The Chicago Blackhawks don’t figure to make the playoffs this season, despite the presence of a generational rookie in Connor Bedard. This is not ground-breaking news to fans of the team, nor is it bad news. In fact, Chicago’s struggles this season are very much intentional as the team looks to follow a tried-and-true blueprint on the way to recapturing the team’s success from the 2010s.
That, of course, won’t make it easy for Chicago fans and folks who like to wager on the NHL in Chicago sports betting.
With the Blackhawks embarking on yet another painful campaign, they appear well on their way to another Top 3 pick in the NHL entry draft. That would give them a chance to draft another potential superstar to pair with Bedard to get back to the playoffs, and eventually win a Stanley Cup.
With another Top 3 pick appearing likely, IllinoisBet.com – your source of Illinois online casinos - decided to look at all of the teams since 2000 that have had at least two Top 3 draft picks in a row. We wanted to see what kind of success those teams ended up having.
Charting Teams with Consecutive Top 3 Picks
Information is king when trying to place successful wagers. Here is info you won’t find on any of the fine Illinois betting apps.
Breaking Down Our Research
On 10 occasions since 2000 teams have had consecutive top three picks. Three of them turned those picks into exceptionally successful runs.
The Blackhawks won Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015, ending years of futility in the Windy City. The key players to their success? Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, with Toews being selected second overall in 2006 and Kane being selected with the top pick in the 2007 draft. By stacking two superstars of similar ages together, Chicago was able to stay competitive for years, becoming one of a few mini-dynasties of the Salary Cap era.
The Pittsburgh Penguins employed the same strategy to success, turning the picks of Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby into Stanley Cups in 2009, 2016 and 2018 as part of an exceptionally long run of success. Tampa Bay did the same, building off a core of Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, who were selected early in the 2008 and 2009 drafts.
Not only did Chicago, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay all win Cups, they were consistently in the mix. As to this year in Chicago, the Blackhawks’ playoff chances are probably at least a year away.
The other mini dynasty of the salary cap era has been the Los Angeles Kings, a team built around former lottery pick Drew Doughty. Not every team has managed to find the same success as these ones as not every draft contains a generational star like Crosby, Kane, Stamkos or Bedard. Check out Bedard’s odds to win the Calder Trophy.
The 2013 Panthers and 2014 Oilers still have time to find team success with their superstars. The Panthers lost in the Stanley Cup final last year with Alex Barkov and Aaron Ekblad still on the roster, and both players still have several prime years left. The Oilers have yet to break through with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but they have lost to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions in the past two playoffs. Despite a slower start this year, no one would be surprised to see them in the mix again in the playoffs.
This version of the Chicago Blackhawks still has work to do to build a quality team around Bedard, but the blueprint they are clearly following has worked for them and others in the past. With potential superstars Macklin Celebrini and Cole Eiserman waiting in the 2024 entry draft, the chance to add to their stable of young stars is high.