Today is the biggest day of the offseason so far for the Chicago Blackhawks. The NHL Draft Lottery commences this evening at the NHL Network studios and can be seen on NBCSN at 6:00 p.m. CT.
Two lottery drawings will be held to determine who wins the top-two overall picks in this year’s draft, one to determine the No. 1 overall pick and another to determine who holds the No. 2 overall selection. The Blackhawks enter the draw with the 12th-best odds to win the top overall pick, they are in the same spot they were in 2019, when they moved up to the third-overall pick.
Here are the odds for the top overall pick:
1. Buffalo Sabres (16.6%)
2. Anaheim Ducks (12.1%)
3. Seattle Kraken (10.3%)
4. New Jersey Devils (10.3%)
5. Columbus Blue Jackets (8.5%)
6. Detroit Red Wings (7.6%)
7. San Jose Sharks (6.7%)
8. Los Angeles Kings (5.8%)
9. Vancouver Canucks (5.4%)
10. Ottawa Senators (4.5%)
11. Arizona Coyotes (3.1%)*
12. Chicago Blackhawks (2.7%)
13. Calgary Flames (2.2%)
14. Philadelphia Flyers (1.8%)
15. Dallas Stars (1.4%)
16. New York Rangers (1.0%)
*Arizona must forfeit its first-round pick for violating the NHL’s combine testing policy
The Blackhawks could drop to the 13th overall selection if a lower-seeded team wins either of the draws. The furthest they could drop is the 14th overall pick, but only on the extremely low chance that a lower-seeded team wins both drawings.
Chicago benefitted from the 2019 Draft Lottery, jumping from 12th to third-overall and made good use of the third pick, selecting Kirby Dach. Chicago has won the draft lottery twice before, in 1999 (though they could move up a maximum of only four spots (from eighth to fourth), and again in 2007, drafting Patrick Kane.
This year’s Draft Lottery will see the first of three changes to the draft lottery process take affect, as the number of lottery draws goes from three to two, meaning the last-place NHL club from the regular season will pick no lower than third-overall. Chicago has a 5.2% chance at earning the second-overall pick.