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The Flyers officially have the 14th and 19th picks in the 2018 NHL Draft

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Tonight’s draft lottery confirmed that the Flyers will get the St. Louis Blues’ first-round pick, which currently sits at 14th overall.

2008 NHL Draft Drawing
Not today, Satan.
Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images for the NHL

On Saturday night, for the second year in a row, the Flyers left the lottery with exactly what they needed.

The St. Louis Blues were not one of the three teams chosen in tonight’s draft lottery, meaning that the Flyers now own their 2018 first-round pick, per the terms of the Brayden Schenn trade that took place at last year’s draft. That pick will be the 14th pick in the first round, meaning that, along with their own pick (the 19th pick in the draft), the Flyers now have two picks in the top 20 of the draft.

Had the Blues been one of the lottery’s three winners, they’d have had (and almost certainly accepted) the option to keep their own pick this season and instead give the Flyers their first-round pick next year, in 2019, along with a third-round pick in 2020. The odds of that happening, however, were slim; the Blues had just 15 combinations out of the possible 1,000, and as such had just a five percent chance at clinching one of the top three spots.

In fairness, it’s tough to think that St. Louis misses their pick that much. Schenn posted a career-high 70 points in his first year with the Blues, he was more effective in the center role than he ever was with the Flyers, and on top of all that, the Blues managed to get out of Jori Lehtera’s onerous contract. It wasn’t an ideal year for St. Louis — they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011 — but Schenn’s overall play was a highlight of their season.

Still, the Flyers have to be thrilled with the outcome of the Schenn trade. Given the Blues general success this decade, the 14th pick is probably about as good a pick as one realistically could’ve expected them to give up. Between this pick and the Morgan Frost selection last year (just before Frost went on to be one of the best forwards in the OHL this season), the Flyers managed to get a lot of value out of the Schenn trade.

With two picks in the top 20, the Flyers now have some choices to make. The team still has a pretty deep group of talented, young players in its pipeline, even with several young guys graduating from the ranks of the “prospects” as they gained meaningful time with the Flyers this year. Will they make both of those picks this June at the draft in Dallas? Could they use one or both of them to make a move, either to trade up and try and grab a top-end talent in the draft or to get an established NHLer?

Ron Hextall was asked in his year-end press conference on Thursday about his plans for his two first-rounders, and was noncommittal about the many options he has with those picks but confirmed that all doors are open regarding potential trades (transcription below via Flyers PR):

Yeah, it’s a solid draft. That’s the way we look at it. We got our meetings coming up. Be a little more informed at that point. We’ve seen enough players where it’s a good draft and we’re going to get a couple of good players if we make those picks. In terms of options, yeah it gives you more options. If you want to move up, I would envision the chance to move up. We’re a little bit more defined in terms of the pieces that we have. At least have a good chance of playing. It narrows the scope a little bit, so if we move up to this spot, we can get this player who’s a good fit for the group of prospects that we have. A little bit more options.

In any event, we’ve got plenty of time to speculate on the draft and what the Flyers could do at it. For now, we know that they have two picks to work with, and that’s pretty exciting.

As for the rest of the lottery, the Sabres (finishing in first place), the Hurricanes (second), and the Canadiens (third) all advanced to the top 3, and their fates were announced at the second intermission of the Sharks/Golden Knights game. As such, here’s your lottery draft order:

15. Florida Panthers
14. Philadelphia Flyers (via St. Louis)
13. Dallas Stars
12. New York Islanders (via Calgary)
11. New York Islanders
10. Edmonton Oilers
9. New York Rangers
8. Chicago Blackhawks
7. Vancouver Canucks
6. Detroit Red Wings
5. Arizona Coyotes
4. Ottawa Senators
3. Montreal Canadiens
2. Carolina Hurricanes
1. Buffalo Sabres