Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Blackhawks Become First Team Since 2011 To Stay At No. 2 Overall In NHL Draft Lottery


Last year, the Blackhawks made the improbable jump to the first overall pick in the NHL Draft Lottery for the right to eventually draft Connor Bedard. Despite having even better odds to do the same this year, they weren’t so lucky.

In the first main event on the NHL offseason calendar, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly announced at the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery that the Blackhawks will have the No. 2 pick at this year’s draft. It’s far from the worst-case scenario for Chicago, who had a 41.7 percent chance to drop all the way to fourth overall and a 30.7 percent probability of getting the third pick.

The Blackhawks, who finished with the second-worst record in the NHL this year, became the first team to stay at the No. 2 overall pick since 2011. They had just a 14.1 percent chance to retain the second pick.

Chicago has to be at least slightly disappointed in not being able to jump up to first overall for the second year in a row, a scenario that had a 13.5 percent chance of happening with 135 possible ping-pong ball combinations. With the Sharks keeping the first pick, they’ll almost certainly use it on Hobey Baker Award winner Macklin Celebrini.

Still, the Blackhawks have their pick of anyone outside of Celebrini. With stars like Artyom Levshunov, Ivan Demidov, and Cayden Lindstrom projected inside the top five, Chicago will still be going home with a franchise cornerstone in the draft, which will be held on June 28-29 at the Sphere in Las Vegas, an event being advertised as the most unique draft ever.

“The draft will utilize the Sphere’s cutting-edge technology. You’ve never seen anything like it.”

– NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman

The Blackhawks also own the No. 20 overall pick, which they acquired from the Lightning in return for Brandon Hagel.

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