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Wild First Round and Draft Picks Update

May 2, 2023, 2:15 PM ET [516 Comments]
Zach Jarom
Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope all is well in Blackhawk Nation. Sorry for the lack of blogs last week. I have been feeling pretty burnt out on all the hockey in my life as I work in the game, still play beer league, do this, and do the podcast. I simply wanted to take a step back and recharge a bit before the craziness of this year’s off-season. It has been a blast watching these playoff games simply as a fan, and I believe this year’s opening round just proves that there is nothing quite like the NHL Playoffs. My bracket is beyond busted at this point, but it is well worth it to see Toronto finally get over that first round monster, Florida taking out the Bruins, and, in the process, help the 2013 Blackhawks hold on to the title as the only President Trophy winner to win the cup in the last 10 years. Another great surprise for me was Seattle knocking out the defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche and guaranteeing us some fresh Stanley Cup Final matchups. For me, I feel like where things sit now, going into round two, this is the Maple Leafs Cup to lose. With the momentum they have going into this series against the Panthers, I just can’t see them rolling over and dying, but then again, who would have thought the Bruins would do just that?

As for the Hawks, we are just six days away from finding out where that big first pick is going to fall, and the more I sit and think about it, my gut feeling is that this team is either going to get first overall or will drop to the fourth pick. The league needs the Hawks to land Bedard because, let’s face it, the NHL is better when the Hawks (and all six original teams) are good. The traveling fanbase and the fans, not just across the US and Canada but the entire world, are an absolute marketing gold mine to have a generational talent land in a big market. Now is this the Hawks bias in me just spilling out? Oh, absolutely, but as much as you might not like it, you cannot disagree that it’s at least a little bit true. The only thing I know for sure is that I cannot wait for this lottery to be over, and I can just stop daydreaming about seeing Bedard in the Indian head sweater.

While we wait to see where the Hawks will draft first, there is more clarity on the conditional picks that KD has picked up over the last two years. First up is the 2023 first-round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning. With Tampa being eliminated by the Leafs, this pick obviously falls outside of the top 10 and lands at number 20. The other conditional pick for this year’s draft comes from the New York Rangers in the Patrick Kane trade. It was originally a conditional second that could turn into a first if the Rangers reached the Eastern Conference finals. However, as we all know from last night’s game, they were eliminated by the Devils, so that pick will remain a 2nd rounder. KD will go into this year’s draft with a total of 11 picks: 2 in the first, 4 in the second, 2 in the third, and 1 in the fourth, fifth, and seventh rounds. I think KD works some magic to get another first this year, but regardless, this is a great haul of picks to really get our prospect pool rebuilt, and I have to say that for the first time in a long time, I am feeling good about the future of this franchise.

Clarification on the Tampa pick
The Tampa Bay first round pick will either be 19 or 20 based on the outcome of the Panthers/Leafs series. If Florida wins the pick will be 19, if the Leafs win the pick will be 20.

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