As we wind down the season, the final 18 games seem to be a 5 team race to finish last. While the worse team does have the best odds to select Connor Bedard (25.5%) by no means is it their right to have him. A guaranteed top 3 pick (for me that's Bedard - Fantilli - Michkov) is exciting, but to hang your entire future on a 1 in 4 "coin flip" is ludicrous.
From my point of view whichever team (CBJ, CHI, SJS, ANA, or AZ) that finishes last doesn't have the odds or history on their side to stay at 1. There is of course the 74,5% chance you aren't picking 1st combined with the fact there have been 2 straight lotteries where 1st has gone to the worse team (rare) and to a point the conspiracies out there (many of them) that this draft will be "fixed". While I don't subscribe to that belief it is important to note that some do.
No, this draft is certainly not Connor Bedard or bust for the Blackhawks, simply because this draft has elite talent 1-7 and beyond. If the Hawks do win more games then we think to end the season and say draft as low as 7 we are still talking about a franchise level talent. Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Matvei Michkov, Zach Benson, Leo Carllson, Will Smith, and Dalibor Dvorsky are all going to be outstanding NHLers in my opinion.
On top of that you have players like Colby Barlow, Ryan Leonard, Oliver Moore, Brayden Yager, Matthew Wood, Nate Danielson, and Andrew Cristall looking like they could jump into a position where the Hawks move up from their pick in the 20s (likely) to grab yet a second high end forward prospect this draft.
So again, if we get Connor Bedard the rebuild moves up its' timeframe and 10 million jerseys are immediately sold. However, it's important to note that we will be just fine if it doesn't happen and we walk out of this 2023 draft with 3-4 longterm Blackhawks.