Which NHL team has best chance to take Connor Bedard at No. 1 after May 8 draft lottery?
The date for the NHL draft lottery is set for May 8, with generational talent Connor Bedard the prize. A new team has fallen to last place in the league and has the best odds for getting the No. 1 overall pick.
The San Jose Sharks are now in 32nd place amid an 0-5-3 slide, including an overtime loss to Columbus earlier this month. The Blue Jackets moved percentage points ahead of the Sharks by winning their last two games. Both teams are in action Saturday and the Blue Jackets have a game in hand.
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 (statistics are as of March 24; this file will be updated at various points during the season).
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Who's 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 NHL-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 leads the WHL with 70 goals and 142 points in 56 games. He totaled 11 points (with two hat tricks) in recent back-to-back games against Moose Jaw but was shut out in his last game by Saskatoon. Last season, he had 100 points in 62 games.
CONNOR BEDARD HAS 70!🚨@WHLPats | #NHLDraft | #CB98 pic.twitter.com/Rs73gGHCta
— The WHL (@TheWHL) March 20, 2023
What are the draft lottery odds for Connor Bedard?
San Jose Sharks -- 72 GP, 19-38-15, 53 pts., .368. Odds: 25.5%
Columbus Blue Jackets -- 71 GP, 23-41-7, 53 pts., .373. Odds: 13.5%
Chicago Blackhawks -- 71 GP, 24-41-6, 54 pts., .380. Odds: 11.5%
Anaheim Ducks -- 72 GP, 23-39-10, 56 pts., .389. Odds: 9.5%
Montreal Canadiens -- 72 GP, 28-38-6, 62 pts., .431. Odds: 8.5%
Arizona Coyotes -- 72 GP, 27-34-11, 65 pts., .457. Odds: 7.5%
Philadelphia Flyers -- 71 GP, 27-32-12, 66 pts., .465. Odds: 6.5%
Vancouver Canucks -- 71 GP, 32-34-5, 69 pts., .486. Odds: 6.0%
St. Louis Blues -- 71 GP, 32-33-6, 70 pts., .493. Odds: 5.0%
Detroit Red Wings -- 71 GP, 31-31-9, 71 pts., .500. Odds: 3.5%
Buffalo Sabres -- 71 GP, 34-31-6, 74 pts., .521. Odds: 3.0%
What's the biggest recent news among teams in the Connor Bedard watch?
Blue Jackets rookie forward Kent Johnson scored a lacrosse-style "Michigan" goal in a win against the Islanders. It's so named because Mike Legg had the original for the Wolverines exactly 27 years ago. Johnson also went to Michigan. He made an excellent stickhandling move to get in position to attempt the goal. He had unsuccessfully tried a Michigan before in the NHL after getting one in junior hockey and internationally. "It always nice to score, but especially that, it felt good," he told reporters.
That between-the-legs move from Kent Johnson to create space for his Michigan behind the net... pic.twitter.com/MMGAPRWhcW
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) March 25, 2023
What other news is happening among Connor Bedard watch teams?
Sharks coach David Quinn was named Team USA's coach for the world championships. He also was the U.S. coach at last year's worlds and the 2022 Winter Olympics. ... The Blackhawks have lost three in a row and have been outscored 11-1 in their last two. ... Ducks second-leading scorer Troy Terry, who left Tuesday's game after sandwiched by two Flames players, returned to action on Thursday, getting an assist. ... Canadiens forward Josh Anderson will miss the rest of the season with a high ankle sprain. ... Coyotes forward Clayton Keller scored his 35th goal Friday night to extend his point streak to 11 games. ... Flyers coach John Tortorella picked up the 700th NHL win on Thursday. Asked if that meant anything to him, he said, "No." ... Canucks forward J.T. Miller has nine goals in his last 10 games and needs three more to tie his career high of 32. ... Blues goalie Joel Hofer has started all four games since the beginning of Jordan Binnington's two-game suspension. He's 3-0-1. ... Red Wings defenseman Simon Edvinsson, the 2021 No. 6 overall pick, picked up his first NHL goal in a loss to the Blues. ... The Sabres beat the Devils to end a 1-6-2 slide, but Tage Thompson was hurt by a check and is doubtful for the next game.
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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.
What happened the last time there was this much excitement about a draft prospect?
That was Connor McDavid's draft year with the Erie Otters in 2015, when he had 120 points in 47 games. The Sabres finished last with 54 points and the Coyotes had 56, but the Oilers (62) won the draft lottery and chose McDavid. The Sabres drafted Jack Eichel and the Coyotes chose Dylan Strome, both of whom have since been traded.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Connor Bedard watch: Who has best odds to draft generational talent?