What Are the Blackhawks' Lottery Odds, Which Teams Are In Play

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Bad for Bedard: What Are the Blackhawks’ Odds, Which Teams Are Still in Play

Chicago Blackhawks

So here we are, heading to April with the Blackhawks leading the draft lottery race. It’s the home stretch in the National Hockey League and the plan is playing out as we all had hoped… sort of. But there are some complicating factors for the Blackhawks as we continue crossing our fingers and toes hoping for Connor Bedard to come to Chicago in late-June.

The great news is all of the weeping and gnashing of teeth over the Blackhawks’ random win streaks throughout the season remains unfounded, counterproductive and predictably knee-jerk to a fault. They will enter the month of April with the worst point percentage in the entire National Hockey League.

The not-so-great news: Columbus has one game in-hand on Chicago and one fewer regulation win, the first tiebreaker in the draft lottery. If the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets lose out in regulation together, the best lottery odds would go to Columbus because of that factor. So keep that in mind. Anaheim has the fewest regulation wins in the mix.

According to Tankathon, the Blackhawks’ strength of schedule the rest of the way ranks 12th in the NHL. The good news: Columbus ranks 10th, Anaheim 11th and San Jose 6th overall. So the three teams immediately behind the Blackhawks in the standings have almost equally difficult schedules down the stretch.

Real Lottery Odds

There are two trades that we need to consider when factoring the real draft lottery odds this season.

First, the Montreal Canadiens are licking their chops right now because the Florida Panthers aren’t good. When Montreal traded defenseman Ben Chiarot to Florida last year, they received an unprotected first-round pick in the deal. With Florida currently at 83 points in 76 games, they’re one point back of the Penguins for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and Pittsburgh has one game in-hand. If Florida fails to make the playoffs, they will add lottery balls for Montreal.

Second, the Arizona Coyotes received Ottawa’s first-round pick in 2023 from the Jakob Chychrun. The pick is top-five protected, however. Right now, Ottawa sits 12th in the lottery standings and they’re four points clear of Detroit for 11th, which is important. They would need to win the lottery outright to move into the top five; at No. 12 they cannot climb to No. 1 overall, however.

So here’s where the real lottery odds stack up right now, with those caveats in mind:

RankTeamRecordPts %Lottery Odds
1.Chicago Blackhawks24-45-6.36025.5%
2.Columbus Blue Jackets23-43-8.36513.5%
3.Anaheim Ducks23-42-10.37311.5%
4.San Jose Sharks21-39-15.3809.5%
5.Montreal Canadiens30-40-6.4348.5%
6.Arizona Coyotes27-35-13.4477.5%
7.Philadelphia Flyers29-32-13.4806.5%

Chicago Blackhawks remaining schedule

The Blackhawks have seven games in 13 days remaining in their regular season: three at home and four on the road. Here’s their slate the rest of the way:

vs New Jersey
at Calgary
at Vancouver
at Seattle
vs Minnesota
at Pittsburgh
vs Philadelphia

What’s at stake for the Blackhawks’ opponents down the stretch?

  • New Jersey is only 4-4-2 in their last 10 but still find themselves just one point back of Carolina for the top seed in the Metropolitan Division. Winning the division likely sets up a matchup with the Islanders instead of the red-hot Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. So don’t think for a second they aren’t motivated.
  • Calgary is two points behind Winnipeg for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
  • Seattle holds the first wild card berth in the Western Conference right now and have a decent five-point cushion on Winnipeg with eight games left on the Kraken’s schedule; they have one game in-hand on the Jets.
  • Minnesota is currently three points ahead of Dallas for the top seed in the Central Division. Hanging onto a division title avoids Colorado in the first round of the playoffs, which — like the Devils avoiding the Rangers — is obviously a preferred scenario.
  • I already mentioned Pittsburgh is currently clinging to the final wild card berth in the Eastern Conference and it’s unlikely they have clinched before the season’s penultimate game.

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