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5 Thoughts Heading into the Draft Lottery

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Oh, it’s on. Today’s the day the Chicago Blackhawks find out where they will pick in the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery.  Since they can pick anywhere from one to five, here are five quick thoughts heading into one of the most important days for the organization.

#1: Connor Bedard is Absolutely a Generational Player

The no sh-t Sherlock argument of the draft. Bedard has drawn comparisons to aptly named Connor McDavid and tore up the Western Hockey League all season long. In 57 games, Bedard scored 71 times and had 143 points. He was just 28 points from his points-to-game ratio being 3:1.

Not enough? Look at his gaudy numbers in the World Juniors Championship that netted Team Canada a gold medal. Seven games: 23 points, nine of them goals.

Yes folks, he’s the real deal. If the Blackhawks end up winning the draft lottery, he will likely have the greatest amount of anticipation since Michael Jordan walked into Chicago Stadium for the first time.

#2: Recent History Says Great Talent Goes Beyond #1

Let’s get it out there as written before: chances of drafting fourth or fifth is higher than picking in the top three. But recent history shows that there is life after the number one pick. Some notables that were in the top five include:

  • 2017: Miro Heiskanen (3rd overall – Dallas),
  • 2017: Cale Makar (4th overall- Colorado),
  • 2017: Elias Petterson (5th overall- Vancouver)
  • 2018: Andrei Svechnikov (2nd overall- Carolina);
  • 2018: Brady Tkachuk (4th overall – Ottawa)
  • 2020: Tim Stützle (3rd overall – Ottawa)

This doesn’t include more recent players who could certainly develop into top tier players already showing flashes. But it just goes to show the Blackhawks can be fine even if they fall to fifth.

#3: Gifts Can Fall

Who can forget that Shane Wright free fell to number four and the Seattle Kraken were eagerly waiting with open arms. How about Cale Makar, who slipped to fourth overall as well? Any team re-drafting would swipe him up at #1 immediately. It takes more than smart drafting however to find success.

#4: Development is Everything

The Blackhawks have worked hard on this aspect, putting good people in the organization to cultivate what will have to be top notch development, starting with Rockford. Head coach Anders Sorensen and his staff will see an influx of recent picks heading an hour west of Chicago next season. The returns, be it Lukas Reichel or Alec Regula, have been very positive. More is on the way, and aside from Sorensen, the Blackhawks will be judicious from where they pick because the proper care must be taken from those respective programs.

#5: Patience is Everything

One of the biggest, most frustrating parts of a rebuild is the full out losing. Between the last six years of a team that was a fringe contender to all of the losing in 2022-23, fans are right to feel impatience. But to be done correctly, patience and prudence is necessary. There is no greater indictment to this line of thinking than the offseason of 2021. Instead of beginning to rebuild, then general manager Stan Bowman opted to take one final shot at it. It failed. Current general manager Kyle Davidson has been shrewd and downright aggressive when he’s had to be.

In a full rebuild, it’s exactly what you need. But above it all patience takes precedence. As the old saying goes, good things happen to those who wait.

This is yet another example.

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