Sunday, May 19, 2024

Blackhawks Officially Secure Lottery Position After Sunday’s Loss

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Last year, the Blackhawks went into the NHL Draft Lottery with the third-best odds at securing the No. 1 pick. Despite only having an 11.5 percent chance to do so, Chicago was able to jump both Anaheim and Columbus to get the chance to draft generational prospect Connor Bedard, and the rest is history.

This May, the Blackhawks will again have to jump up in the lottery to get the first overall pick, which would likely yield star forward Macklin Celebrini. This year, though, they’ll have a better chance to do so. With the Blackhawks coming up short against Carolina Sunday night and having swept the Sharks in three games this year, San Jose is officially locked into the top lottery spot and Chicago is guaranteed the second.

With the second slot in the lottery, Chicago is guaranteed a pick inside the top four. It gives them a 13.5 percent chance at the top pick, a 14.1 percent chance at the second pick, 30.7 percent at third, and 41.7 percent at fourth. With an extremely talented class set to be drafted in Las Vegas at the end of June, there’s no doubt the Blackhawks will be extremely pleased with whoever they have the opportunity to select.

But who might that be? If the Blackhawks make the jump again to the top draft spot, they’ll almost certainly go with Celebrini. This year’s Hobey Baker Award winner was the youngest to ever receive the honor at just 17 years old, logging 32 goals and 64 points in just 38 games at Boston University. To pair him with players like Bedard and Frank Nazar would be a dream come true.

If Chicago doesn’t have the opportunity to select Celebrini, they may turn their attention to the defensive end. Michigan State blueliner Artyom Levshunov projects as the top pick in that department, but a player like Sam Dickinson, who has been labeled a “no-brainer” as teams prepare for the draft, could also be of interest to the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks will again have to hold their breath on the night of the draft lottery, as they find themselves in an only slightly improved position from last year. Still, with a class that offers both top-tier talent and depth even beyond the first round, Chicago can’t go wrong with one of the top four overall picks. Nevertheless, Celebrini would be another game-changer for the Blackhawks, and Chicago has as good a chance as anyone (besides the Sharks) to grab him next month.

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