It’s the NHL All-Star break and teams resume play next week for the stretch run of the season. Most of the talk will be on the playoff picture. But a majority of the teams toward the bottom of the standings have even more to be excited about. And by “more” I mean phenom Connor Bedard, who will almost certainly be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. Let’s take a look at the bottom of standings and which teams have the best shot at landing Bedard.
- Columbus Blue Jackets, 34 points — 25.5%
- Chicago Blackhawks, 34 points — 13.5%
- Anaheim Ducks, 37 points — 11.5%
- Arizona Coyotes, 38 points — 9.5%
- San Jose Sharks, 41 points — 8.5%
- Vancouver Canucks, 43 points — 7.5%
- Montreal Canadiens, 44 points — 6.5%
- St. Louis Blues, 49 points — 6.0%
- Detroit Red Wings, 50 points — 5.0%
- Philadelphia Flyers, 51 points — 3.5%
- Ottawa Senators, 51 points — 3.0%
The Blue Jackets, Blackhawks, Ducks and Coyotes are in good position to land the No. 1 pick. Chances are the Blackhawks will have a fire sale at the deadline, potentially dealing Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Max Domi and more. That’s good news since Chicago had been playing better prior to the break. Same goes for the Ducks. Anaheim has the most young talent of the bottom teams with Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry and Mason McTavish.
The Sharks are expected to sell at the deadline as well with the big fish out there being Timo Meier. San Jose sans Meier would be in contention for the No. 1 pick. Same goes for the Canucks, who already dealt Bo Horvat to the Islanders and are expected to move more pieces in an attempt at a rebuild. The Canadiens are another team playing surprisingly well despite injuries and not much to play for. Montreal won’t have its best player Cole Caufield the rest of the season, which should help in positioning for the top pick.