Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings were hoping against hope for some luck in the NHL Draft lottery. Once again, they came up empty.
The Red Wings were awarded the ninth overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft in Monday night's lottery after finishing ninth worst in the league this season. They will pick exactly where they were slotted for the third year in a row. They also own the Canucks' first-round selection at No. 18 overall.
Hey, it could have been worse. The Red Wings could have dropped as they did every year from 2017 to 2020. Instead, they landed right where the odds said they would. Detroit only had a five percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick and the right to draft potential superstar Connor Bedard.
Instead, Bedard will likely land in Chicago. The Blackhawks, who entered the lottery with just an 11.5 percent chance of winning it, jumped from No. 3 to No. 1. It could be another historic moment for a franchise that once landed Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews with top-three picks in back-to-back drafts to lay the foundation for a dynasty.
The year that Kane and Toews finally move on, Bedard will likely move in. For the Blackhawks, who have missed the playoffs five of the last six seasons, it's a bridge to a brand new future.
"I'm feeling a little stunned, to be honest," Kyle Davidson said afterward on ESPN. "But I'm just really excited for the Blackhawks and the city of Chicago. A little bit speechless ... but anytime you can add an elite talent like we'll be able to add in this draft, it's a monumental thing."
The Blue Jackets fell one spot to No. 3 while the Ducks stayed at No. 2. The Sharks (No. 4) and the Canadiens (No. 5) rounded out the top five.
Yzerman is committed to building the Red Wings through the draft, and their lack of lottery luck has heightened the challenge. The club has missed the playoffs for seven straight seasons, tying a franchise-worst drought, the last four of them under Yzerman.
Discussing the Wings' path forward, Yzerman said in March, "We gotta stick with it and we have to draft well. We have to get lucky on some occasions, maybe at some point here, maybe this year, get lucky in the lottery and that’ll speed it up a little bit."
Maybe next year.