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NHL Specials: Connor Bedard Sweepstakes

Which NHL Teams Should The Future Messiah Go To?

Move over, Connor McDavid. There is a newer, younger and hotter Connor on everyone’s radar: Connor Bedard.

The consensus first-overall pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft just increased the hype with a record-setting performance at the World Juniors. And he has not slowed down. Thus, a handful of NHL teams are shamelessly tanking in hopes of winning the lottery. But, who, according to the NHL odds, could or should get this young phenom?

Connor Bedard #16 of Team Canada skates the puck during overtime against Team Czech Republic in the gold medal round of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship
Connor Bedard #16 of Team Canada skates / Minas Panagiotakis - Getty Images - AFP

Let’s check the latest NHL picks, stats, injury reports, and NHL predictions. We’ve plenty of NHL expert picks for you to consider.

As well explore a variety of other NHL odds here to win!

Favorites: Teams With Best Odds

Blackhawks

With a 30.8-point percentage, the Chicago Blackhawks are dead-last in the NHL and the favorites to land Bedard. If Chicago can stay last, it will have a 25.5 percent chance of drafting first overall. That would be a dream for both Blackhawks fans and the NHL as Chicago is one of its biggest markets. Getting Bedard could also pair him with their last No. 1 overall pick, current franchise star Patrick Kane.

  • Last No. 1 Overall Pick: 2007 (Patrick Kane)

Blue Jackets

Not too far behind are the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are just two points above Chicago in the standings. Columbus has plenty of young and promising talent like Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine. Adding Bedard to center the duo would have any fan salivating.

  • Last No. 1 Overall Pick: 2002 (Rick Nash)

Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks have never had the first overall pick so they may be to finally get one. Currently third on the online gambling odds, the Ducks have an 11.5 percent chance of winning the lottery if they stay at this spot. This team is filled with young exciting players like Trevor Zegras and Mason McTavish.

  • Last No. 1 Overall Pick: Never

Sneaky Contenders: These Teams Could Still Win

Sharks

The San Jose Sharks are unlikely to finish in the bottom three of the NHL unless Chicago, Columbus or Anaheim goes on a winning streak and San Jose continues to tank. That might be tough considering how well star defenseman Erik Karlsson is playing. There is still time after the NHL trade deadline if they can move him, but it will be a small window.

  • Last No. 1 Overall Pick: Never

Coyotes

Heading into the season, the Arizona Coyotes were the favorites to finish last and win the Bedard sweepstakes. But this team, thanks to goaltender Karel Vejmelka, has been winning more than usual. The NHL would want Bedard to land here so he can resurrect this moribund franchise. Still, the Coyotes currently have an 8.5 percent chance of picking first overall.

  • Last No. 1 Overall Pick: 1981 (Dale Hawerchuk)*

* Winnipeg Jets

Canadiens

If you’re betting online on a team to win the Bedard sweepstakes, the Montreal Canadiens are a sneaky underdog. Not only is this team tanking hard – a 2-10-1 record since Dec. 14 is the second-worst in the NHL – but it potentially has two shots at Bedard. Their second pick comes courtesy of Florida, which is surprisingly struggling and could miss the playoffs. If you add the odds of these two picks, Montreal has an 11 percent chance of drafting Bedard.

  • Last No. 1 Overall Pick: 2022 (Juraj Slafkovsky)

So You’re Saying There’s A Chance?

Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks were supposed to be contenders but are seventh in the Bedard sweepstakes. This team is a dumpster fire and could just blow it up within the next few weeks. It’s hard to predict this team’s direction, but it could “make a run” post-All-Star break if it decides to sell off its assets.

  • Last No. 1 Overall Pick: Never

Flyers

This team faces an identity crisis as it should be deeper in this lottery race, but is instead winning games under John Tortorella. The Philadelphia Flyers are 5-1-0 since the Christmas break and are eight points out of the bottom five of the NHL. They have a six-percent chance of landing the first overall pick but as long as “Torts” is coaching, that could shrink down the stretch.

  • Last No. 1 Overall Pick: 1975 (Mel Bridgman)

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