Monday, May 8, 2023

Draft lottery power rankings: Chaos, comedy and conspiracies for Connor

The biggest draft lottery in almost a decade has arrived, and tonight’s the night we find out who’s going to get to take Connor Bedard with the first overall pick. It’s a top-heavy draft, meaning the early order is even more important than most years. And with so many team having tanked accidentally been terrible all at the same time, those ping pong ball bounces will be a make-or-break moment for several franchises.

You can find the actual odds here, but we like to go a little deeper. It’s time for the annual draft lottery power rankings, in which we figure out which results would lead to chaos, conspiracies and comedy. The first-ever edition of these rankings came in 2015, when a different Connor was the big prize. Let’s just say that one was very funny right up until it wasn’t. How will this year turn out? We’ll find out in a few hours, but for now, let’s get to the rankings.

The "Maximum Chaos" Ranking

If there’s one team every true fan cheers for, it’s (checks notes) whoever’s playing the Leafs. But if there are two, then the other one is Team Chaos.

Not ranked: Columbus Blue Jackets – After years of hype, Bedard goes to a team that barely anyone even hates? Lame.

5. Ottawa Senators – The Coyotes own their pick from the Jakob Chychrun trade. It would be fun if Ottawa moved all the way up to the second spot and we all got to momentarily think Arizona had pulled off a heist, before remembering that the pick is top-five protected.

4. Detroit Red Wings – Detroit winning a draft lottery? Their fans would be so confused.

3. Montreal Canadiens – Their fan reactions were absolutely phenomenal at last year’s draft. Granted, that was in Montreal. Would the whole fan base show up in Nashville? For Connor Bedard, maybe they would.

2. The 1001st number – Aaron Portzline dug into the complicated process behind the lottery, which doesn’t work the way most fans think it does. There are no ping pong balls with team logos on it, but rather 14 numbers that add up to 1,001 possible combinations, of which 1,000 are assigned to teams. What happens if that one unused number wins? Nothing, really; they’d just redo it. But it would still be fun to imagine a room full of team reps frantically searching their lists until they realized that none of them had it.

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