CHICAGO — At the end of the day, the goal was to finish as low in the standings as possible.
Well, the Blackhawks did finish near the bottom of the NHL, but not as far down as they ideally would have hoped. It puts even more stress on a very important day for the franchise in early May.
With the season coming to a close on Friday, the Blackhawks officially finished third-to-last in the league. In other words, they have the third-best chance to get the No. 1 overall pick, also known as the chance to select center Connor Bedard, one of the best draft prospects in years.
Getting to the bottom was the goal for general manager Kyle Davidson as he continues in the early stage of the Blackhawks rebuild, and he almost was able to do that. Their 59 points were tied for the franchise’s lowest in an 82-game season, yet it wasn’t enough to secure the best odds to get Bedard.
The Ducks got that with 58 points, as a win by the Blackhawks over the Penguins in the second-to-last game of the year along with an overtime loss to Philadelphia in the finale determining their spot in the standings.
Now the date circled on Blackhawks’ fans is Monday, May 8, when the NHL will conduct their draft lottery at 6 p.m. central time in Secaucus, New Jersey. So what are the odds for the Blackhawks entering that night?
The team has an 11.5% chance to get the top overall selection with the Blue Jackets having a 13.5 percent shot and the Ducks the best at 18.5 percent.
Since there are only lottery drawings for the first and second overall picks along with a limit of ten spots teams can rise in the standings, the farthest the Blackhawks could fall is fifth in the draft order. That would happen if the Ducks nor the Blue Jackets get one of the first two picks.
So for the next few weeks, all Blackhawks fans can do is look ahead to May 8 and hope the odds are on their side.