How Connor Bedard Will Change Life For The Hawks On And Off The Ice originally appeared nbc sports chicago
For the second time in franchise history, the Blackhawks have won the NHL draft Lottery and will pick the No. 1 overall pick in 2023. Connor McDavid.
Now, let's be clear about something from the outset: Bedard's mere presence doesn't mean everything is settled for the Blackhawks.
Sure, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were drafted in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007, but they won three Stanley Cups together because of Niklas Hjalmarsson, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Patrick Sharp — to name a few. Some — all emerged as important pieces from his pipeline. The signing of marquee free-agent Marion Hossa apparently helped as well.
Bedard, however, will change life for the Blackhawks from the point of view that the most challenging box to check in a full-scale rebuild is landing a generational talent to become the cornerstone piece that every team that wants to be a perennial contender .
Does the rebuild timeline change? Probably not, and Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson said as much on NBC Sports Chicago's lottery show shortly after clinching the No. 1 overall pick.
“I don't think so, necessarily,” Davidson said. “I think the one thing we don't want to do is change course. We've set the course, we're going to stick to our plan, and we just have to stick to that and not get distracted and just do what is what is right.” By organization and make this thing the right way.
“Let's not get it twisted: First of all it's a big deal. It's a big deal for us and what we're doing, but I don't think we can let that change and change the bigger picture.”
The right to land a talent like Bedard, however, limits the potential for the Blackhawks in the long term. He is the kind of player that will keep the Blackhawks competitive for a long time if the right supporting cast is around him.
The second area it affects – which cannot be underestimated – is the financial and marketing potential perspective. Bedard immediately gets fans back into the United Center stands, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Chicago back near the top of attendance next season, even if they're no closer to competing for a playoff spot in the near future. , That would make the Blackhawks watchable.
The hard part is now installing the new core around the bedrock. Can Lucas Reichel be a consistent top-six piece? Can Kevin Korchinski Be The No. 1 Defenseman? Will Frank Nazar be the center behind Bedard for the next decade as the team's 1-2 punch in the middle?
All these questions are yet to be answered and it will take time for us to really know the result. But one thing is certain: Bedard is the most important part and will make the Blackhawks competitive again. It's only a matter of when, not if.
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