The Chicago Blackhawks have won the draft lottery and own the right to draft Connor Bedard – but the NHL has flaws in its system that rewards tanking.

On Monday night, there weren’t many surprises when deputy commissioner Bill Daly was revealing the team’s draft positions based on the lottery that was conducted.

It didn’t happen until the third pick when the Columbus Blue Jackets wound up falling down a spot to three after entering the night with the second-best odds.

And there haven’t been many surprises since the NHL implemented rule changes in 2021.

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That year the team with the best odds at 16.6 percent, the Buffalo Sabres, won the first overall pick.

A year later the Montreal Canadiens won the draft lottery after having an 18.5 percent chance at winning it.

That same year, the New Jersey Devils moved up three spots to grab the number two overall pick.

But the system used to be different and exciting.

Teams outside the top 10 had a legitimate chance to jump inside the top three.

For example, the Carolina Hurricanes in 2018 jumped from the number 11 overall pick to the number two selection after a lottery was conducted.

A year before, Philadelphia Flyers landed the number two pick after entering the night in the 13th slot.

And who could forget the New York Rangers winning in 2020 after participating in the second phase of the lottery?

But those days of madness and keeping fans on edge are over.

The Blackhawks can pick the best-regarded NHL prospect since Connor McDavid was drafted in 2015 in Connor Bedard.

This isn’t to say that the team with the best odds shouldn’t have a chance at winning the draft lottery – but the worst teams often make moves that are not designed to win games.

For example, in the past year, the Blackhawks have traded stars in Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane for draft picks.

The organization also traded Kirby Dach for a first and third-round pick.

Of course, this is rebuilding a franchise and starting over.

But let’s also call it like it is – and that’s tanking for one of the best NHL draft prospects in recent history.

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