Skip to content
Jets picks: last night didn’t help Kent Hughes in the draft
Credit: Getty Images
The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is practically over.

Only one team remains to complete the final four in the National Hockey League.

Either the Vancouver Canucks or the Edmonton Oilers will join the Stars, Panthers and Rangers in the Stanley Cup semi-finals.

Last night brought us the identities of two new conference finalists, as the Florida Panthers sent the Boston Bruins on vacation and the Dallas Stars eliminated the Colorado Avalanche.

It’s exciting to see how close we are to the Stanley Cup Final, but for Kent Hughes and the fans of the Montreal Canadiens, last night didn’t really help the team’s cause for the draft.

Why not?

Well, because with the Panthers and Stars victories (both division champions), the Habs’ first-round draft pick from the Winnipeg Jets won’t be as highly ranked as it could have been.

Basically, before the start of the second round, the Jets’ pick could rank from 24ᵉ to 27ᵉ, depending on the outcome of the various series, given that the Jets lost in the first round.

However, now, with the Panthers and Stars victories, the pick could only be at 26ᵉ or 27ᵉ rank, depending on the outcome of the series between the Oilers and Canucks.

Now, I know this all sounds very complicated (it is), so let me explain in detail how it all works.

First, what you need to know is that the four teams that advance to the final four of the NHL playoffs will occupy the 32ᵉ, 31ᵉ, 30ᵉ and 29ᵉ draft spots, respectively.

Regardless of where these teams rank at the end of the regular season, they will be the last four teams to speak (if they hold their pick) in the first round of the draft.

To help you visually, here are the NHL regular-season standings.

With the Rangers and Stars already ahead of the Jets in the overall regular-season standings, their advancement to the Final Four changes nothing.

As for Carolina, they were already ahead of the Jets in the standings, and will therefore draft after the Jets’ pick (held by the Canadiens), despite the fact that they lost in the second round.

As for the Panthers, they were guaranteed to draft behind the Jets, despite finishing behind them in the overall standings as division champions.

However, in last night’s win over the Boston Bruins, they negated the scenario in which the Bruins draft after the Jets.

By reaching the Final Four, the Bruins would have officially drafted between the 29ᵉ and 32ᵉ spots.

It would have been the same scenario if the Avalanche had eliminated the Dallas Stars.

In short, then, this means that the Winnipeg Jets’ pick could have moved up a few spots (two to be precise) if the Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche (both behind the Jets in the overall standings) had reached the Final Four.

So that explains why last night didn’t help Kent Hughes.

We now come to the series between the Oilers and Canucks, which will have an impact on the Jets’ choice.

If the Oilers win the series, they advance to the Final Four, and would therefore draft behind the Jets, moving the Jets’ pick up to 26ᵉ.

However, if the Canucks win, the Jets’ pick would be 27ᵉ, given that the Canucks are champions of their division and would therefore be behind the Jets in a ranking of teams eliminated in the first two rounds.

In short, things are coming together regarding the pick acquired from the Jets by the Tricolore in the Sean Monahan deal.

If you still want to see the Habs get the best possible pick, you’d better hope the Oilers eliminate the Canucks.

But between you and me, is there really that big a difference in value between pick 26 and pick 27?

Kent Hughes is very likely to trade him, regardless.

I’d be surprised to see Hughes draft this pick, but you never know, given that there will still be some interesting prospects at the end of the first round.

In a gust

– Montreal CF takes on Toronto FC tonight.

– A great career that unfortunately comes to an end without a Stanley Cup.

– Oettinger is truly unstoppable after a playoff loss.

– Barkov is playing some excellent hockey right now.

– A big off-season ahead for the Bruins?

More Content