NHL Draft Lottery 2023: Blackhawks Win Bedard Sweepstakes; Full Selection Order

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 9, 2023

LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JANUARY 25: Forward Connor Bedard #98 of the Regina Pats skates for Team Red during the 2023 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game Practice at the Langley Events Centre on January 25, 2023 in Langley, British Columbia. (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
Dennis Pajot/Getty Images

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

That was the case when the Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers won the NHL draft lotteries in 2005 and 2015, respectively, altering the trajectories of their franchises and the league by landing the rights to select Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid with No. 1 overall picks.

The Chicago Blackhawks surely hope to look back on Monday as the night they won the chance to draft foundational piece Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats.

The 17-year-old center is widely seen as the type of generational talent who can turn a franchise around, which made this year's draft lottery appointment viewing. Chicago ended up as the lucky one and could begin to climb out of the league basement with the top selection.

1. Chicago Blackhawks

2. Anaheim Ducks

3. Columbus Blue Jackets

4. San Jose Sharks

5. Montréal Canadiens

6. Arizona Coyotes

7. Philadelphia Flyers

8. Washington Capitals

9. Detroit Red Wings

10. St. Louis Blues

11. Vancouver Canucks

12. Arizona Coyotes (via Ottawa Senators)

13. Buffalo Sabres

14. Pittsburgh Penguins

15. Nashville Predators

16. Calgary Flames

There was plenty of online reaction given how coveted the chance to pick Bedard has been:

Chicago Blackhawks @NHLBlackhawks

YOU HEARD IT HERE FOLKS, WE'RE PICKING FIRST ‼️ <a href="https://t.co/vznFjcfXq8">pic.twitter.com/vznFjcfXq8</a>

B/R Open Ice @BR_OpenIce

The Chicago Blackhawks have won the first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft 🏆 <a href="https://t.co/9xP7lRL21A">pic.twitter.com/9xP7lRL21A</a>

Blackhawks Talk @NBCSBlackhawks

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! <a href="https://t.co/VRfz8orbhw">pic.twitter.com/VRfz8orbhw</a>

Mike Berman @MikeBermanNBC

🚨🚨🚨HOLY CRAP THE <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BLACKHAWKS?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BLACKHAWKS</a> WON THE LOTTERY!!!!!<br><br>CONNOR BEDARD IS COMING TO CHICAGO!!!🚨🚨🚨

Kevin Noon @Kevin_Noon

<a href="https://t.co/aRq06BM84T">pic.twitter.com/aRq06BM84T</a>

Tom Fornelli @TomFornelli


Michelle Bruton @MichelleBruton

Welcome to Chicago, Connor Bedard. Don't let anyone tell you deep dish is Chicago pizza. It's tavern style.

Adam Jardy @AdamJardy

You've got to be happy for those title-starved, long-suffering Blackhawks fans.

Drawing comparisons to players such as Crosby and McDavid places plenty of pressure on Bedard before he even laces up his skates for a single NHL game, but he has done nothing but dazzle on the ice.

He led the Western Hockey League with 143 points (71 goals, 72 assists) this season and then went out and put up 20 points (10 goals and 10 assists) in seven playoff games.

Central Scouting director David Gregory made the Crosby and McDavid comparisons when discussing Bedard with Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com:

"I saw Sidney Crosby and I didn't think I'd ever see a junior player that would be as dominant as that, and then I saw Connor McDavid and thought I'd never see another player that dominant. But here comes Connor Bedard. It's really amazing what he can do, and those other guys had good players on their teams. I'm not saying Bedard doesn't, but those teams that Sid and McDavid played on had some stacked teams. ... Regina, to me, was not as stacked but were a good team with lots of good players.

"Bedard was bringing them along as this younger player in the league. I hate to be on the fence and not give a definitive answer, but I'd say those are the three that I saw and said, 'I'll never see another one like that again.'"

That is high praise, and the hopes of the Chicago fanbase will be placed firmly on Bedard.

If he can deliver, this will be a night that is remembered in franchise lore.