SECAUCUS, N.J. – The Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks own the first and second overall drafting positions, respectively, for the First Round of the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft as a result of the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery, conducted this evening at NHL Network’s Secaucus, N.J., studio.
Participants in the Draft Lottery included all teams that did not qualify for the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs (or the teams that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams).
Two draws were conducted to determine the order of selection for the first 16 picks in the First Round of the Draft. Among the changes to the Draft Lottery format announced on March 23, 2021, there was a limit on the total number of selections (10) a team participating in the Draft Lottery could “move up” in the event it won one of the Lottery Draws. Thus, only the top 11 seeds were eligible to receive the first overall selection.
The order of selection for the first 16 picks of the First Round, only, of the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft is as follows:
1. Chicago Blackhawks
2. Anaheim Ducks
3. Columbus Blue Jackets
4. San Jose Sharks
5. Montreal Canadiens
6. Arizona Coyotes
7. Philadelphia Flyers
8. Washington Capitals
9. Detroit Red Wings
10. St. Louis Blues
11. Vancouver Canucks
12. Arizona Coyotes (from Ottawa) *
13. Buffalo Sabres
14. Pittsburgh Penguins
15. Nashville Predators
16. Calgary Flames
The remaining positions are determined by the results of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Blackhawks Win No. 1 Drafting Position
In the drawing that determined the No. 1 drafting position, the Blackhawks’ combinations had the third-greatest percentage likelihood of being selected based on inverse order of regular-season finish (11.5%). This marks the fourth time the Blackhawks have been selected in the Draft Lottery: they moved up from 8 to 4 in 1999 (later traded pick), from 5 to 1 in 2007 (drafted Patrick Kane) and from 12 to 3 in 2019 (drafted Kirby Dach). Chicago is the first club to jump from 3 to 1 since the New Jersey Devils in 2019 (drafted Jack Hughes).
The Blackhawks are set to make the top pick in the NHL Draft for the second time in franchise history, following their selection of Kane in 2007.
Ducks Win No. 2 Drafting Position
In the drawing that determined the No. 2 drafting position, the Ducks had the greatest percentage likelihood among the remaining clubs eligible for selection (20.9%). This marks the first time the Ducks have been selected in the Draft Lottery.
Selecting second overall in 2023 would match the Ducks’ highest ever pick in the NHL Draft; they previously used the No. 2 pick to acquire defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky in 1994 and forward Bobby Ryan in 2005.
For each of the two drawings, 14 balls, numbered 1 to 14, were placed in a lottery machine. The machine randomly selected four balls. The resulting four-number series (without regard to selection order) was matched against a chart that shows all possible combinations and the clubs to which each was assigned. The chart showed that the Blackhawks had been assigned the numbers (4-5-9-13) that were expelled in the first drawing, followed by the Ducks (6-8-9-10) in the second drawing.
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft
The 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft will take place at Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators, over two days. Round 1 will be held on Wednesday, June 28 (7 p.m. ET, ESPN, SN, TVAS), followed by Rounds 2-7 on Thursday, June 29 (11 a.m. ET, NHLN, SN, TVAS).
Connor Bedard, a center from the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats, placed No. 1 among North American Draft prospects when the NHL Central Scouting Bureau released its final rankings presented by BioSteel on April 18. Bedard produced numbers the WHL has not seen in nearly a quarter of a century. His 71 goals were the most by a WHL player in 24 years (Pavel Brendl: 73 in 1998-99) and his 143 points the highest single-season total by a WHL skater in 27 years.
University of Michigan centerAdam Fantilli is the No. 2 North American Skater, followed by No. 3-ranked William Smith, a center from USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program Under-18 Team; No. 4 Matthew Wood, a right wing for the University of Connecticut; and No. 5 Ryan Leonard, a right wing from the USA Hockey NTDP Under-18 Team.
Leo Carlsson, a center for Orebro of the Swedish Hockey League, ranks No. 1 among international skaters, while Carson Bjarnason of Brandon in the WHL and Alexander Hellnemo of the Skelleftea (Sweden) junior team rank No. 1 among goaltenders on the North America and International lists, respectively.