With five games left in the Flyers season, the end is neigh. While the team is playing for pride and some for jobs next season, there are plenty who are watching the race for the top pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. Connor Bedard is the prize, with some other top options in there as well.
The Flyers sit 26th in the league with 71 points. With five games left, the highest they can finish is with 81 points. That would give them a chance to climb out of the bottom-10 in the league, but would certainly hurt any chances of making a potential jump to an early pick.
One thing is for certain, the Flyers cannot finish with a top three pick. Anaheim, Columbus and Chicago hold those spots with 56 points apiece. Each team has five games remaining, therefore the highest they can go is 66 points. Likewise, the Sharks sit with the fourth worst record and currently have 60 points. They can finish, at best, with 70 points, just a single point behind the Flyers current status.
So where could Philadelphia find themselves if they do not gain a single point for the rest of the season?
Top Five Pick is Possible for Flyers
There is a scenario in which the Flyers could drop in the standings and finish with a top-five pick. Montreal holds that spot at the moment with 66 points. They have four games remaining, meaning they could finish with a possible 74 points if they were to win those remaining four.
Considering Montreal has dropped their last four games, it’s unlikely they are to win out. They face Washington, Toronto, Islanders, and Boston. The Capitals have already been eliminated while Toronto and Boston have clinched their playoff spots. The Islanders will likely have done so by the time the Canadiens face them.
If the Flyers want to find themselves below Montreal, they can only win one of their remaining five games to make that a possibility. Another win puts them at 73 points. The best chance for them to jump into the top-five, though, is if they lose out to finish the season.
This scenario is probably the most unlikely to come to fruition since it essentially calls for Montreal winning out and the Flyers losing out.
Top 10 is Most Likely Finish for Flyers
At the moment, the Flyers have the seventh worst record in the league. There is a possibility that Philadelphia could lose out on a top-10 pick, but that would have to see them win their final five games. They face Dallas, Islanders, Boston, Columbus, and Chicago to finish the season.
For that scenario to happen, St. Louis and Detroit would have to lose their final four and five games respectively. It doesn’t seem plausible that it will happen.
But back to the Flyers’ opponents, the Stars and Bruins have clinched, while Columbus and Chicago are eliminated. The Islanders are likely to still be fighting for a playoff spot when Philadelphia faces them this weekend. The final two games of the season are the most likely matchups that would see the Flyers winning. Of course, a team like Boston could be resting some players for the playoffs, however the Bruins have out scored Philadelphia 10-1 this season.
Vancouver is currently ahead of the Flyers with 75 points and the same five games remaining. The Canucks are on a four-game losing streak but have played relatively well under Rick Tocchet. It’s hard to see them losing out the rest of the season. Washington is next at 77 points with five remaining games. They have also lost their last four, though they did pick up a point in a shootout loss.
The most realistic spot for the Flyers to finish is somewhere between 7th and 9th. It does seem as if where they currently sit will be their final spot once the season comes to an end. Looking at the draft lottery odds, finishing with the seventh worst record gives Philadelphia just a 6.5% chance at the top pick and a 6.9% chance at the second pick.
It wouldn’t be the first time the Flyers have made a surprising jump in the lottery. In 2017, Philadelphia jumped from the 13th spot to the second. Never say never. Barring a jump like that, seventh is the likely place that the Flyers will draft this upcoming summer.