Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Blackhawks Draft Lottery Primer: History At Each Pick, Possible Selections, Fun Facts, And More


It’s somehow already been a year since the Blackhawks franchise was altered forever. Last May, Chicago, who owned the third-worst record in the NHL the season before, made the unlikely jump to the first overall pick, which they used on star prospect Connor Bedard.

At 5:30 p.m. CDT tonight, the Blackhawks have a chance to once again win the rights to draft a franchise cornerstone, and like last year, must again pray for a lucky bounce. In tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery, they’ll have the second-best odds (13.5 percent) at winning the first overall pick after finishing the season with the second-worst record in the league. That pick would undoubtedly yield Macklin Celebrini, a 17-year-old superstar center and Hobey Baker Award winner.

Possible Selections

The Blackhawks can fall no lower than No. 4 overall in the lottery, and can’t go wrong when it comes to drafting an elite prospect. They’ll pick Celebrini if they move up a spot, but if they’re able to hold onto the second spot, they’ll likely draft RHD Artyom Levshunov. He’s a polished, talented prospect who should be able to step in and help a young, developing unit on day one. Chicago has a 13.5 percent chance at the top pick and a 14.1 percent shot at keeping the second pick.

Beyond the top two picks, there’s no clear expectation of who the Blackhawks’ pick would be. With a 30.7 percent shot at the third overall pick, Chicago could take WHL standout forward Cayden Lindstrom, USDP product Cole Eiserman, or Russian winger Ivan Demidov. Even with a 41.7 percent chance of falling to fourth overall, the Blackhawks will be adding a star prospect no matter what.

History at Each Pick

The Blackhawks’ two No. 1 overall picks in franchise history have lived up to their billing – Patrick Kane in 2007 and Bedard in 2023. Celebrini has all the tools to continue that trend, and although he isn’t entering the draft with quite as much hype as Bedard did, he’s still a generational prospect who doesn’t carry much risk.

The Blackhawks don’t have as much history with the second overall pick, having only used it once in history in 1965. They’ll navigate similar uncharted waters with the fourth pick, only using it in 1964. At third overall, however, they have much more experience. A list of six instances in history includes names like Denis Savard, Eddie Olczyk, and Jonathan Toews. Chicago most recently used the third overall pick on Kirby Dach in 2019.

Fun Facts

In reflecting on the history of the lottery, one statistic stands out as a bad omen for the Blackhawks – no team with the second-best odds has stayed at the No. 2 overall pick since 2011. They’ll certainly hope to move up to select Celebrini, but it won’t come as a surprise if they move down to the third or fourth pick, likely missing out on Levshunov.

On the bright side, however, a team has moved up into the No. 1 slot in seven of the last 11 lotteries. Last year, the Blackhawks broke a two-year run of the team with the best odds retaining the top pick.

The last time a team with the second-best odds moved up to the top pick was in 2014 when the Panthers nabbed Aaron Ekblad.

The lottery will take place in Secaucus, New Jersey, and will be broadcast on ESPN, Sportsnet, and TVA Sports.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Chicago SportsNEWS
Recommended for you

Give us your thoughts.x