2023 NHL Draft Lottery: Chicago Blackhawks to select Conor Bedard

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — The hockey gods weren’t on the Philadelphia Flyers side Monday night. the The Flyers are selected #7 in the 2023 NHL Draftwhich means they will not draft Conor Beddard.

The Flyers had a 6.5% chance of winning the lottery.

Bedard goes to the Chicago Blackhawks thanks to a big win in the NHL lottery that could change the future of the Original Six franchise.

The Blackhawks won the lottery Monday night for the right to pick Bedard, the league’s most anticipated draft since Connor McDavid in 2015. A generational talent, Bedard has drawn comparisons to McDavid and three-time Stanley Cup champion and MVP Sidney Crosby. who worshiped him growing up.

Chicago will attempt to return to the top of the hockey mountain with Bedard as the new face of the franchise, replacing the late stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews who combined to help them win the Cup three times from 2010-2015. After committing last year to a massive rebound, this is the Blackhawks’ first lottery win since 2007 when they got Kane.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley unveiled a banner with the Blackhawks’ logo at 8:22 PM EST, signifying that they had earned the first pick and setting off a wild celebration among fans at an observing party. Chicago had the third highest odds of winning the lottery at 11.5%, behind Anaheim’s 25.5% and Columbus’s 13.5%.

“I think I just said, ‘Wow,’ because you understand the impact a first overall pick can have — and getting a first overall pick in the right year,” Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said at a Chicago press conference. “Hopefully that’s what we have here. It can change a franchise, it can change a city and it can change an era in team history. There’s a lot of significance to that and a lot of significance to that.”

The worst in the league, Anaheim won the lottery for the second time and will choose from three talented forwards: Canadian Adam Fantelli, Russian Matvey Michkov and Sweden’s Leo Carlsson.

Columbus is slated to pick third, continuing the Blue Jackets’ losing streak of lottery losses. GM Jarmo Kikalainen said an on-air slip-up revealed his team was opting for third place, “ruining the moment”.

“We’re going to get a great player in the third, there is no doubt about that in my mind,” Kikalainen said on a video call with reporters. “Everyone wants to win the lottery and then it’s all in your control and obviously everyone talked about a special player at the top of the table. But we’re confident we’ll get a big difference-maker in the third.”

Bedard has been the top presumptive pick in the 2023 draft for several years, and is considered the best prospect available since McDavid — and before that, Crosby.

Bedard, a native of North Vancouver, British Columbia, led all rookies across Canada with 72 goals and 143 points this past season while playing for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. He didn’t turn 18 until July.

In a pre-recorded televised interview broadcast on ESPN, Bédard said of his future being decided: “There are different feelings that we’re watching, but I think we’re all just watching it as fans… It’s more for the teams.”

The Blackhawks were once considered among the franchises of the NHL form. But the team’s reputation was tarnished by a 2021 investigation that found some of the organization’s top leaders mishandled allegations that an assistant coach sexually assaulted a player during the team’s title in 2010, leading to a $2 million fine and the resignation of GM Stan. Bowman.

Davidson, who was not with the team at the time, took over on a temporary basis and in spring 2022 he was given the job full time.

The front office then decided to step back and plunge into a long-term rebuilding process, with star forwards Alex DeBrinkat and Kirby Dash participating in the draft last year despite both being under the age of 25. Chance in Bedard.

“No matter where we choose, I think we will get a great player,” said Davidson. “I don’t think it’s an excuse. It’s definitely a nice bonus and a nice surprise to come with first place.”

Davidson never said Bedard’s name after winning the lottery and only hinted at players at the top of the draft who were “elite talent” and “ready for the NHL”. Bedard’s name will be announced at the start of the draft on June 28 in Nashville, Tennessee, which could be the start of a new chapter for Chicago.

“We have to build a team,” said Davidson. “You look at any Stanley Cup team, they’ve got great players but it’s not just one guy who wins it.”

    (tags for translation) Sports 

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