On Wednesday June 28, Connor Bedard will don a National Hockey League (NHL) jersey and as the likely number one overall pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft in Nashville.
Tonight, we should find out who will select the Regina Pats captain with that pick when the league holds their draft lottery.
The Anaheim Ducks have the best odds of securing the coveted prize of selecting first overall.
Columbus enters the lottery with the second best odds, followed by Chicago.
Here is a look of all of the the teams that have a chance of ending up with the first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
Anaheim Ducks (18.5%) (25.5%)
With the Ducks finishing 32nd overall in the 2022-23 NHL regular season, Anaheim will enter tonight’s draft lottery as the favourite. The Ducks have a 25.5% chance of finishing with the first overall pick.
Anaheim’s odds of finishing with the first pick increased an additional seven percent in the event of Ottawa, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Nashville or Calgary winning the draft lottery, since all of these teams can only advance ten spots ahead of the draft order and would not finish with the first overall pick.
There is plenty of talent already in place with Anaheim including Mason McTavish, Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale. The Ducks offer one of the best fits for the North Vancouver product.
Columbus Blue Jackets (13.5%)
It’s not a “Big” market, but there are some positives if Bedard ends up as a member of the Blue Jackets. He would join the same organization as Pats teammate, Stanislav Svozil.
There is also a mix of veteran and young talent with the Blue Jackets including Johnny Gaudreau, Patrick Laine and Kent Johnson.
Chicago Blackhawks (11.5%)
An Original Six franchise that is beginning a massive transition with the team recently saying good-bye to Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews.
San Jose Sharks (9.5%)
Erik Karlsson and Connor Bedard on the same powerplay unit should produce a few goals.
Montreal Canadiens (8.5%)
Canada’s best chance of finishing with the top overall pick. It wouldn’t be the first time Montreal took a Pat at #1, in 1980 they selected Doug Wickenheiser.
Arizona Coyotes (7.5%)
Considering the crowds Bedard attracted in the second-half of the Western Hockey League season, he is more than ready for the Mullet Arena, the home of the Coyotes.
Philadelphia Flyers (6,5%)
The last time the Flyers had the first overall pick in the NHL draft was 1975, when they selected defenceman Mel Bridgman.
Washington Capitals (6.0%)
Bedard and Alexander Ovechkin on the same powerplay unit would produce even more goals.
Detroit Red Wings (5.0%)
Bedard with the Red Wings would add more star power to a strong Atlantic Division.
St. Louis Blues (3.5%)
The Blues began a slight rebuild with the trades of Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko, but plenty of pieces remain including Jordan Kyrou and Brayden Schenn.
Vancouver Canucks (3.0%)
It’s a longshot that Bedard will get to play for the team that he grew up rooting for, but there’s still a chance.
Tonight the NHL’s Draft Lottery is set to go before Game 3 of the Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights series at 6:00.