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MX News Update 2024

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Blackhawks retain the No. 2 overall pick in the NHL Draft lottery

The Blackhawks entered Tuesday with the second-highest odds in the NHL draft lottery and left the lottery with the corresponding No. 2 pick.

However, the probability of that outcome was only 14.1%, so general manager Kyle Davidson was happy with another stroke of relative luck.

“The way we see this design . . . Number 2 is a really big win,” Davidson said. “I’m going out for dinner tonight and it’s going to be a celebratory dinner.”

The Sharks, who had the best lottery odds due to their last-place finish in the standings, won the No. 1 overall pick — putting them in first place ahead of consensus top prospect Macklin Celebrini — on an anticlimactic lottery night.

The Ducks, Blue Jackets and Canadiens ended up with the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 overall picks, respectively.

The Hawks had a 72.4% chance of going to the No. 3 or No. 4 selection — a fate they avoided. Instead, they become the first team to have a top-two selection in consecutive years since the Rangers in 2019 and 2020.

“Last year I was a lot more nervous,” Davidson said. “Winning last year and having that in our back pocket made this year a little easier to navigate. To be honest, it wasn’t that hard for me. Last year it swallowed everything.”

Besides Celebrini, this year’s hierarchy of potential customers is murkier than last year. Belarusian defenseman Artyom Levshunov and Russian wing Ivan Demidov have received the most attention as candidates for the No. 2 spot, but the Hawks have nearly two months to make that decision before the June 28-29 draft in Las Vegas .

Levshunov is coming off an impressive freshman season at Michigan State; Demidov still has one year left on his contract with the Russian club SKA St. Petersburg.

American wing Cole Eiserman, Canadian center Cayden Lindstrom, American defenseman Zeev Buium, Canadian defenseman Zayne Parekh and Russian defenseman Anton Silayev are others in the mix as possible top-five picks.

Davidson talked about how the obvious choice of Celebrini at No. 1 means the Hawks will be able to dictate how the rest of the first round plays out. Conversely, he did not address some questions about a potential tilt forward due to the depth of the organization’s defensive prospect pool.

“I think we are heavily on the defensive; we are on a serious journey,” he said. “We can rank the board accordingly and then just go with what fits best.”

The Hawks also receive the No. 20 overall pick from the Lightning and own a total of nine picks – including three second-round picks, two third-round picks, one fifth-round pick and one sixth-round pick.