This season is not going well for the Chicago Blackhawks. It has gone so bad that the Hawks are at the top of the Tankathon.com/NHL standings.
If the ping-pong balls bounce in the Hawks' favor for the second-straight NHL Draft Lottery, it means the Blackhawks get the chance to draft another generational talent. This time it is Boston University's Macklin Celebrini. The Canadian forward currently has 19 goals and 18 assists for the Terriers. What is even more impressive is that Celebrini has not turned 18 yet.
A lot can change between now and the end of the season that will impact the Blackhawks' chances to win the right to draft Celebrini. Here is this week's update.
One team that could take the top spot in the NHL Draft Lottery race this week.
San Jose Sharks
They have 33 points in the standings this season. How they can take the top spot is by not playing this week and the Blackhawks beating the Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers. The Sharks played into the middle of last week, so their two weeks off from the All-Star break go through this week.
The Sharks are playing better hockey as of late with a 5-3-2 record over their past 10 games. Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks are 2-8 during their past 10 contests.
Three teams that could sell off players before next month's trade deadline that could eventually make them worse than the Hawks.
The Anaheim Ducks have 38 points in the standings and only one game this week. The Columbus Blue Jackets have 42 points but also play once this week. The Ottawa Senators also have 42 points, but they are off this week
All three teams have players to move this month that could have them replicate what the Hawks did last season after the deadline--win just five games.
However, the Blackhawks would still need to do more winning than they have done in the season's first half to bridge the 12-point gap that Columbus and Ottawa have. Chicago would need two weeks of winning and Anaheim losing during that period to also close the eight-point difference.
The Hawks have yet to win three consecutive games and have only gone to overtime seven times this season.
How well did Macklin Celebrini play last week?
He had a goal and an assist in Boston University's 4-3 overtime loss to Northeastern on Friday night. His assist set up Blackhawks prospect Ryan Greene's game-tying goal late in the third period.
Celebrini also picked up a goal and an assist on Saturday night in a 6-3 thrashing of New Hampshire. Although Jack Hughes deserves a ton of credit for Celebrini's goal as his shot went off of Macklin's leg into the goal.
Celebrini showed his amazing passing skills on his power-play assist that made the score 5-1 late in the second period.
What do Boston University and Celebrini face this week?
The Terriers will face Boston College on Monday in the Beanpot Semifinals at TD Garden. The Beanpot is the Boston college-level tournament for bragging rights in the area. The winner goes on to face the winner of the other semifinal game between Harvard and Northeastern the following Monday. The semifinal losers also play each other that Monday.
Boston College beat Boston U twice in January where Celebrini had a goal and assist in those two games.
Boston University also hosts Merrimack this Friday. Both those games are on ESPN+ if you have a subscription.
By the way, how is Ryan Greene doing?
We do not know if Celebrini will be a Blackhawk for sure. We do the Terriers' second-line center will be (unless he decides not to sign with the Hawks before their draft rights to him expire).
Green is an outstanding two-way center who has eight goals and 17 assists on the season. He is third in points for Boston University.