Which NHL team has best chance to take Connor Bedard at No. 1 after May 8 draft lottery?
The date for the NHL draft lottery has been set for May 8, with generational talent Connor Bedard the prize.
Showing that NHL teams don't tank on the ice, the last-place Columbus Blue Jackets overcame deficits of 3-0 and 6-5 to beat the Washington Capitals 7-6 in overtime. Columbus, which beat 31st-place San Jose earlier this month, trail the Sharks by two points with a game in hand. The Sharks have lost seven in a row, though they gained three points in that stretch by getting to overtime.
The draft lottery winner can move up only 10 spots this year, so the bottom 11 teams have a shot at Bedard. Here's a look at the teams with the best odds (statistics are as of March 21; this file will be updated at various points during the season).
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Who's Connor Bedard?
Bedard, who entered the Western Hockey League draft early as a 15-year-old, has put up big numbers while playing against older players. He has an NHL-level shot and topped North American skaters in Central Scouting's midseason rankings. The 17-year-old was named world junior championships MVP after getting 23 points in seven games for gold medalist Canada. The Regina (Saskatchewan) Pats 5-10, 185-pound center leads the WHL with 70 goals and 142 points in 55 games. He totaled 11 points (with two hat tricks) in back-to-back games against Moose Jaw. Last season, he had 100 points in 62 games.
CONNOR BEDARD HAS 70!🚨@WHLPats | #NHLDraft | #CB98 pic.twitter.com/Rs73gGHCta
— The WHL (@TheWHL) March 20, 2023
What are the draft lottery odds for Connor Bedard?
Columbus Blue Jackets -- 70 GP, 22-41-7, 51 pts., .364. Odds: 25.5%
San Jose Sharks -- 71 GP, 19-37-15, 53 pts., .373. Odds: 13.5%
Chicago Blackhawks -- 70 GP, 24-40-6, 54 pts., .386. Odds: 11.5%
Anaheim Ducks -- 71 GP, 23-38-10, 56 pts., .394. Odds: 9.5%
Montreal Canadiens -- 71 GP, 28-37-6, 62 pts., .437. Odds: 8.5%
Philadelphia Flyers -- 70 GP, 26-32-12, 64 pts., .457. Odds: 7.5%
Arizona Coyotes -- 71 GP, 27-33-11, 65 pts., .457. Odds: 6.5%
Vancouver Canucks -- 70 GP, 31-34-5, 67 pts., .479. Odds: 6.0%
St. Louis Blues -- 70 GP, 31-33-6, 68 pts., .486. Odds: 5.0%
Detroit Red Wings -- 70 GP, 31-30-9, 70 pts., .507. Odds: 3.5%
Buffalo Sabres -- 70 GP, 33-31-6, 72 pts., .514. Odds: 3.0%
What's the biggest recent news among teams in the Connor Bedard watch?
Blue Jackets forward Johnny Gaudreau ended up being on the ice for all 2:43 of overtime, unable to get off on a line change. But he drew an assist on Jack Roslovic's game-winning goal on a 2-on-1 break. “I just kept trying to get off on a smart change,” Gaudreau said, according to the Columbus Dispatch. “I think (the Capitals) were just baiting me to try to get a change, and then they’d go down on a 3-on-2 … so I just stuck above my guy and didn’t do anything too much.”
#CBJ Roslovic (9) goal pic.twitter.com/iyzYsFHojS
— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) March 22, 2023
What other news is happening among Connor Bedard watch teams?
Sharks coach David Quinn was named Team USA's coach for the world championships. He also was the U.S. coach at last year's worlds (fourth-place finish) and the 2022 Winter Olympics (quarterfinal loss). ... The Blackhawks fell 5-0 to the surging Avalanche, getting shut out for the first time since Feb. 14. ... Ducks' second-leading scorer Troy Terry left Tuesday's game after sandwiched by two Flames players. ... Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin, who sat on the bench for an entire game on Saturday because he was late to a team meeting, scored in his return to a regular shift in Montreal's win on Tuesday. Forward Kirby Dach also scored in his return from an injury. ... Flyers defenseman Egor Zamula, recalled from the American Hockey League on Monday, had two assists Tuesday during his first NHL action since December. Philadelphia got three goals and three assists from its defensemen in the 6-3 win against the Panthers. ... The Coyotes went 6-0-1 in their last seven home games, but they lost in regulation in Winnipeg at the start of a three-game trip. They have a league-low seven road wins. ... Canucks forward J.T. Miller took the NHL lead in short-handed goals when he scored on a penalty shot against the Golden Knights. ... Blues goalie Joel Hofer picked up both wins during Jordan Binnington's two-game suspension and got a third start on Tuesday, falling 3-2 to Detroit in a shootout. ... Red Wings defenseman Simon Edvinsson, who left Monday's game but returned after a Radko Gudas hit, didn't play Tuesday. The 2021 No. 6 overall pick was recalled on Friday and made his NHL debut on Saturday. ... The Sabres have dropped into Bedard watch territory with a 1-6-2 slide. They have given up 23 goals in their last four games.
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When is the NHL draft lottery?
The draft lottery is scheduled to be held at 7 p.m. ET on May 8 and will be shown on ESPN. There are two drawings, first for a chance at the top pick and then for a chance at the second pick. The last-place team would get the top pick if a team ranked 12th to 16th in the standings wins the first drawing. University of Michigan forward Adam Fantilli, who's 6-2, 195, could go No. 2 overall. Swedish forward Leo Carlsson, who's 6-3, 198, is Central Scouting's top-ranked international skater.
What happened the last time there was this much excitement about a draft prospect?
That was Connor McDavid's draft year with the Erie Otters in 2015, when he had 120 points in 47 games. The Sabres finished last with 54 points and the Coyotes had 56, but the Oilers (62) won the draft lottery and chose McDavid. The Sabres drafted Jack Eichel and the Coyotes chose Dylan Strome, both of whom have since been traded.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Connor Bedard watch: Who has best odds to draft generational talent?