CHICAGO — There was a lot on the line for the Blackhawks on Monday night – and it all came down to the luck of the draw.
That’s exactly what they got thanks to a few luck ping pong balls.
The team won the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery and was awarded the No. 1 overall selection in this summer’s draft. This now means they’ll have the chance to select center Connor Bedard, who is one of the most highly-rated players in the draft in a number of years.
It marks the third time the Blackhawks have won the NHL Draft Lottery since it began in 1995, doing so in 1999 and 2007. In the first year, since the team could only move up four spots, so they were awarded the fourth-overall pick.
Eight years later, the team was able to move up from the fifth to the first spot, where they selected nine-time All-Star, three-time Stanley Cup champion, and 2016 Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane.
If the Blackhawks indeed keep the pick and select Bedard, which is highly likely, it will be just the second No. 1 overall pick in franchise history.
The Blackhawks finished the 2022-2023 NHL season with the third-worst record in the league, giving them the third-best odds of getting the top overall selection. This was the first full season of the team’s rebuild under general manager Kyle Davidson, which began when he took over the full time job in March 2022.
The team’s first round pick will be one of 11 they have in the 2023 NHL Draft, which was accumulated with a number of trades Davidson has made over the last year. Right now the team has two selections in the first round, four in the second, two in the third, along with a single selection in the fourth, fifth, and seventh rounds.
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