Tampa Bay Lightning 2014 draft position improves with New York Rangers playoff advancement

The Bolts win, in a way, with the Rangers win over Pittsburgh.Follow @RawCharge

With the New York Rangers win tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins, they advance in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they'll meet up with the winner of the Boston Bruins/Montreal Canadiens series. But with that win comes a win for the Tampa Bay Lightning as well, sort of.

Go back to March 5th and the shocking departure of Martin St. Louis to the Rangers for Ryan Callahan. The trade was basically a 2014 2nd round draft choice, a 1st round draft choice in 2015, and Ryan Callahan for Martin St. Louis. This year's draft pick had the conditional stipulation that if the Rangers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, it would become a first round selection in this year's entry draft. (The condition also exists that, if Ryan Callahan is re-signed by the Lightning, the Bolts will swap draft picks with the Rangers - giving up a 2nd round pick in 2015 for a 7th round draft selection from the New York.)

So, basically, Tampa Bay now has two 1sts to play around with in the upcoming NHL Draft. That probably doesn't wash away the sting of how the St. Louis trade came to pass, but it does open up options for the club - drafting prospects or moving picks for immediate help.

The draft will take place in Philadelphia this year on June 27th and 28th.