With the conference finals going on, it's time to take a look at how the first half of the playoffs has affected the order of the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
The first 14 picks were set by the results of the NHL Draft Lottery held in April. Now that the first two rounds of the playoffs are completed, all but the final four picks are set.
The 12 teams eliminated from the playoffs make up the next set of picks. Non-division winners are placed in inverse order of points. Division winners next are slotted in through the same process. That's why the Pittsburgh Penguins
, who had the fourth-most points in the League, have a better draft spot than the Florida Panthers
, finished with nine fewer points but won the Southeast Division.
The teams that lose in the conference finals will take picks 27 and 28; the loser in the Stanley Cup Final will pick No. 29; the Stanley Cup winner will take No. 30.
Three teams have multiple first-round picks: Tampa Bay will pick 10th and 19th; Washington has the Nos. 11 and 16 picks; and Buffalo will pick 12th and 21st.
Columbus also could have two first-round picks. They currently have the No. 2 pick and hold an option to take Los Angeles' pick, which can be no worse than No. 27. The Blue Jackets acquired the rights to the pick in the Jeff Carter
trade, and either can take the Kings' first pick this year or next.
Three teams currently will sit out the first round: Colorado, which sent it's pick to Washington in the Semyon Varlamov
deal; Detroit, which traded it's pick to Tampa Bay as part of the Kyle Quincey
trade; and Nashville, which dealt it's pick to Buffalo in exchange for Paul Gaustad
Also, New Jersey has the option of forfeiting its pick, which can be no worse than 28th, as penalty for circumventing the salary cap in signing Ilya Kovalchuk
in 2010. The Devils have to surrender their top pick in either the 2012, 2013 or 2014 draft.
Here's the order as of now. We don't know the how the final four picks will play out, but for fans wondering, the Kings and Coyotes will pick either No. 27, 29 or 30; the Devils and Rangers can pick No. 28, 29 or 30.
4. N.Y. Islanders
10. Tampa Bay
11. Washington (from Colorado)
17. San Jose
19. Tampa Bay (from Detroit)
21. Buffalo (from Nashville)
25. St. Louis
27. Conference finals loser
28. Conference finals loser
29. Stanley Cup Final loser
30. Stanley Cup championContact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK