Unprecedented changes coming for Blackhawks after Bedard draft
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Unprecedented changes coming for Blackhawks after Bedard draft

This is actually crazy!



The NHL held its annual Draft Lottery yesterday evening, revealing who will have the opportunity to draft 17 year old phenom Connor Bedard 1st overall next month at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

And the winner is...

The Chicago Blackhawks!

The problem is... if you were paying close attention you already knew that before it was formally announced. 

ESPN analyst Kevin Weekes jumped the gun a bit, announcing that the Columbus Blue Jackets were out of the running after securing the 3rd overall selection before NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly revealed the 3rd overall pick.

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekkalainen is NOT amused:

And then... with just the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks listed as possible winners, some fans noticed a star next to the Blackhawks' name.

Check it out:

Yikes... that certainly looks to me like the NHL blew it here.

In any case, congratulations to all the Blackhawks fans out there. You're getting yourself an absolute game changer and a potential franchise player in the young Bedard.

For those not aware, Bedard is the most hyped NHL prospect since Auston Matthews was chosen 1st overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs back in 2016. There's even scouts and analysts out there saying that Bedard is a superior prospect to Matthews and is more comparable to Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid, who was drafted 1st overall in 2015.

Bedard, a native of North Vancouver, BC, put up a historic 71 goals and 143 points in just 57 games with the WHL's Regina Pats last season. Even better though, he put up nine goals and 23 points in just seven games en route to a Gold medal victory at the World Junior Championships with an OT victory over the Czech Republic.

I mean... just watch this kid:

Chicago is getting a good one.

What's crazy to me though is that Bedard will be joining a Blackhawks team that looks NOTHING like the one that tanked for him this past season. Sure, longtime franchise icons Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will be gone, but so will... well... almost everyone, really. That's because the Blackhawks have an unprecedented $41 million in cap space to spend this offseason.

The team has just three forwards, three defenseman and one goalie of any real consequence signed for next season. Sure, there are some depth players and minor leaguers signed to low ticket deals, but in terms of true NHL level talent the Blackhawks have just seven players signed for 2023-24.

To say that this ain't your Father's Blackhawks would be an understatement. This team will look NOTHING like Blackhawks teams of the past.

Source: CapFriendly