The Chicago Blackhawks are Officially in Last Place, but for How Long?

Chicago Blackhawks v Edmonton Oilers
Chicago Blackhawks v Edmonton Oilers / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

During the Chicago Blackhawks All-Star break the San Jose Sharks had a game last night. A match in which they would get a 2-0 shutout win versus the Seattle Kraken. Now, heading into the All-Star festivities, the Blackhawks find themselves in sole possession of last place (both points and points % wise).

While it sounds good to own a 25.5% chance at the #1 pick, it isn't likely to last (having the best odds that is). The Blackhawks extended 3 veterans in Nick Foligno, Jason Dickinson, and Petr Mrazek. Those would have likely been 3 key trade pieces at the deadline that are now all likely staying put for the foreseeable future in a Hawks jersey.

Then there is the counterpoint to that in which a team like San Jose (as well as Columbus, Anaheim, and Ottawa) is likely to sell off some NHL talent during the deadline next month for future assets. This alone will likely greatly affect the Blackhawks standing in the league, however the greatest determination of the final standings will come down to the health of Connor Bedard.

In a likely mid-February (based on initial reports) return from a fractured jaw franchise center Connor Bedard will likely return to the top line. To add on to that addition, the likes of Andreas Athanasiou, Anthony Beauvillier, Connor Murphy, Nikita Zaitsev, and Tyler Johnson could all give the roster a much needed boost in the coming weeks.

Andreas Athanasiou
Chicago Blackhawks v Tampa Bay Lightning / Mike Carlson/GettyImages

So while a current 49 point projection is the present, the future undoubtedly will not play out into a 25.5% chance for the right to select Macklin Celebrini in this June's NHL Entry Draft. With 32 games left in a rebuild year, which % chance (at the #1 pick) will the Blackhawks end up having at season's end? It could be 13.5%, 11,5%, 9.5% if the team starts to gain points as Chicago's roster starts to regain its health, however one thing seems quite evident..... it won't be 25.5% and the best odds at landing the #1 pick for a second straight year.

As we all know though, sometimes you don't need the best odds to get the right to draft first overall...

Connor Bedard
Chicago Blackhawks v New Jersey Devils / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages