By: Alex Patt
The Chicago Blackhawks have 10 games left in the season. Normally fans would be waiting to see who they would be playing in the first round of the playoffs, but not this year. After another tough loss to the bottom-feeding Buffalo Sabres, their record dropped to 30-34-8 with 68 points. Their chances to make the playoffs are essentially zero, so there is not even a sliver of hope.
Right now the Blackhawks are in future-mode as they ready for the offseason. So what does their draft position look like right now? If you are looking at the “tank”, then there are some things to watch. The Blackhawks have two first-round picks, theirs and the Predators. Their first pick is currently a lottery pick while the one they got from the Preds will be at the tail end of the round.
Tankathon.com currently posts the estimated odds of each lottery team’s chances at a top pick. The odds they post and simulate may not be exact, since according to them they do not have all the information on the NHL draft odds, but they give you a fairly good idea. There is no question the Blackhawks will finish with a lottery pick, it is just a matter of what spot they’ll finish with and what odds they have to get a top-three pick.
With 10 games to go, they currently sit at number eight in the lottery order. The Islanders have one more point than the Blackhawks and the Oilers have one less. The Arizona Coyotes have the least number of points in the NHL at 57 followed by Buffalo (58) and Vancouver (59). Tankathon’s odds right now have the Blackhawks at a 18.3% chance at winning a top-three pick, with a 5.8% chance at the first-overall. Note that the Coyotes chances at getting a first-overall pick is 18%.
Seems likely that the Blackhawks will finish within the seven to 11 spots in the order based on their 68 points and who they are in reach with. They will have to win six games or collect 12 points regardless in the last ten to reach 80. Based on current trends (3-7-0 in last 10), that seems somewhat unlikely, though not impossible. If they go around .500 they’ll finish in the mid-70s in points. It would not be surprising to see them finish around 75 points right now.
Sadly, losses will do the the team good at this point. Hard to believe we are saying this about the Bulls AND the Blackhawks.