Chicago wins Connor Bedard sweepstakes,

Nabil Anas
Nabil Anas

Global Courant 2023-05-09 05:37:28

Chicago won the NHL draft lottery and the right to select Connor Bedard with the first pick, turning one of their worst seasons in decades into a potentially franchise-changing player.

It’s Chicago’s second time winning the lottery in the past two decades, and the previous win in 2007 earned them Patrick Kane, who helped them win the Stanley Cup three times between 2010 and 2015. Bedard can now step into the void filled by the departure of Kane and longtime Captain Jonathan Toews and become the new face of the Original Six organization.

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly unveiled a placard with Chicago’s logo on Monday night, indicating they had been awarded the No. 1 pick. Chicago had the third highest chance of winning the lottery at 11.5 percent, behind Anaheim’s 25.5 percent and Columbus’ 13.5 percent.

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“I think I just said ‘wow,’ because you understand the impact that a first overall choice can have — and a first overall choice in the right year,” Chicago general manager Kyle Davidson said at a news conference in Chicago. . “Hopefully that’s what we have here. It can change a franchise, it can change a city and it can change an era in a team’s history. That has a lot of weight and a lot of meaning.”

Montreal, which had an 8.5 percent chance of getting the top pick, has the highest roster of any Canadian team in this year’s draft, which will be held in Nashville on June 28-29.

LOOK | Chicago jumps 2 places to win NHL draw lottery:

Chicago captures the first overall pick in the NHL draw lottery

Chicago gets first overall pick in 2023 NHL draft after winning Monday night lottery in Secaucus, NJ

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The Vancouver Canucks (11th) and the Calgary Flames (16th) round out the Canadian teams that will select in the top 16. The Ottawa Senators will send their 12th overall pick to the Arizona Coyotes after trading their first-round pick for Arizona defenseman Jakob Chychrun at the NHL trade deadline in March.

League worst Anaheim won the lottery for the second pick and can choose from a trio of talented forwards: Canadian Adam Fantilli, Russian Matvei Michkov and Swede Leo Carlsson.

Ducks GM Pat Verbeek waited for Daly to “turn the card”.

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“Let’s kill the tension here and go after it,” Verbeek said on a Zoom call. “So they flipped the card and we ended up choosing 2. I’m excited.”

Columbus is about to pick third, continuing the Blue Jackets’ streak of losing lotteries. GM Jarmo Kekalainen said an oversight in the broadcast revealing his team placed third “ruined the moment”.

“We’re getting a great player at 3 years old, I have no doubt about that,” Kekalainen said during a video call with reporters. “Everyone wants to win the lottery, then everything is your control, and of course everyone is talking about a special player at the top of the rankings. But we are confident that we will get a big difference maker at 3.”

Long-term presumptive 2023 top pick

Bedard has been the presumed top pick in the 2023 draft for several years, considered the best available candidate since Connor McDavid eight years ago, making this lottery almost as anticipated as that one or the 2005 draw for Sidney Crosby.

The native of North Vancouver, BC, led all junior players across Canada with 72 goals and 143 points last season while playing for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. He won’t turn 18 until July.

In a pre-recorded TV interview that aired on ESPN, Bedard said his future was set: “There are different emotions watching, but I think we all just watch as fans. … It’s more for the teams. “

Chicago decided last year to bottom out and embark on a protracted rebuild, trading star players Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach despite each being under 25. The strategy worked: Chicago lost 56 of 82 games to create an opportunity at Bedard.

Order of selection:

1. Chicago (11.5 percent)2. Anaheim Ducks (18.5 percent)3. Columbus Blue Jackets (13.5 percent)4. San Jose Sharks (9.5 percent)5. Montreal Canadiens (8.5 percent)6, Arizona Coyotes (7.5 percent)7. Philadelphia Flyers (6.5 percent)8. Washington Capitals (6.0 percent)9. Detroit Red Wings (5.0 percent)10. St. Louis Blues (3.5 percent)11. Vancouver Canucks (3.0 percent)12. Arizona Coyotes* (of Ottawa Senators, 2.5 percent)13. Buffalo Sabers (2.0 percent)14. Pittsburgh penguins (1.5 percent)15. Nashville Predators (0.5 percent)16. Calgary Flames (0.5 percent)

* — as part of a March 21, 2023 trade, Ottawa moves their first-round pick in the 2023 Draft to Arizona.

Chicago wins Connor Bedard sweepstakes,

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