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Aggressive Trade Bids Coming to the Team That Wins Connor Bedard Lottery

Is the winner of the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery going to get insanely-high value trade offers for Connor Bedard’s draft rights?

Tonight is a very interesting and important night for a number of NHL clubs. The NHL Draft Lottery takes place ahead of the Edmonton Oilers vs. Vegas Golden Knights Game 3 and one lucky team is going to have the opportunity to either draft Connor Bedard or trade their right to pick him in one of the biggest trade hauls in recent history. The latter seems unlikely, but according to one report, it’s not out of the question and it won’t stop teams who didn’t win the lottery from trying.

According to Kevin Paul Dupont of the Globe: “Suspect tonight’s NHL lottery winner will receive some VERY aggressive bids for Bedard, because of who he is, and because of the squeezed cap dynamics. Similar to pressure MTL put on NYI leading to the Potvin draft in ’73.” As for what would be offered, that’s not entirely clear, but there are multiple teams that would move nothing shy of heaven and earth to have what could be a generational talent on their roster and arguably the best player to enter the NHL since Connor McDavid.

Among the teams with the best odds of winning the draft lottery, are the Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Chicago Blackhawks. But, as fans are finding out as they test their team’s luck in draft simulators, anything can happen. If a team like the San Jose Sharks or Washington Capitals were to land the pick, trade rumor chaos might ensue. Jeff Gorton of the Montreal Canadiens was asked if he would consider a blockbuster trade if the Habs didn’t win the lottery. He responded, “I’m not sure how to answer that. The Lindros trade, they gave up quite a lot there and it ended up going in one team’s favour when it looked like it was the other team.”

The Flyers never won the Stanley Cup with Lindros on the roster, but the Quebec Nordiques (who later moved to Colorado) won the Stanley Cup as the Avalanche in 1996. They won it again in 2001 and 2022. None of that would have been possible had they not accepted a massive deal that included six players — Peter Forsberg, Ron Hextall, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, and Chris Simon, as well as first-round draft picks in 1993 and 1994, future considerations and $15 million.

Is there a team out there willing to go crazy and offer the lottery winner a chance to be in the playoff conversation immediately? And, do the players and picks they offer give that team a better chance than having Bedard does?

Next: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs 3-2 OT Loss to Panthers



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