall in this summer’s draft.