With the NHL Draft Lottery set to take place on Monday, all hockey eyes will be on which team is lucky enough to win the right to draft generational talent Connor Bedard with the first-overall pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. Bedard is expected to be the best player to join the NHL since Connor McDavid and there are a handful of teams salivating at the idea that he could join their ranks as early as next season.
The NHL tweeted a graphic of how well Bedard would fit with each team eligible to win the lottery.
When it comes to the Anaheim Ducks, the idea that Bedard and Trevor Zegras could be on the same team means putting perhaps the two most flashy and dynamic young players on the same club. Any given night would be the kind of night where a highlight-reel play would take place. They write, “Bedard and Trevor Zegras could make the Ducks one of the most entertaining teams in the NHL.”
“The cannon at Nationwide Arena would be going off constantly if Bedard and Johnny Gaudreau end up on the same line.” Gaudreau recently signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets as a free agent and he’s missing a really skilled offensive player that has a similar style of game to play with him.
“What better way to follow the departure of one generational star, Patrick Kane, than with the arrival of another?” Kane was recently traded by the Chicago Blackhawks to the New York Rangers and while he might not stay with the Rangers next season, he certainly won’t be coming back to Chicago, where the team is rebuilding and would love to start that rebuild with Bedard.
“With Bedard and William Eklund on one line, and Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl on another, the Sharks would be planting the seeds of a pretty good offensive attack.” The Sharks have struggled and are also rebuilding. One of their key questions this offseason would be whether to trade Erik Karlsson and knowing if Bedard was going to be part of that team’s future could provide an answer to that question.
When it comes to the Montreal Canadiens, the graphic notes, “Bedard alongside Cole Caufield would scare some teams. Caufield doesn’t need much time or space to utilize his dangerous shot. Now imagine the kind of open ice that gets created when multiple defenders try to slow Bedard.”
As for the Arizona Coyotes, “Between Logan Cooley, the No. 3 pick of the 2022 Draft, and Bedard, the Coyotes would have some outstanding young depth at the center position.” The Coyotes are a long way from being a playoff contender, but these two would move them into that conversation a lot more quickly.
The Philadelphia Flyers have a lot of work to do to right the ship, but Bedard would go a long way to helping get things back on track. They write, “Bedard would be the first transformational superstar the Flyers have had since they acquired Eric Lindros in 1992.”
Finally, the Washington Capitals have a shot and they talked about the idea of Conor Bedard alongside Alex Ovechkin. They note, “How long do you think it would take for Ovechkin to score the 73 goals he needs to pass Wayne Gretzky’s all-time mark?”
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