NHL Draft

Could Blackhawks earn No. 1 pick for second year in a row? Here are their odds

The Blackhawks finished with the NHL's second-worst record in the 2023-24 season

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The Chicago Blackhawks are once again positioned for a shot at the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL Draft, and shockingly, they have even better odds than they did last season.

The Blackhawks finished the regular season with the second-worst record in the NHL, trailing only the San Jose Sharks in that category.

As a result, the Blackhawks have the second-best odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick at next week’s NHL Draft Lottery, with a 13.5% chance of securing the top selection.

The Blackhawks have a 14.1% chance of earning the No. 2 pick, with a 30.7% chance of picking third and a 41.7% chance of picking fourth. By virtue of having the league’s second-worst record, the Blackhawks can drop no more than three spots, meaning that they will pick no worse than fourth in the June draft in Las Vegas.

Last year, the Blackhawks had the third-best odds of landing the top overall pick, which they were able to do as they won the right to select phenom Connor Bedard.

This year, Boston University center Macklin Celebrini is seen as the likely favorite to be the top selection, having scored 32 goals and dished out 32 assists at the collegiate level last season.

Russian forward Ivan Demidov, Canadian forward Cayden Lindstrom and Belarusian defenseman Artyom Levshunov, who scored nine goals for Michigan State last season, are also expected to be among the top picks in this year’s class.

The NHL Draft Lottery is comprised of two separate drawings, determining the teams that will land the first two picks in the draft. A team can only move up a maximum of 10 positions, meaning that only the bottom-11 teams in the league standings are eligible for the top pick.

If the Blackhawks were to win the lottery for the second consecutive season, they would be ineligible for the next three seasons, as the league instituted rules that limit a team to two lottery victories within a five-year span.

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