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This past week was good for the Canucks’ Connor Bedard sweepstakes odds: Draft Lottery Watch 2023

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Photo credit:Hockey Canada on Twitter
Lachlan Irvine
1 year ago
The Canucks might be out of the playoff picture, but there’s still something absolutely worth playing for in the final third of the season: the chance to draft Connor Bedard.
If you’d asked Canucks fans about the North Vancouver phenom back in early October, most likely wouldn’t have even considered a world where Vancouver would be in a position to potentially draft him, much less end up as a favourite. But as quickly as the Canucks’ year has gone down the drain, so too has their ability to draft a player that could turn a franchise around singlehandedly.
Fast forward to today, and the Canucks no longer have captain Bo Horvat, injuries have depleted the roster, and several players are likely getting moved before the NHL Trade Deadline.
As the weeks have gone on, more and more fans have gotten on board with the idea of the Canucks tanking. Now, with just under 30 games remaining, the Canucks find themselves just ten points back of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the best odds at the first overall pick and the right to draft Bedard.
If that all sounds miserable and depressing to you, it’s more than understandable after years of wandering the wilderness of mediocrity. But if the Canucks are going to lose a lot of games down the stretch anyway, why not try to make it as worthwhile and enjoyable as possible?
Welcome to Lottery Watch 2023.
Every week, we’ll be breaking down the race for draft lottery positioning, where the Canucks stand within it, and what can affect their placing in the week ahead. We’ll also highlight some of the most important weekly matchups that Canucks fans should keep a browser tab open for, and any additional news and updates that might factor in.
One thing you’ll notice about this column is how we plan on keeping a positive tone. You won’t see phrases like “dead last” or “standings basement” around here. In this scenario, finishing 32nd is equivalent to a first-place finish, 31st is second, and so on.
You also might be wondering why this series isn’t named after the consensus’ first overall choice. The reason for that is to keep from focusing tanking efforts solely on Bedard when there are multiple franchise-changing players at the top of this year’s draft. Adam Fantilli, Matvei Michkov, and Leo Carlsson round out one of the strongest potential Top 4s in NHL history, while plenty of incredibly talented players sit just behind them in the prospect rankings. The higher in the lottery standings you finish, the better the players you’re guaranteed to choose from.
With that, let’s take a look at the current lottery standings!
The Standings
#TeamRecordPts.GROdds#1 OVR
1Columbus Blue Jackets16-33-4362918.50%25.50%
2Chicago Blackhawks16-30-5373113.50%13.50%
3Anaheim Ducks17-31-6402811.50%11.50%
4Arizona Coyotes17-28-842299.50%9.50%
5San Jose Sharks17-26-1145288.50%8.50%
6Vancouver Canucks21-28-446297.50%7.50%
7Montreal Canadiens22-27-448296.50%6.50%
8St. Louis Blues24-25-351306.00%6.00%
9Ottawa Senators24-24-351315.00%5.00%
10Philadelphia Flyers22-23-1054273.50%3.50%
Lottery odds courtesy of tankathon.com.
Canucks Breakdown
After going 1-2-1 on their recent Eastern road trip the Canucks have three games on the docket this week, all of which are against teams they’ve already lost to once. The Red Wings will look to best Vancouver in their second meeting in three days tonight before the Rangers come to town on Wednesday and the Flyers arrive on Saturday.

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Depending on how the week goes for them, the Canucks could start next Monday with as high as the fourth-best lottery odds. The Sharks sit just a single point behind with three games to play this week, while the Coyotes sit four back with 42 points and the chance to steal wins in at least two of their next four games.
The Canucks got a lot of help over the last weekend, thanks to multiple three-point games and some huge upsets. Columbus’ win over Toronto on Saturday and the Canadiens’ drubbing of the Oilers yesterday were both results that have made Vancouver’s current standing look a whole lot better. Their tilt on Saturday with the tenth-place Flyers could also be crucial to lengthening the gap between themselves and the nightmare middle of the NHL pack.
Games of the Week
Predators vs. (4) Coyotes – Monday, 5 PM
On Saturday, the Coyotes pulled off a minor miracle when they came back from three goals down in the third period to force overtime in St. Louis. Today they’ll have a slightly stiffer challenge in the Predators, but Nashville is reliant on goaltending to carry the day. If the Yotes can catch Juuse Saros on a rare off night, watch out for an upset.
(2) Blackhawks vs. (7) Canadiens – Tuesday, 4 PM
This is our first of five games this week between a pair of teams in the bottom ten, and what a matchup it is. The Blackhawks might have home-ice advantage against the Canadiens, but whether or not they’ll still have Patrick Kane playing for them is anybody’s guess.
(9) Senators vs. (2) Blackhawks – Friday, 4 PM
On paper, the Senators should have no problem putting away Chicago. But this has been a season of disappointment for Ottawa, and with both Cam Talbot and Anton Forsberg injured, the Blackhawks have the rare goaltending advantage in Petr Mrazek.
(9) Senators vs. (8) Blues – Sunday, 11 AM
This early morning tilt will pit two underachieving teams against one another, and unlike the majority of this list, both are desperate to claw their way out of the tanking tier. Will Jordan Binnington be able to outduel Mads Sogaard, the Sens’ last healthy goaltender? Anything’s possible.
(4) Coyotes vs. (1) Blue Jackets – Sunday, 5:30 PM
Both the Jackets and Coyotes will be entering this Top 5 battle on the second half of a back-to-back, and with the East/West matchup, both might be more willing to play for overtime if the game is tied late. If Jacob Chychrun does end up being moved out to Los Angeles this week, Columbus’ odds of walking away with the win could improve with it.

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