Who should Calgary Flames fans be cheering for in the playoffs for their draft picks?

Calgary Flames, Ryan Huska
Calgary Flames, Ryan Huska / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

While the Calgary Flames season is now over, many will be looking forward to the draft lottery, free agency and the 2024 NHL Draft, the Stanley Cup Playoffs will definitely effect them in a big way as well. With conditions on several picks that could either upgrade or turn into future picks, the Western Conference playoffs could be the difference between giving the Flames another chance at landing a future star or not.

So who should Flames fans be cheering for, and how do the current Stanley Cup Playoff matchups effect their potential draft picks of the future?

This upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs sees three conditional pick conditions on the line for the Flames, and unfortunately, two of the teams involved will do battle in round one. To start with, the Flames will land a 2026 third-round draft pick from the Dallas Stars if they are to make the Stanley Cup Finals this season, a pick that came through the Chris Tanev deal. If they fall short of that mark, the Flames will not get a pick, and will instead be dealt just Artem Grushnikov and the 2024 second-round pick that were part of the deal.

Unfortunately for Calgary, the Stars will do battle with the Vegas Golden Knights in round one, and as a part of the Noah Hanifin deal, the Flames pick will upgrade from a 2025 third-round pick to a second if they are to win a round. This makes the Stars-Golden Knights battle an interesting one, as the Flames could either upgrade to a higher pick with a Vegas victory, or they could add a completely new pick if the Stars go through to the Stanley Cup Finals. The worst scenario of all for Calgary would be a Stars victory in round one before falling short of the Stanley Cup Finals, so no matter the winner here, they’ll miss out on something.

The other scenario that Flames fans should be keeping an eye on is the Vancouver Canucks this Stanley Cup Playoffs, as the team will have a fourth-round pick upgraded to a third round pick if their divisional rival are able to make it to the Western Conference Finals as a part of the Elias Lindholm deal.

Worst case scenario for the Flames is that none of these picks convey, but given the talented teams they’ve made deals with, confidence is high that at least one, if not two of these picks convey and the team have yet another asset to work with moving forward.