Lightning Round: Chicago Blackhawks win 2023 NHL Draft Lottery
Outside of The Windy City, the happiest folks in the NHL have to be in the league offices. The next big marketable star will not be starting his games at 10:00 PM EST, instead it looks like Connor Bedard will be starting his career in the third largest TV market in the United States.
The Chicago hockey team cashed in on their 11.5% odds and leapfrogged the Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets to secure the first overall selection in the 2023 NHL Draft, and with that the right to draft Connor Bedard. For the 'Hawks it will be the first time since 2007 that they will be drafting first overall. That year they took Patrick Kane. This year they'll likely draft Kane's successor.
While fans in Anaheim are likely bummed out at not getting Bedard, they will have a decent consolation prize in Dylan Duke's teammate at the University of Michigan, Adam Fantilli. The 18-year-old put up 65 points (30 goals, 35 assists) in 36 games for the Wolverines and added another 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in 7 games for Team Canada at the Men's Under-20 World Juniors in January.
Columbus drops to the third spot and will have to choose between three offensive studs in Matvei Michkov, Leo Carsson, or Will Smith. Those three are unlikely to hit the NHL next season, but project to be top-six forwards within a few seasons. For a Blue Jackets team that has a decent roster when it's not beset by injuries, having a talented playmaker coming around in a few seasons would be a nice addition.
The rest of the selections went chalk without anyone jumping up or down in their draft spots. Arizona receives the 12th overall pick from the Ottawa Senators as a result of the Jakob Chychrun trade at the deadline this season.
Lightning / NHL / Hockey News
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It wasn't all positive news for the Golden Knights as starting goaltender Laurent Brossoit had to be helped off the ice following this play: