With the 2013 NHL playoffs just around the corner, some teams have their sights set on the Stanley Cup.
Some, however, went home early.
Well, the good news for the lottery-bound teams is the fact that they could land some solid talent out on the ice, hoping that some offseason moves can propel them to the playoffs next season.
Here's a look at verge playoff contenders who figure to strengthen their postseason aspirations on June 30 in Newark, N.J.
*Complete 2013 NHL lottery order can be found here.
14. Columbus Blue Jackets
Will the Blue Jackets make the playoffs next season?
The Blue Jackets finished with the most points (55) out of all non-playoff teams this season. They expect young defenseman Ryan Murray—who missed his rookie campaign with a shoulder injury—to make the difference as the team seeks to make it to the playoffs next season.
Columbus has three picks in the first round, including two near the middle of the round. With a need for a defenseman and a center, don't be surprised if the Blue Jackets nab someone like Mirco Mueller or Frederik Gauthier at the respective positions. They are on the verge of becoming a playoff team.
The Blue Jackets allowed 115 goals this season, tied for ninth in the NHL, but they are in need for a defenseman. They could also use a two-way player like Gauthier after ranking 25th in goals scored this season.
13. Winnipeg Jets
The Jets tied for the second-most points (51) among non-playoff teams this season. The future of this team is still a bit murky—with a few areas to address—but adding a center like Alexander Wennberg or a right wing like Ryan Hartman would make sense.
Both Wennberg and Hartman are projects, but they have the potential to give the squad a boost given their raw talent. Hartman—an adept goal scorer—could be ready to contribute down the stretch next season.
The Jets notched 126 goals this season, tied for 15th in the NHL. Good, but not great.
12. Phoenix Coyotes
Last but not least, we have the Phoenix Coyotes, who also registered 51 points this season. A year removed from a trip to the Western Conference Finals, don't be surprised if Phoenix does damage next season.
Someone like left wing Valentin Zykov or right wing Valeri Nichushkin have the potential to make an instant impact for the Coyotes in the NHL. Phoenix ranked 21st in goals scored this season.