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Blackhawks’ NHL Draft Lottery Win Would Be Twice As Nice, But With a Price

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The Chicago Blackhawks and general manager Kyle Davidson are hoping for similar luck tonight when the NHL Draft Lottery reveals who will have the right to draft Macklin Celebrini with the first overall pick. The Blackhawks have 2% better odds this season to snag that top pick–which would have suffering San Jose Sharks fans howling at the tragedy of a brutal season of losing wasted.

But a second straight win gives Davidson no choice but to go more on the offense as the Blackhawks, per NHL rules, will be unable to win the first overall pick–or win a lottery draw–over the next three years. Blackhawks fans wouldn’t be too upset about that as Connor Bedard and Celebrini down the middle would put the Blackhawks in contention mode much faster.

But over the course of the next three years, the Blackhawks  are locked in wherever they pick in the lottery standings. So while celebrating the Celebrini sweepstakes, such a win forces Davidson’s timeline to shift a bit for a number of reasons.

Winning the NHL Draft Lottery Gives Davidson No Other Choice But To Speed Up

There has to be prudence to the process but Davidson already said next season will have to be a jump forward from the long stretches of losing this season–and last.

“We want to take the next step here and progress,” Davidson told the media at locker clean out. “We don’t want to finish where we finished this year moving forward. That’s not what we’re looking to do anymore. It’s something we’re going to be conscious of moving forward. Hopefully we can see a little more success and some positive steps in the standings and on the ice here moving forward.”

Getting Celebrini would certainly do that, but it also ramps up some pressure on Davidson to get things done in a timely fashion. There’s already an argument here at CHN that Tampa Bay’s first-round pick this year, which the Blackhawks own, should be in play to upgrade immediately. That pick will take at least two years to develop into some type of NHL contributor if it’s a home run pick. Oliver Moore was taken at 19 last year and he still needs time.

But there are no guarantees there. So winning this NHL Draft Lottery again not only prevents Chicago from winning a lottery draw for three years, but it also carries a consequence in placing more pressure on getting the Blackhawks into relevance much faster. Drafting and developing is important–but so too is collecting the right “identity pieces” to win a Stanley Cup.

Winning the NHL Draft Lottery would be twice as nice. The price will be fans expecting a major jump next season in the standings. It also means finding contention at a much faster pace than patience likely dictates.

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