According to Chicago Blackhawks team president Jaime Faulkner, the Blackhawks sold $1.9 million in season tickets in the first hour since winning the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery on Monday night. The prize for winning this year’s lottery is generational talent Connor Bedard, who is all but assured will be selected by the Blackhawks with the first overall pick.
JUST IN: In the first hour after getting the No. 1 pick, which will be phenom Connor Bedard, the @NHLBlackhawks have sold $1.9 million in season tickets, says team president of business Jaime Faulkner.
At this pace, a season ticket cap is anticipated.
Wild for a team who had…
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 9, 2023
The Blackhawks had the third lowest arena capacity percentage in the league this season. They last selected first overall in 2007, when they took winger Patrick Kane. Chicago had the third-best odds to win the first overall pick this year at 11.5%.
“I’m a little bit speechless to be honest, but really, really excited,” Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said. “Anytime you can add elite talent like we’ll be able to add in this draft with the first overall selection, it’s a monumental thing. I’m really excited for the fan base and the city. But in the end, it’s one piece. It’s a big piece, but it’s one piece that will go into building this team.”
Center Connor Bedard, who scored 71 goals and 143 points in 57 games with the WHL’s Regina Pats, is the heavy favorite to be selected first overall. Center Adam Fantilli, who is coming off of a Hobey Baker-winning campaign after tallying 30 goals and 65 points in 35 NCAA games with the University of Michigan, is expected to go second.
The lottery odds were:
1. Ducks: 18.5% 2. Blue Jackets: 13.5% 3. Blackhawks: 11.5% 4. San Jose Sharks: 9.5% 5. Montreal Canadiens: 8.5% 6. Arizona Coyotes: 7.5% 7. Philadelphia Flyers: 6.5% 8. Washington Capitals: 6% 9. Detroit Red Wings: 5% 10. St. Louis Blues: 3.5% 11. Vancouver Canucks: 3% 12. Ottawa Senators: 2.5% 13. Buffalo Sabres: 2% 14. Pittsburgh Penguins: 1.5% 15. Nashville Predators: 0.5% 16. Calgary Flames: 0.5%
The NHL also implemented a rule that a team cannot win the lottery more than twice in a five-year span, starting with the 2022 lottery.
*cough* fair weather fans *cough*
All makes sense now
Why did CHI Blackhawks and GM Davidson suddenly scuttle an ongoing rebuild, after only a few years, and deliberately thrust the team backwards in development? CHI dropped several REALLY good young players over the last two seasons. Kirby Dach now in MTL (#3 overall pick in 2019!) and the Caps’ newly-signed Center Dylan Strome . These odd actions ticked off the normally staid CHI fan base. Sure was a head-scratcher to me. NHL (and MLB) fans hate rebuilds … but TWO of them within a 5-year span?
Now we know why. The “fix was in” for CHI to win the Connor Bedard draft sweepstakes. They began tanking aggressively two seasons ago. Then they got the first ping-pong ball. Mission Accomplished!
GMD is one of several extremely young “Whiz Kids” doing NHL GM duties. Count me as one who finds the Whiz Kids’ performances to be dubious. But “gaming the system” they’ve got down pat
Hit the nail on the head
Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!