Hi. It’s me, Matt. The guy who tweets the ‘Elmo with a raging fire behind him’ meme regularly.
Why do I do it? Because it represents something I love in sports: chaos. The Tage Thompson late breakout is chaos. The Florida Panthers and Seattle Kraken pulling historic first-round upsets is chaos. Johnny Gaudreau signing with the Columbus Blue Jackets seemingly out of nowhere last summer was chaos.
And when it comes to Monday’s 2023 NHL Draft lottery: while I have no stake in the game, I will indeed be rooting for chaos when we wait to see who earns the right to draft incoming generational talent Connor Bedard first overall.
What would represent chaos in this context? I would quantify it as some combination of (a) upsetting the league’s power balance unexpectedly and (b) Sending multiple fan bases into a panic.
So with all due respect to a team like the Columbus Blue Jackets, for instance, seeing Bedard don their sweater would be the opposite of chaos. It would be a rather beige result: bad team in small market lands superstar. Good for them if it happens, but…yawn. Right?
Which teams would ignite the chaos inferno and inspire Twitter warriors to pen manifestos about Gary Bettman rigging the process? I present to you my Connor Bedard Draft Lottery Chaos Rankings, with each team’s odds in brackets.
11. Columbus Blue Jackets (13.5%)
In terms of landing spots, the Blue Jackets would easily be the least interesting for Bedard. He could form an exciting first line with Gaudreau and Patrik Laine. He’d be joining a franchise that already has a promising young nest egg including Kent Johnston, David Jiricek, Cole Sillinger and Jordan Dumais. “Bad team accumulates prospects and drafts elite player” is a pretty standard script. The Jackets’ future would instantly become promising with Bedard but, from a marketing perspective, a Columbus lottery win wouldn’t have the NHL jumping for joy.
10. San Jose Sharks (9.5%)
The Sharks inched closer to bottoming out when they dealt Timo Meier this season, but they still have a collection of decent veterans in tow, including Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl and 100-point defenseman Erik Karlsson. If the Sharks landed Bedard and ended up not trading Karlsson this offseason, it would be fascinating to see what they could accomplish offensively as a duo. Other than that, Bedard to San Jose is another straightforward phenom-helps-weak-team story.