Connor Bedard Will Not Save the Blackhawks (1st Round Mock Draft)

Montreal Canadiens v Chicago Blackhawks
Montreal Canadiens v Chicago Blackhawks / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

In dramatic fashion, Kirby Dach came back to Chicago and netted the shootout winner last Friday afternoon. His leadup to his shot was met with jeers (something I did not agree with) and resulted in a Montreal victory. Dach has played amazing so far this year for the Canadiens. He has 17 points in just 21 games and has played a well rounded game in a top 6 role for Martin St. Louis.

It reminded me that while we all have hopes of landing the top pick (or at least top 3) that it doesn't always turn out the way we wish. Now certainly Kirby Dach, at the same stage, was not the famed prospect that Connor Bedard is.... so let's compare him to someone that was as hyped: Connor McDavid.

McDavid is, was, and will be one of the best players of this generation. However, Edmonton needed other players and time to get to a place where winning became a habit. His rookie year, despite being over a point per game player, Edmonton only garnered 70 points. The 16-17 season the Oil were good (103pts) and then regressed to 78pts in the 17-18 campaign. Simply put, in McDavid's first 3 seasons, the Oilers were not in the habit of winning on a regular basis.

The next 2 seasons after that they were also pretty bad in comparison to McDavid's superstar play. It has only been in the last 2 seasons where Edmonton has truly built a team around him that sees consistency. 176 points earned in 138 games over the last 2 seasons marks a vast improvement.

If Connor Bedard is going to "save" any franchise, he will need help... especially if selected by a team like the Chicago Blackhawks. We are completely starting over. Before this last draft, we basically only had 1 or 2 prospects that projected as top 6 or top 4 NHL players. If using McDavid as an example, we know that any star player, let alone Connor Bedard, is going to need help... and alot of it!

Here is my first mock draft of the season! Please note; I do NOT compare my judgement to other scouts / consolidated sites / or members of media. I watch major junior / european / and college games and make the best projection I can based on what I see from that player.

As of 11-27-22 I firmly believe there are 5 elite franchise changing players and 11total star level prospects in this draft. The prospects in the 12-45 range are almost interchangeable to me although there are slight traits that move up certain prospects as you will see.

I went to and did just 1 "sim lottery" to determine the order (without a mock of players). The results were surprising! You can try your own sim at

1. OTT - C Connor Bedard

2. MIN - C Adam Fantilli

3. ANA - RW Matvei Michkov

4. SJS - C Leo Carlsson

5. CBJ - C Will Smith

6. CHI - RW Zach Benson

7. BUF - RW Eduard Sale

8. PHI - C Dalibor Dvorsky

9. AZC - RW Riley Heidt

10. VAN - C Brayden Yager

11. WAS - LW Andrew Cristall

12. NSH - C Callum Ritchie

13. CAL - D Mikhail Gulyayev

14. NYR - C Colby Barlow

15. MON - C Oliver Moore

16. MON (via FLP) - RW Ethan Gauthier

17. STL - RW Otto Stenberg

18. EDM - C Quentin Musty

19. LAK - LW Daniil But

20. PIT - D Axel Sandin-Pellikka

21. CAR - D Oliver Bonk

22. CHI (via TBL) - C Ryan Leonard

23. NYR (via DAL) - LW Matthew Wood

24. DET - RW Koehn Ziemmer

25. NYI - D Lukas Dragicevic

26. WPG - LW Gabe Perreault

27. TOR - G Michael Hrabel

28. SEA - D Theo Lindstein

29. COL - C Samuel Hoznek

30. NJD - C Nate Danielson

31. VGK - RW Kasper Haltunnen

32. BOS - D Cam Allen

I will update this mock draft as the junior / college / pro seasons play on. I believe that this combination (Benson / Leonard) would be a dream scenario for Chicago and even though in this lottery sim they didn't land a top pick this would ultimately get us what we need.... a star player.