Blackhawks Win the NHL Draft Lottery and the Right to Select Connor Bedard

2023 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game - Practice
2023 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game - Practice / Dennis Pajot/GettyImages

Today is a day that all Blackhawks' fans will remember for a long, long time. Against the odds (only a 11.5% chance), with a late season win against the Penguins, and a constant social media barrage of "they can't even tank right" the Chicago Blackhawks have won the draft lottery and Connor Bedard jerseys are being custom made as we speak!

I, much like Kyle Davidson, am still in a state of shock. When it was announced that we were either 1st or 2nd, honestly I was good with either. Adam Fantilli is going to catapult the Anaheim franchise to a new level very quickly. Zegras, McTavish, Terry, Zellweger, Mintyukov, Gaucher, Drysdale, and now Fantilli. That's a "wow" group of talent that is near the top in terms of pure talent in the entire league. Still, Connor Bedard is a Blackhawk and all other story lines are secondary (as they should be).

When Mr. Daly flipped over the first overall card and it was our beloved logo, I screamed like I imagine most of us did. Kyle Davidson looked stunned, as he should be. So what to do now (other than celebrate)? Let's start with where my thoughts went to immediately following the outcome:

1. Turn that #19 (or 20th) pick into a top 10 pick. Zach Benson and Ryan Leonard being the main targets. David Reinbacher is likely going in the 8-12 range now and therefore a really good forward could slip out for a team to grab. If I were Kyle Davidson I'm offering up 19 and 35 to try and move up into the 8,9,11,12 range. I could see Zach Benson (whom they are close friends per Bedard in an interview) making it to 8 or 9 now due to size and skating concerns. While both smaller players, that's talent that you go and get if you have the chance.

2. Identify great locker room veterans that can play with Connor Bedard in year 1. Let the Patrick Kane re-signing rumors begin and the million articles. I've said it to no end, "stick to the plan" and that means no Patrick Kane. We aren't going to win big instantly, so why would Kaner want to experience that type of play anyway. I'm looking at players that are late 20s to early 30s that know how to win and are proven leaders on and off the ice. Want more AAV and a chance to help shape a new dynasty? That's Chicago now.

3. Do NOT rush our other prospects to the NHL just to play with Connor Bedard before they are ready. Bedard is a rare player, that doesn't mean that all of sudden everyone of our other prospects is better. Bedard will have to evolve his body and game on his pace, while other players on their own that likely won't be as fast. That's where the stop-gap veterans come in as mentioned in point #2.

Yes, we have 6 picks in the first 2 rounds and I have said in the past to make all 6 picks to get the quantity given how deep this draft class is. Connor Bedard changes.... everything. I say now go all in with trading back up from our other 1st to acquire Ryan Leonard or Zach Benson. Those 2 as a wing for Bedard are just too good to me. Chips...... I push thy to the middle.