Seth Jones Wears a C, Lottery Thoughts, Ian Mitchell's Next Step, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Seth Jones Wears a C, Lottery Thoughts, Ian Mitchell’s Next Step, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Do you know Shane Wright? Tonight, the NHL Draft Lottery will decide which teams own the top of the 2022 draft board, where Wright is the presumed top pick. The Blackhawks’ top pick is headed to Columbus IF it doesn’t land in the top-two overall spots (from the Seth Jones trade).

The crazy thing is: the Blackhawks probably should want someone else to win tonight’s lottery; the 2023 draft (next year) is supposedly loaded with talent, and Chicago’s rebuild would likely benefit more from having a presumably high pick in that class than a pick in the top-ten this year (in theory). But one of the league’s top markets winning the lottery can tend to be good for business… right, Alexis Lafrenière?

•   Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones was named the captain of the US team at the upcoming World Championship tournament in Finland.

•   The NHL Draft Lottery broadcast begins at 5:30 PM CT tonight on ESPN.

•   Over at The Athletic, Sean McIndoe (aka Down Goes Brown) posted a fun piece about tonight’s draft lottery with all of your conspiracy theories included. Who wants the No. 1 overall pick? Who needs it? And… what about the Blackhawks? Chicago is mentioned in a couple places in the piece, starting with the “Team Chaos” section.

“Aside from launching roughly a million conspiracy theories — more on that in a bit — the Hawks are the only team in this year’s lottery that could make a genuinely good case that winning a top pick would be a bad thing. Plus getting Wright would probably convince Jonathan Toews and friends that they were Cup contenders again.”

•   In his “Get Your Tinfoil Hat” section, McIndoe says: “The Coyotes lost a first-round pick for having some draft prospects do pushups, but the Hawks somehow got away with just a fine for one of the worst scandals in NHL history. If one of the league’s most important markets hits on a 7.5% chance to move up, it won’t be hard to connect the dots.

•   Chicago also shows up in his “Unintentional Comedy” section, where McIndoe writes: “Their pick went to Columbus in the Seth Jones trade, but was lottery-protected. Getting another team to buy high on a declining asset, acquiring their first-round pick in the deal, watching that team crash and burn to the bottom of the standings, and then losing the pick due to the fine print would be just about the most Blue Jackets result ever.

•   Scott Powers at The Athletic dropped some notes on the Rockford IceHogs this morning. He reports forwards Andrei Altybarmakyan and Brett Connolly missed the IceHogs’ play-in series because of injury, but defenseman Nicolas Beaudin was indeed a healthy scratch. Here’s what he had to say about Ian Mitchell:

“Mitchell, who turned 23 in January, definitely seems ready for another look at the NHL level. This past season in Rockford has helped his development. He’s become reliable in all zones and situations. He could make sense as the power play QB on the second unit next season. He’s been good on the penalty kill, too.”

•   There will be some chatter about this hit TJ Oshie delivered last night. Florida made a stunning comeback and won the game in overtime to draw tied in the series. The Caps had the Presidents Trophy winners on the ropes last night… did the comeback win energize the Panthers?

•   Here’s tonight’s schedule of playoff games (all four series tied at 2-2):

Boston @ Carolina — 6 pm CT — ESPN
Tampa @ Toronto — 6:30 pm CT — ESPN2
St. Louis @ Minnesota — 8:30 pm CT — ESPN
LA @ Edmonton — 9 pm CT — ESPN2

•   One first-round series ended last night. Colorado finished the sweep of the Preds. Maybe if Nashville spent as much time/effort keeping pucks out of the net as they did keeping opposing fans out of the seats they would have performed better?

•   The Zach LaVine rumors are starting … and I am not happy about it.