Connect with us

Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks Rebuild Report: The Chance to Draft Bedard



Connor Bedard, blackhawks

The Blackhawks 2022-23 Season in Review

In the end, it would all be worth it. But until NHL Deputy Commissioner flipped the card over and revealed the Blackhawks as the recipient of the first overall pick, it had been an up and down roller coaster of a season. From an impressive start, to long losing streaks, to Jonathan Toews’ final game with Chicago, fans were all over the place emotionally.

Add to that Patrick Kane’s trade to the New York Rangers and the Blackhawks tested patience, especially when Chicago dashed Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes and won 5-2 late in the season. They even earned a point with an overtime loss against Philadelphia in the finale when they cheered Toews for his long and decorated career in Chicago.

But in the end, what were they to root for? Both of those contests bumped the Blackhawks to third in the draft order for the lottery, putting Anaheim and Columbus in prime position to get the rights to likely generational talent Connor Bedard. Oh sure, there were talents in Adam Fantilli and Leo Carlsson, but Bedard is the can’t-miss-sure-bet savior that will turn the fortunes of the team who gets him.

In the end, all of it didn’t matter. The losing, the trade of a franchise icon. The likely last game of another and the team’s long time captain.

The Blackhawks would win the Lottery.

The Aftermath

Well, the rebuild just sped up a bit. With caution, it’s certainly going to take time but if Bedard is the talent everyone is banking on, he’s the critical piece that a franchise builds around. The 17-year-old’s talents go beyond the ice, as his leadership and humility has been lauded by many. But there’s certainly a long way to go before.

It will still be a waiting game for Blackhawks fans. Now it’s about watching the growing pains, where a team led by a talent by Bedard ebbs and flows with the rest of the eventual prospects who make their way to Chicago. The challenge now for general manager Kyle Davidson is winning after that first pick. With four second-round picks and the 19th overall choice, Davidson has a number of choices to make. Will he trade up? Will he package the picks to get a young, already ready NHL talent to get on a line with Bedard?

Or will he simply use them all and add to the rapidly expanding war chest that has Chicago as one of the best prospect pools in the league?

It will be seven long years since the Chicago Blackhawks have been a true contender.  Their resurgence begins with drafting Bedard, but it will still be a process that will take time and patience. True, it will be sped up some. But there is still some ways to go.

Regardless, Blackhawks fans are feeling better about things for the first time in a long while.

Previous Pieces in the Series: Hastening the Fall (2016-17) | The End of an Era (2017-18) | Some Change But Not Enough (2018-19) | The Mirage of 2019-20 | Regression in 2020-21 | Can’t Hide from a Full Rebuild ’21-22

Discover more from Chicago Hockey Now

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading