The Chicago Blackhawks have secured the #1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft after winning the Draft Lottery, but fans are far from pleased. The Blackhawks had the third-highest odds of landing the first overall pick with an 11.5% chance, lower than the Columbus Blue Jackets at 13.5% and the Anaheim Ducks with an 18.5% chance. Fans are accusing the NHL of rigging the draft, claiming that the league wanted a big market team to win Connor Bedard, a generational prospect. The Chicago Blackhawks also won 3 Stanley Cups recently, winning it in 2010, 2013, and 2015.
Bedard, a 17-year-old superstar, played for the Regina Pats during the 2022-2023 season, amassing an impressive 71 goals and 72 assists for a total of 143 points in just 57 regular-season games. He led the league in scoring, with a 36-point gap between him and the second-highest scorer and a 45-point lead over the third-highest scorer. Although his team was eliminated early in the WHL playoffs, Bedard still managed to produce 20 points in 10 games.
In a poll with over 20,000 votes, a slight majority of 52.7% of fans stated that they seriously believe the NHL rigged the draft. Adding fuel to the fire, the NHL made an error during the draft announcement, revealing the third pick before even showing the card.
As the controversy continues to swirl, the Blackhawks and their fans await the upcoming draft, where they will have the opportunity to select the highly coveted Connor Bedard. Whether or not the allegations of rigging are true, the Blackhawks have undeniably gained a significant advantage.