Bye bye, Bedard? Canucks dangerously close to 0% draft lottery odds

Mar 20 2023, 8:23 pm

The Vancouver Canucks are one of the NHL’s hottest teams and have been for over a month.

The Canucks are 10-3-1 since February 18, giving them the fourth-best points percentage (.750) in the league since then, with only Minnesota, Boston, and Colorado posting better records.

Wins are nice to see, but the result has been a charge up the NHL’s standings.

Given all hope of the playoffs was lost months ago, and the best prospect to come around since Connor McDavid is available in the draft, moving up the standings is a bad thing for the Canucks right now.

Winners of seven of their last eight games, the Canucks no longer have a realistic shot of finishing in a bottom-four spot.

And now, the Canucks are closer to catching Buffalo and Washington (12th- and 13th-last, respectively) than they are to falling below Montreal (5th-last).

nhl standings march 20 2023

The Canucks are charging up the standings.

The last-place team, currently the Columbus Blue Jackets, will receive only a 25.5% shot to win the first overall pick in the weighted lottery. So no matter where you finish, provided you’re one of the bottom-11 teams in the standings, getting Connor Bedard is a long shot.

But if you finish 12th-last or higher, which the Canucks are now in danger of doing, it won’t be a long shot.

It will be no shot.

The NHL’s draft lottery rules were altered last year, reducing the number of teams that were eligible to win the first overall pick. While all 16 non-playoff teams will participate in the May 8 lottery, teams are now only allowed to move up a maximum of 10 spots. That means that only the lottery picks belonging to teams finishing between 22nd and 32nd place (ie — between last and 11th-last) will have a shot to get Bedard.

If the regular season ended today, the Canucks would have a 6% chance at winning the first overall pick, and a 6.4% shot to get the second pick. The most likely outcome would be picking eighth (54.4%), followed by ninth (30%). They could also pick as low as 10th (3.2%).

nhl draft lottery odds march 20 2023

Canucks are four spots away from having 0% chance at Bedard (

But if the Canucks continue winning?

If the Canucks finish 20th or 21st, they could win the lottery and still not get Bedard. The 21st-place team (currently Ottawa by points percentage) will get a 2.9% chance to win second overall, and a 2.4% chance to win third.

The 20th-place team (currently Buffalo by points percentage) will get a 2.6% chance at third overall, and a 1.7% shot at fourth.

The question is, can the Canucks keep this up? They have one of the NHL’s easiest schedules down the stretch, with eight of their last 13 games coming against non-playoff teams.

The team has seemingly turned things around under new head coach Rick Tocchet, despite relying on multiple AHL defencemen logging big minutes. Thatcher Demko has been sensational since returning from injury, and Vancouver’s best players — Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and J.T. Miller — have played their best hockey of the season of late.

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