Tonight, the NHL will announce the results of it’s annual Draft Lottery, and the order that teams will be drafting in at the Entry Draft in Vancouver June 21 & 22. After a 4th straight season of missing the playoffs, there is tremendous pressure on Jim Benning and his crew to find pieces that are going to compliment the core that is in place: Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, and Quinn Hughes.
There’s a couple lights out future superstars up for grabs in Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, and from there some good potential, but there’s a drop off from the first two. Getting the chance to have the Hughes brothers together has been on the minds of pretty much every Canucks fan since they selected Quinn last year in Dallas, but should we dare to dream?
Given the way the Canucks have fared at previous drafts, and their position, and then adding in their history, it should be pretty clear that any improvement on their draft position as it sits currently will look like a win for Benning. Here’s the odds heading into the draw courtesy of nhl.com:
Lottery odds (Fewest Points to Most)
Colorado Avalanche (from OTT) 18.5%
Los Angeles Kings 13.5%
New Jersey Devils 11.5%
Detroit Red Wings 9.5%
Buffalo Sabres 8.5%
New York Rangers 7.5%
Edmonton Oilers 6.5%
Anaheim Ducks 6.0%
Vancouver Canucks 5.0%
Philadelphia Flyers 3.5%
Minnesota Wild 3.0%
Chicago Blackhawks 2.5%
Florida Panthers 2.0%
Arizona Coyotes 1.5%
Montreal Canadiens 1.0%
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: The Canucks should shock the hockey world and win this thing. Seriously. Not just because I am a Canucks supporter, but because with the draft in Vancouver, as the team prepares for it’s 50th Anniversary, a cosmic and karmic realignment of a team cursed from the very first draft lottery when it entered the league in 1970 is long overdue. The city and it’s fans have suffered through so much, and it’s time for that to end and give the hockey world an incredible story: 2 brothers who can rebuild this franchise after it said goodbye to the best brother combo this league has ever seen.
WHAT CAN’T HAPPEN: The Edmonton Oilers winning it again. I don’t want to hear about the suffering of Oilers fans. I DON’T CARE! I would trade fandoms with them in a heartbeat because at least they’ve felt the joy. They have no idea what this is like, and to suggest it’s comparable is insulting. Screw them.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Los Angeles will win it. Why? It’s simple. A hated Canucks rival, led to a historic tank job by one of the worst Canucks coaches ever? It’s like WE wrote the script. It’s gross to think about Jack Hughes getting advice on how to be a pro from a guy like Drew Doughty, but this is where we’re headed.
After this, it’s up to Jimbo to get guys like Brock Boeser and Alexander Edler re-signed, and make some roster changes that will clear space for real help to come and play with the core. Maybe it even means making a Draft Day trade to move up and give the fans something to cheer about.
Fingers crossed, but don’t hold your breath.