What a First-Round Pick Truly Means for the Blackhawks
By Andrew Neave
Now this may seem like an unmistakable answer, but that answer is Connor Bedard. Getting to draft the first overall pick any year means adding a great player to the roster (unless it's Nail Yakupov). Now the first pick for some people has been clear for years and that speaks volumes of the type of player Connor Bedard is and could potentially turn into.
When Kyle Davidson took over, he made it very clear that a rebuild is needed and to his credit, he hasn't shied away from that at all. Now the problem with a rebuild is that you have to start fresh and that means good players have to leave. We saw that with Alex Debrincat and most recently Patrick Kane whom was traded to the New York Rangers. A player like Kane sell tickets. Everyone wants to see 88 on the ice.
The biggest issue in a rebuild for the fans is that your team is wanting to lose. This sounds crazy, but we all know this to be true. You create a winning team by drafting good players and molding them into NHL stars. This doesn't happen overnight either and can take years. The Detriot Red Wings have been rebuilding for years now. Every team that rebuilds are after that future star, that franchise player that can lead your team to glory.
We all know what happened at the draft lottery and at a time when the Chicago Blackhawks lost two franchise players in Toews and Kane, we now have the opportunity to land another franchise player. I know the draft hasn't happened yet and nothing is a sure thing, but our pick will be Connor Bedard.
Selling season tickets in a rebuild isn't very easy and our attendance this year has dropped (note: the Blackhawks attendance numbers were far higher than anyone anticipated). From going to all of the sell-outs in a row to having empty seats and then 90 minutes after the draft lottery, the Blackhawks announced that it had sold 2.5 million dollars worth of season tickets in the first few hours. This goes to show you the effect a player like Connor Bedard can have on a franchise. Talent like this doesn't come along every year and the Chicago Blackhawks now have the chance to get this rebuild into overdrive.
When it comes to a rebuild, it can take years to get the right pieces and when Kyle Davidson took charge, even he said it could take time to rebuild. Now that we won the lottery and have this incredible chance to select a player of this caliber, I feel the long plan is now a 3-year plan. you have a cornerstone piece and this fills the arena. Also, hockey players around the NHL are going to want to play here. When the Blackhawks decided to make a go of things and use their cap space, which they have plenty of at the moment, Connor Bedard is very much a selling point for future players to want to play here.