NHL: Blackhawks win lottery for No. 1 draft pick, rights to Connor Bedard
The Chicago Blackhawks won the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NHL Draft — and the right to select consensus top prospect Connor Bedard — in the league’s draft lottery on Monday night.
The Blackhawks had the third-worst record in the NHL this season (26-49-7, 59 points) and, therefore, the third-best probability to land the top pick, at 11.5 percent. They leapfrogged the Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets for the highly coveted No. 1 pick.
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The Ducks, who entered the night with a 25.5 percent chance of earning No. 1, instead will pick second. The Blue Jackets will select third.
Chicago has had the No. 1 draft pick only once before, and the franchise used it on Patrick Kane, who led the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup titles. The Blackhawks traded Kane to the New York Rangers during the 2022-23 season, but now a new era is ready to begin.
A center, Bedard is considered a generational talent in Canada in the mold of Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.
Bedard, who will turn 18 in July, totaled 143 points (71 goals, 72 assists) in 57 regular-season games for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. He added 10 goals and 10 assists in seven playoff games.
Over parts of three WHL seasons, he averaged a goal and an assist per game — 134 goals and 137 assists in 134 appearances.
The Vancouver native also had 23 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in seven games to lead Canada to a gold medal at the 2023 World Junior Championship.
The 2023 NHL Draft will be held in Nashville, Tenn. The first round is June 28, and rounds 2-7 are June 29.
The lottery determined the order of selection for the first 16 picks in the first round, going to the 16 teams that missed the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Ottawa Senators received the 12th overall pick, which conveyed to the Arizona Coyotes as part of the trade that sent defenseman Jakob Chychrun to Ottawa.
The order Nos. 1-16 is as follows:
1. Chicago Blackhawks
2. Anaheim Ducks
3. Columbus Blue Jackets
4. San Jose Sharks
5. Montreal Canadiens
6. Arizona Coyotes
7. Philadelphia Flyers
8. Washington Capitals
9. Detroit Red Wings
10. St. Louis Blues
11. Vancouver Canucks
12. Arizona Coyotes (from Ottawa)
13. Buffalo Sabres
14. Pittsburgh Penguins
15. Nashville Predators
16. Calgary Flames
–Field Level Media
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