The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t have to wait long to find their next top pick superstar. On May 8th, 2023, the NHL held its annual draft lottery. Non-playoff teams eagerly await the results to see which prospects they would have the opportunity to add to their rosters. In a surprising turn of events, the Chicago Blackhawks, who came into the night holding the third overall pick, jumped to the top spot. They secured the opportunity to select highly-touted prospect, Connor Bedard.
The Chicago Blackhawks jump two spots to first overall in NHL draft lottery
The Chicago Blackhawks had a 11.6% chance of winning the draft lottery, but the odds were in their favor. They jumped over both the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Anaheim Ducks to secure the first overall pick. With the top selection, the Blackhawks will likely choose Bedard, a dynamic forward who has been widely regarded as one of the most promising prospects in recent years.
Bedard, who has been compared to NHL superstar Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby, has already made a name for himself in the hockey world despite only being 18 years old. He was the first player in Canadian Hockey League history to be granted exceptional status. This allowed him to play in the Western Hockey League at the age of 15. Since then, he has continued to impress scouts and fans alike with his speed, skill, and vision on the ice.
The Chicago Blackhawks’ selection of Bedard will undoubtedly be a major boost to their roster, which has struggled in recent years. The team missed the playoffs in both the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, leading to a number of changes in the front office and coaching staff. With Bedard in the fold, however, the team will have a talented young player to build around for years to come.
The Ducks, who held the second overall pick before being leapfrogged by the Blackhawks, will likely select Adam Fantilli with their selection. The young forward has been touted as one of the top prospects in the draft. He will pair well with all-star forward Trevor Zegras, who the team selected in the 2019 draft.
Overall, the 2023 NHL draft lottery was full of surprises and excitement, with the Blackhawks emerging as the big winners. With the selection of Bedard, the team has a bright future ahead. Fans are already eagerly anticipating seeing the young phenom take the ice in a Chicago Blackhawks uniform.