The fate of the NHL‘s next generational talent will be decided on Monday night at 8 p.m. ET at the NHL Draft Lottery from the NHL Network studio in New Jersey.
Connor Bedard is the consensus No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, and the Anaheim Ducks, who finished last in the NHL standings, will have the best odds of winning the lottery at 18.5%.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will have the second-best odds at 13.5%, followed by the Chicago Blackhawks at 11.5%. Here’s a look at the complete odds courtesy of NHL public relations:
All 16 teams who missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be a part of the lottery, and it’s important to note that the Coyotes will have two picks, their own (sixth-best odds) as well as the Senators’ selection (12th-best odds). Teams can move up 10 spots in the lottery, so only 11 teams have a chance of being awarded the first overall pick and a shot at Bedard. If Ottawa, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Nashville, or Calgary wins the lottery, Anaheim will be awarded the first overall pick. So, in reality, the Ducks have a 25.5% chance of landing Bedard.
A second draw will be held with the 15 remaining teams to determine the No. 2 pick, and then picks will be assigned based on the inverse order of the final regular season standings.
Canadian viewers can watch the draft lottery on Sportsnet or on TVA Sports (French). SN NOW will have a stream of the event.
The NHL Draft will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on June 28-29.
The big prize
Bedard is a franchise-altering prospect that led the Western Hockey League with 143 points (71 goals, 72 assists) in 57 games with the Regina Pats this season. Standing at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, the 17-year-old also helped lift Canada to a gold medal at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship in January. The centre recorded a tournament-best 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in seven games, the most ever by a Canada player at the annual tournament.
Most scouts are projecting Bedard to be on the same path as Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, and Nathan MacKinnon.
“Connor Bedard holds the title as the best draft-eligible prospect that I have scouted, as were other unique, elite talents before him such as Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby,” Vice President of Central Scouting Dan Marr recently told NHL.com. “It seems that each one of these ‘generational’ talents help set the platform for the next talent to surpass them and achieve success. [Bedard] has been in the spotlight for over three years and during that time has risen to impact and impress at every occasion while often being the youngest member on his teams, and he has done so with a humbleness and approach that all around him respect and those younger than him should use as a measuring stick.”
Bedard, who hails from North Vancouver, was declared the “future of hockey” by the Hockey News back in 2018 when he was just 13 years old after gaining national attention for his outstanding minor hockey play at West Van Academy. He exceled at every level while playing against older competition and then became the first player to be granted exceptional player status into the WHL in March 2020. As a 15-year-old, Bedard recorded 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in 15 games with Regina during the 2020-21 season.
Sportsbooks aren’t even offering markets on who the No. 1 pick will be in this year’s draft because it’s such a no-brainer.
Betting on the lottery
Several sportsbooks are offering odds on who will win the draft lottery, but theScore bet and Betano seem to be the books that are offering the highest payouts. The teams with the best odds entering the lottery (Montreal 2022, Buffalo 2021) have won it the past two years.
But the New York Rangers shocked the hockey world in 2020 by winning a two-phase lottery after losing in the qualifying round of the playoffs. The Rangers finished 18th in the NHL standings that season, but they became the first team to finish that high and win the lottery since the 1994 NHL Draft, when the Florida Panthers finished 16th. It’s important to note that the 2019-20 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the playoff and draft lottery formats were altered to be more inclusive that year. New York selected Alexis Lafreniere first overall in that draft.
|Team to win NHL Draft Lottery||Sports Interaction||theScore Bet||Betano||Bet99|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+446||+525||+500||+500|
|San Jose Sharks||+669||+800||+800||+760|
|Detroit Red Wings||+1338||+1600||+1700||+1500|
|St. Louis Blues||+1784||+2200||+2400||+2000|
|Ottawa Senators (Coyotes would get pick)||N/A||+3000||+3400||N/A|