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April 29, 2017

Flyers will pick second in 2017 NHL Draft after catching huge break in lottery

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030315_hextall_ap Matt Slocum/AP

Flyers GM Ron Hextall.

As it turns out, Reese Bobby was wrong when he told his son, Ricky, "If you ain't first, you're last."

The Philadelphia Flyers, who finished just outside the playoffs, didn't technically win the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery – that would be the New Jersey Devils. But let's be honest, Ron Hextall and Co. were the big winners on Saturday night, climbing 11 spots from where they were slotted at 13 and landing the second-overall pick.

They originally had just a 2.4 percent chance of getting that pick.

Here's more on the lottery process and the Flyers' long odds from Tim Panaccio of

The highest percentage saw them remaining at 13th overall (84.3 percent).

Because of the rules of the lottery, the 12 clubs not selected in the NHL draft lottery will be assigned NHL draft selections four through 15, in inverse order of regular-season points.

Hence, the Flyers could not pick fourth-12th and could only pick in the 1-3 positions, or fall to 14th (8.3 percent) or 15th (0.1 percent).  []

So when the Winnipeg Jets logo was revealed in the 13th spot (and not the Flyers), it meant that Philly would be moving up into the top 3 (along with Dallas, who will pick third, and New Jersey).

Here's a look at the order for the first 15 picks in the NHL Draft:

  1. Devils
  2. Flyers
  3. Stars
  4. Avalanche
  5. Canucks
  6. Vegas
  7. Coyotes
  8. Sabres
  9. Red Wings
  10. Panthers
  11. Kings
  12. Hurricanes
  13. Jets
  14. Lightning
  15. Islanders
The 2017 NHL Draft will take place in Chicago this year and begins on June 23.

Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin

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