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NHL Draft Lottery Preview: Pick #2

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Didn't win the NHL Draft Lottery? Fret not.

The lottery will operate under a new structure this year, with the first three picks being assigned via three lotteries. All non-playoff teams having a chance to win one of those three picks.

As a result of this new process, the team earning the least amount of points in the regular season is no longer guaranteed, at worst, the second overall selection. That team can now drop to fourth overall with the new lottery process.

The teams not selected in the three lottery draws will be assigned selections in inverse of regular season points.

Looking ahead to the draft, CalgaryFlames.com has highlighted three players that could be selected at each position the Flames could be selecting at. Today, we're breaking down the second overall selection, which the Flames have a 8.8 percent chance of winning.

Patrik Laine - Right Wing

Birthdate: Apr. 19, 1998

Birthplace: Tampere, Finland

Shoots: Right

Height: 6'4

Weight: 209 lbs.

Laine spent the 2015-16 season playing for Tappara in the Finnish Liiga league, racking up 17 goals and 33 points in 46 games. In the playoffs, he scored nine goals and 14 points in 17 appearances and set a new Liiga record for goals scored in a single rookie playoff run. Laine also won gold with Finland at the 2016 World Junior Championship, scoring seven goals and 13 points at the tournament.

Known for his goal scoring ability, Laine has a powerful wrist shot and a hard one-timer that can handcuff goaltenders. He is willing to use his 6-foot-4 frame to bulldoze his way through traffic and open up space for himself, making him dangerous as soon as he enters the offensive zone. Thanks to his size and ability to read plays, he can be near-impossible to contain.

Jesse Puljujarvi - Right Wing

Birthdate: May 7, 1998

Birthplace: Älvkarleby, Sweden

Shoots: Right

Height: 6'3

Weight: 201 lbs.

Like Laine, Puljujarvi squared off against men in the 2015-16 season, playing for Kärpät in the Finnish Liiga league. In 50 regular season games, he scored 13 goals and posted 28 points. Puljujarvi also scored four goals and nine points in 10 postseason skates this spring. He played for Finland at the 2016 World Junior Championship, scoring five goals and 17 points on route to capturing gold. That point total ranks him tied for second all-time for an under-18 player at the tournament, sitting behind Jaromír Jágr and tying Wayne Gretzky and Eric Lindros.

Puljujarvi is known as a playmaker but also has a hard, accurate shot that makes him an all-around offensive threat. The 17-year-old has an incredible hockey IQ for someone of his age, is strong defensively, and can be trusted in all situations. At 6-foot-3, he has the physical edge on many of his opponents and will use his size to open up space. He is also a strong skater with plenty of speed to burn.

Pierre-Luc Dubois - Left Wing

Birthdate: Jun. 24, 1998

Birthplace: Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, QC

Shoots: Left

Height: 6'3

Weight: 201 lbs.

While we understand odds are that one of the two Finns will be taken second overall, there is always a chance a team goes off the board if their scouting staff is very high on a particular player.

If a team is leaning towards a player other than the Finns, it could very well be Dubois. The big winger from Quebec led the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in scoring this year with 42 goals and 99 points in 62 skates. In the playoffs, he averaged a point-per-game with seven goals and 12 points through two rounds.

Known as a complete player, there isn't much to dislike about Dubois' game. He generates plenty of offence, elevates his linemates' play, is responsible in his own zone, and has a strong hockey IQ. While not overly physical at this point in his development, he boasts a 6-foot-3 frame and weighs in at over 200-pounds, making it feasible for him to establish more of an edge to his game as he evolves as a player.

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