Blackhawks win NHL draft lottery, select Connor Bedard

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SECAUCUS, NJ (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks won the NHL lottery Monday night and with it the right to select Connor Bedard with the first pick, turning one of their worst seasons in decades into a potentially franchise-changing player. Is.

It is the second time the Blackhawks have won the lottery in the past two decades, and a previous win in 2007 tied them with Patrick Kane, who helped them win the Stanley Cup three times between 2010 and 2015. Bedard can step into the void now filled. With the departure of Kane and longtime captain Jonathan Toews and currently in the midst of a full-scale rebuild, the Original Six become the new face of the organization.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly unveiled a placard bearing the Blackhawks logo at 8:22 pm EDT, indicating they had received the No. 1 pick and setting off a wild celebration among fans at a watch party. Chicago had the third-highest margin of winning the lottery at 11.5%, behind Anaheim's 25.5% and Columbus's 13.5%.

League-worst Anaheim won the lottery for the second pick and will get to choose from a trio of talented forwards: Canadian Adam Fantilie, Russian Matvei Michkov and Swede Leo Karlsson. Columbus is ready to take on the third.

But Bedard has been the presumptive top pick in the draft for several years, considered the best prospect available since Connor McDavid eight years ago, and is making this lottery almost as anticipated as the drawing for Sidney Crosby in 2005. .

Bedard, a native of North , British Columbia, led all junior players across Canada in scoring with 72 goals and 143 points this past season while playing for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. He doesn't turn 18 until July.

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In a pre-taped TV interview broadcast on ESPN, Bedard said of being determined about his future: “There are different feelings watching, but I think we're all just watching as fans. … It's more for teams.

The Blackhawks decided last year to step down and embark on a long-term rebuilding process, trading star forward Alex DeBrinket and Kirby Deutch, despite being under the age of 25.

They will announce Beddard's name at the start of the June 28 draft in Nashville, Tennessee.