Simulating the Blackhawks Draft Lottery Using Tankathon

Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

There’s a website that simulates the draft lottery named Tankathon. Using Tankathon, I’ve simulated a mock draft for the Chicago Blackhawks 10 times. Let’s discuss the results.

Before we get too deep into the results themselves, it’s important to note a few things about this experiment. First, with the NHL season in question, it’s difficult to predict if the draft lottery will function as normal.

Second, if the NHL returns to play this season, the Chicago Blackhawks have a decent chance of getting better or worse odds as they move up or down the standings.

Lastly, it’s impossible to know if a team will reach for one prospect or let another slide.

On six of the first nine simulations, the Blackhawks didn’t move and selected Anton Lundell with the ninth overall pick of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. We’ll discuss Lundell further in just a bit. On three of the first nine simulations, Chicago slid back a spot and selected Connor Zary. On the final round of the simulation, the Blackhawks moved up seven spots and landed Quinton Byfield with the second overall pick.

If Tankathon is accurate in how it has ranked the prospects if the NHL keeps the same method for draft lotteries and if Chicago keeps a similar spot in the standings should the season continue, it looks as though the Windy City will be welcoming Lundell at the draft in 2020.

You can find scouting reports of the Finnish center at the following links:

My NHL Draft, The Draft AnalystPuck Prose, and Dobber Prospects.

He’s a polished, two-way center with a big frame. Though his offensive ceiling is called into question, his floor is quite high thanks to his defensive play, making him one of the safer picks of the draft.

Though his skating isn’t elite, it is an area in which he continues to show improvement and he’s already difficult to knock off the puck. He’s a great passer and a very well-rounded player.

So, right off the bat, the scouting reports make him sound a lot like Kirby Dach. Having a pair of two-way centers in Dach and Lundell down the middle of the Blackhawks’ lineup could stabilize the team for a decade.

That being said, it isn’t as though the Blackhawks have a glaring hole at center right now, with Dach, Dylan Strome, and Jonathan Toews all still on the roster. You can’t have too many centers in the NHL and Lundell might be one of the safest picks in the draft, but this still doesn’t look like a great fit for the team.

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If you enjoyed this piece, please let me know with a comment or tweet and I’ll consider doing similar simulations in the future.