Welcome to the Bad 4 Bedard Circle of Trust

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Welcome to the Bad 4 Bedard Circle of Trust

Chicago Blackhawks

As we inch closer to the start of the 2022-23 NHL regular season, the Chicago Blackhawks are positioned to be… bad.

We know that. We’ve talked about that all summer. The Blackhawks are rebuilding and general manager Kyle Davidson has said since becoming the interim GM that his job is to build an organization that can win and sustain success. And that wasn’t going to happen a) with the players the Blackhawks had, or b) overnight.

So this is going to be a tough year on the ice for the Blackhawks. But they aren’t alone. With a generational talent sitting at the top of mock draft boards, there’s a reason teams aren’t actively trying to win.

They want Connor Bedard.

So as we welcome you to the 2022-23 season, we also welcome you to… the Bad 4 Bedard Circle of Trust.

In case you haven’t heard (please come out from under the rock), Bedard is the top prospect in next year’s draft class and is the highest-rated prospect since Connor McDavid. Many scouts and analysts believe he’s a player who can/will change the trajectory of a franchise almost immediately.

And, if you watched him skate for Canada at the World Juniors earlier this summer, there’s good reason to have those hopes. He’s that good. Like, Patrick Kane in London good. Bedard absolutely worthy of a top pick in any draft, which is why teams started positioning themselves for next year’s draft a year in advance.

According to IneffectiveMath’s preseason projections, the Blackhawks have the second-best odds of winning the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery (7.7 percent). Only the Arizona Coyotes — who are in the Central Division with the Blackhawks — have better odds (10.7).

Close behind the Blackhawks in their projections are the Canadiens (7.6), Blue Jackets (7.6) and Flyers (7.5).

It’s worth noting that, as things stand right now, only three teams have multiple picks in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft — but only one is absolutely transferring (though the other two likely will).

The Canadiens also own the Florida Panthers’ first-round pick from the Ben Chiarot trade. I will say with some confidence that the Panthers are a playoff team, so that pick won’t likely be in the lottery.

The New York Rangers also own the Dallas Stars’ first-round pick from the Nils Lundqvist trade, but that selection is top-10 protected. Dallas has its issues, and they still need to sign Jason Robertson, but being in the top ten would be a significant fall for them. Dallas has the 16th-best odds of winning the lottery in the projections, meaning they’re considered a fringe playoff team.

The Blackhawks own the Tampa Bay Lightning’s first round pick from the Brandon Hagel trade, and that is also top-10 protected. I think we can feel relatively confident that the Bolts will make the playoffs and that pick will eventually transfer.

This season we aren’t going to waste your or our time with power rankings, because we have enough to be depressed about as Chicago sports fans (cough, Bears, cough). But we do absolutely intend on keeping tabs on how the tank is performing — are the Blackhawks bad enough to be positioned to at least have good odds of landing Bedard?

For what it’s worth, we’ve already profiled six other prospects who you should keep an eye on this season just in case the Blackhawks don’t land the No. 1 overall pick next summer.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab