The Vancouver Canucks were one lottery ball away from winning Connor Bedard
Photo credit:Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
By Mike Gould6 months ago
The Vancouver Canucks almost — almost! — won the right to select Connor Bedard with the No. 1 pick in the upcoming 2023 NHL Draft.
The Chicago Blackhawks moved up from No. 3 by winning Monday’s draft lottery, which was conducted at the NHL Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey. The Anaheim Ducks moved down to the No. 2 spot by winning the secondary lottery draw.
The Canucks entered the lottery with the No. 11 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and the lowest odds (3.0 percent) of moving up to pick Bedard. But as Jeff Paterson pointed out on Monday evening, the Canucks came agonizingly close to winning the lottery for the No. 1 selection.
The lottery balls numbered 4, 5, 9 and 13 were drawn from the league’s machine. Per this NHL Draft Lottery online pamphlet, that combination belonged to the Blackhawks.
But … if the ball marked with the number 12 came up instead of the one with 13, the Canucks would’ve won the lottery. The North Vancouver kid would’ve become the first No. 1 pick in Canucks history.
Maybe this is why 13 is so widely considered an unlucky number.
It looks like Connor Bedard will be a Chicago Blackhawk. Adam Fantilli should become an Anaheim Duck. As for who the Canucks will pick at No. 11 — or if they’ll move up, down, or even trade the pick — we’ll find out when the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft takes place on June 28.
This year’s draft will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The Columbus Blue Jackets, San Jose Sharks, and Montreal Canadiens respectively own picks No. 3, 4, and 5 in the draft. The Canadiens and Canucks were the only two Canadian teams with a chance to snag Bedard through the lottery.
Bedard, a self-professed Canucks fan, collected 71 goals and 143 points in 57 games with the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats during the 2022–23 regular season. He added 10 goals and 20 points in seven WHL playoff games and also chipped in nine goals and 23 points in seven games with Team Canada at the 2023 World Juniors.
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