The Draft Lottery Is Done… The Worst Case Scenario Happened
Bovada welcomes back Tony X, @soIoucity, who gives his take on the NHL draft and his bet to place!
The draft lottery is done and the worst case scenario happened for 90% of all NHL fans across the world. The Chicago Blackhawks moved up from their projected #3 spot in the lottery, jumping over the Blue Jackets and the Anaheim Ducks to get the #1 pick in the upcoming 2023 draft.
There was also some controversy in the draft show, which was pre-recorded and then later aired on TV. What happened? After the San Jose Sharks drew the #4 pick and no other cards shown on screen, the analyst announced that the Blackhawks or Ducks would end up with the first pick instead of the Blue Jackets, who fell to pick #3. There was nothing shown on the screen to indicate that, as highlights were rolling and no other card had been pulled.
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That was the only movement in the entire draft. Out of all the other 16 picks, the Blackhawks were the only team to move up. Some even think the Blackhawks shouldn’t have any draft picks for the foreseeable future because the sexual assault cover-up of Kyle Beach in the Blackhawks organization. The Blackhawks were fined only 2 million dollars for that, which is a drop in the bucket considering the team is worth possibly close to a billion dollars.
They sold over five million dollars in season tickets within 12 hours of winning the lottery!
Considering the Arizona Coyotes were fined multiple draft picks because they worked out players outside of the league’s official combine, this punishment seems way too lenient.
The entire reason all eyes were on this draft is because it features Connor Bedard, who has been the consensus number 1 pick for longer than I can remember. He’s also the best NHL prospect since another Connor, Mr. McDavid. With a generational prospect at stake, multiple teams across the NHL were tanking for Bedard. Tanking is smart in some cases because the worst thing to be in any sport is a team in the middle.
You either want to be very good or very bad. Being stuck in the middle and barely making the playoffs, or barely above .500 on the season will lead to lots of late draft picks with nothing to show for it. This means you weren’t good enough to win and you were just above average. You’ll be missing out on most of the great players in the top of the draft. Ironically, most owners would be very happy if they get fans in the seats because the team is above average and they don’t have to pay out huge contracts to superstars.
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Bedard, 17, is coming off a 57 game 143 point season in the WHL (71 Goals/72 Assists) which led the entire league in points. He did this while missing 11 games to play in World Juniors where he won gold for team Canada, and was the leader in goals, assists and points. Every time he’s stepped on the ice the last 3+ years he’s probably been the best player. Let’s take a look back at a previous draft and see how a player with a similar skill set, but not quite the amount of hype looks like.
The closest person in the past few years with somewhat the same excitement level pre-draft was Jack Hughes when taken first overall by the New Jersey Devils. The two players are comparable in size with Jack being 1-inch taller at 5 ’11, but Bedard having 15lbs on him at 185. Hughes got off to a slow start in his career getting only 52 points in his first two seasons (117 games) but has recently turned into the player everybody posting #LoseForHughes on social media thought he would bem having put up 99 points in only 78 games this year turning into a franchise player.
The #1 pick in the NHL is a great spot to be going back the past 20 years. All of them except for one are still playing, and 95% of them have either had amazing careers so far or are too young to judge. That one not in the league anymore is Nail Yakupov, who was taken in the 2012 draft by the Edmonton Oilers. He spent six years in the NHL but never panned out. I hate to say it but the Blackhawks struck gold and Bedard is coming…tell your teams to be prepared.
My Bet For The Draft:
Leo Carlsson will be the 3rd overall pick. (-125)
Bedard and Fantilli are basically glued in at the top two spots in this draft. I think the Blue Jackets take the 6-3 200 lb Center with their pick at number 3.
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