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NHL Draft Lottery Preview: Pick #8

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- It isn't likely but the Calgary Flames could slip down to eighth at the NHL Draft Lottery on Apr. 30.

The Flames have a 3.7 percent chance of being awarded the eighth selection due to the change in structure to the lottery.

The lottery will assign the top three picks to three of the non-playoff teams, which is a change from past years when it was only utilized to assign the first overall selection. The first lottery will assign the first overall pick, the second lottery will assign the following selection, and the third lottery will decide the team who selects third overall.

As a result, 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.

For the Flames to select eighth, three teams that finished ahead of them in the standings will need to win the three draft lotteries pushing the Flames to the eight spot.

Today, profiles three players who could be available with the eighth pick at the NHL Draft.

Clayton Keller - Center

Birthdate: Jul. 29, 1997

Birthplace: Swansea, IL

Shoots: Left

Height: 5'10

Weight: 170 lbs.

This year, Keller tore up the U.S. National Development Program with the U.S. National U18 Team, posting 107 points in 62 skates. In 23 games with USNTDP Juniors team in USHL, Keller registered 13 goals and 37 points. And at the U18's, he scored four goals and 14 points in seven games with Team USA.

Offence comes easily to the Swansea, IL product. While he is undersized at 5-foot-10, he possesses a boat load of skill and speed. He's an exceptional puck-handler and has terrific vision. While Keller is more of a playmaker, he can finish as well. He has a strong, accurate shot and thanks to his agility, he can weave through defenders in the offensive zone.

Charles McAvoy - Defence

Birthdate: Dec. 21, 1997

Birthplace: Long Beach, NY

Shoots: Right

Height: 6'0

Weight: 205 lbs.

In his freshman season with the Boston University Terriers, McAvoy became a key members of their defence corps thanks to his strong two-way game. He scored three goals and 25 points in 37 contests and ended the season with a plus-10 rating. Prior to starting his collegiate career, McAvoy played for the U.S. National U18 Team in the U.S. National Development Program.

He's got a sturdy frame and is hard to knock off the puck when he gets a hold of it. McAvoy won't hesitate joining the rush either, reading plays well and boasting strong skating skills. He plays a poised game, not panicking under pressure, and makes intelligent decisions with the puck. He can play a physical game, an area in which he is still refining as he sometimes crosses the line and ends up putting his team short-handed thanks to undisciplined plays.

Max Jones - Left Wing

Birthdate: Feb. 17, 1998

Birthplace: Rochester, MI

Shoots: Left

Height: 6'3

Weight: 202 lbs.

Jones played his first season with the London Knights in 2015-16 and he was able to score 28 goals in his rookie OHL campaign. He ended up with 52 points and 106 PIM in 63 regular season games and thus far in the playoffs, Jones has played four games due to a 12-game suspension handed down after his hit to the head of Owen Sound's Justin Brack in the Knights first round series.

The Rochester, MI native is a power forward who is hard on the puck. As his 28 goals show, he is more of finisher than a playmaker and he when he has a scoring chance, he is absolutely relentless. He's a big-bodied winger who has no issues about muscling his way through traffic to get himself open and ready to hammer the puck into the back of the net.

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