While they might not have picked up two points on the night, the Vancouver Canucks got a better chance at landing Connor Bedard on Wednesday.
With Vancouver’s 6-4 loss to the New York Rangers coupled with Connor Ingram’s 47-save shutout and shootout win for the Arizona Coyotes over the Tampa Bay Lighting, the Canucks moved into the top five for highest draft lottery odds.
Vancouver now sits fifth, only behind Columbus, Chicago, Anaheim, and San Jose, with an 8.5% chance at selecting first overall when they go to the stage in Nashville this June. The Canucks’ odds remain slim, but they’re greater than Wednesday morning.
Although the hockey club could have felt the typical new coach bump, they have dropped further down in the NHL standings since Rick Tocchet replaced Bruce Boudreau behind the bench. So while Bo Horvat’s departure is notable, it’s helping the Canucks’ case for North Vancouver’s own Bedard.
Against the Rangers, the Canucks opted to start 21-year-old NHL rookie Arturs Silovs, giving the 2019 sixth-round pick his NHL debut, having posted a .906 save percentage through 35 games with AHL Abbotsford this season.
While Silovs’ start gave him some big-league experience, it also helped Vancouver’s draft lottery dreams.
Welcome to The Show, Arturs Silovs! 👏 pic.twitter.com/cxy8rLfNmf
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 16, 2023
Sitting 15 points out of a playoff spot, the best thing the Canucks can do for the rest of the season is to score some goals and play entertaining hockey but make sure to lose games in regulation.
If Thatcher Demko returns — which appears imminent — given the club waived Spencer Martin to the AHL, things could turn around. Yet, for now, Wednesday’s loss put Vancouver within the top five of NHL Draft Lottery odds.
Once again, it’s time for Canucks fans to break out the ever-trustworthy Tankathon NHL Draft Lottery Simulator and dream of maybe, just possibly, drafting a young hockey phenom.