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The “race” to the bottom and the best draft lottery odds to select generational talent Connor Bedard looks like it could go to the wire.
The San Jose Sharks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks have held the 32nd overall spot at various times since March 26, and now it’s the Anaheim Ducks’ turn.
Their nine-game losing streak has them in last place by a tiebreaker behind Columbus and Chicago. All have 56 points, but Anaheim has the fewest regulation wins, the first tiebreaker. The Ducks rank second-to-last in power play and penalty kill and have a league-worst -124 goal differential.
The draft lottery winner can move up only 10 spots this year, so the bottom 11 teams have a shot at Bedard. Here’s a look at the teams with the best odds:
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Who is Connor Bedard?
Bedard, who entered the Western Hockey League draft early as a 15-year-old, has put up big numbers while playing against older players. He has an elite-level shot and topped North American skaters in Central Scouting’s midseason rankings. The 17-year-old was named world junior championships MVP after getting 23 points in seven games for gold medalist Canada. The Regina (Saskatchewan) Pats’ 5-10, 185-pound center finished the regular season with a league-best 71 goals and 143 points in 57 games. He has 13 points in four games as the Pats and Saskatoon Blades are tied 2-2 in their playoff series.
Which team will get Connor Bedard?
Here are the NHL draft lottery odds as of April 6:
Anaheim Ducks – 78 GP, 23-45-10, 56 pts., .359. Odds: 25.5%
Columbus Blue Jackets – 78 GP, 24-46-8, 56 pts., .359. Odds: 13.5%
Chicago Blackhawks – 78 GP, 25-47-6, 56 pts., .359. Odds: 11.5%
San Jose Sharks – 78 GP, 22-40-16, 60 pts., .385. Odds: 9.5%
Arizona Coyotes – 79 GP, 27-39-13, 67 pts., .424. Odds: 8.5%
Montreal Canadiens – 79 GP, 31-42-6, 68 pts., .430, Odds: 7.5%
Philadelphia Flyers – 78 GP, 29-36-13, 71 pts., .454. Odds: 6.5%
Vancouver Canucks – 78 GP, 35-36-7, 77 pts., .494. Odds: 6.0%
Washington Capitals – 78 GP, 34-35-9, 77 pts., .494. Odds: 5.0%
St. Louis Blues – 79 GP, 37-35-7, 81 pts., .513. Odds: 3.5%
Ottawa Senators – 78 GP, 37-35-7, 81 pts., .513. Odds: 3.0%
What’s the biggest news among teams in the Connor Bedard watch?
The slumping Coyotes dropped one spot to 28th overall after losing to the Seattle Kraken on Thursday. They have dropped two spots in the standings recently and are winless in nine games. Their next game is Saturday at home against the Ducks, who are equally struggling.
What other news is happening among Connor Bedard watch teams?
Ducks No. 2 scorer Troy Terry scored the team’s lone goal on Wednesday after staying home from the team’s road trip. He and his wife, Dani, are expecting the couple’s first child to be born early. Terry is scheduled to miss Saturday’s game in Arizona. … Blue Jackets star Johnny Gaudreau left Thursday’s 8-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils early because of an illness. Columbus has two seven-goal losses in April. … Captain Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks were shut out by Vancouver on Thursday. Toews had two assists in his first two games since returning from a two-month absence for the effects of long COVID and chronic immune response syndrome. He had a strong faceoff performance on Thursday, winning 10 of 14. … Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist on Thursday to give him 98 points with four games remaining. No NHL defenseman has scored 100 points in a season since the 1990s. … The Canadiens scored two short-handed goals as they ended a four-game losing streak with a rout of the Capitals. Joel Armia got his second career hat trick. … Goalie Carter Hart returned from an injury and Kevin Hayes ended his 23-game goal drought, but the Flyers‘ losing streak hit four games as they fell 4-1 to the Dallas Stars. … Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko picked up his first shutout since Dec. 6, 2021, making 33 saves in a 3-0 win vs. the Blackhawks. … The Capitals, whose eight-year playoff run has ended, have lost eight of their last nine games. … Former Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and an assist in his first game back since his trade, but St. Louis beat the New York Rangers on Kasperi Kapanen’s overtime goal. … The Senators fell into Bedard watch territory after getting crushed 7-2 by the Florida Panthers. The game featured 166 penalty minutes.
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When is the NHL draft lottery?
The draft lottery is scheduled to be held at 7 p.m. ET on May 8 and will be shown on ESPN. There are two drawings, first for a chance at the top pick and then for a chance at the second pick. The last-place team would also get the top pick if a team ranked 12th to 16th in the standings wins the first drawing. University of Michigan forward Adam Fantilli, who’s 6-2, 195, could go No. 2 overall. Swedish forward Leo Carlsson, who’s 6-3, 198, is Central Scouting’s top-ranked international skater.
Contributing: Associated Press