Blue Jackets Have 2nd-Best Shot at Connor Bedard

Blue Jackets Have 2nd-Best Shot at Connor Bedard
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The Stanley Cup Playoffs have started and the lone Buckeye State franchise is once again looking in from the outside.

Not great news in the first year of sports betting in Ohio.

Having just completed their 22nd regular season last week, the Columbus Blue Jackets (25-48-9) have been to the postseason only six times. The Blue Jackets last made it in 2020 when they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1, in the first round.

Last Friday, the National Hockey League announced odds for clubs participating in the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery, which is scheduled for May 8, at NHL Network’s studio in Secaucus, N.J.

The event will be broadcast live on ESPN (7 p.m.) and the Blue Jackets have the second-best chance (13.5%) at the sport’s top prize for futility.

The prize is a big one this year - high-scoring phenom Connor Bedard.

The Draft Lottery will determine the order of selection for the first 16 picks in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft. Participants are all teams that did not qualify for this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs (or the teams that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams).

Speaking of the playoffs, you can find the best Ohio sportsbook promos at this site if a wager on an NHL postseason game interests you.

In March 2021, the NHL announced changes to the Draft Lottery format. Among them is a limit on the total number of selections (10) a team participating in the Lottery can move up in the event it wins one of the lottery draws.

That means only the top 11 teams in the lottery, including the No. 2 Blue Jackets, are eligible for the top pick.

NHL Draft Lottery Odds


*Top 5 protected in trade with Arizona**Top 10 protected in trade with Buffalo
1Anaheim Ducks18.5%
2Columbus Blue Jackets13.5%
3Chicago Blackhawks11.5%
4 San Jose Sharks 9.5%
5Montreal Canadiens8.5%
6Arizona Coyotes7.5%
7 Philadelphia Flyers 6.5%
8Washington Capitals6%
9Detroit Red Wings5%
10St. Louis Blues3.5%
11Vancouver Canucks3%
12Ottawa Senators*2.5%
13Buffalo Sabres2%
14Pittsburgh Penguins1.5%
15Nashville Predators0.5%
16Calgary Flames0.5%


Closer Look at Columbus

Only the Anaheim Ducks, at 18.5%, have a better chance at drafting Bedard than Columbus (13.5%). 
The Chicago Blackhawks (11.5%), San Jose Sharks (9.5%) and Montreal Canadiens (8.5%) round out the top five. 
The Blue Jackets seem to like the Lottery, having had 15 top 10 selections since 2000, including the top selection in 2002 (Rick Nash), the second selection in 2012 (Ryan Murray) and the third selection in 2016 (Pierre-Luc Dubois). Last year, they took defenseman David Jiricek with the sixth overall pick. 
The 14 teams not selected in the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery will be assigned the remaining 2023 NHL Draft selections (among 1 through 16 in the first round), in inverse order of regular-season points. 
The Draft will take place at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, home of the Predators, over two days. Round 1 will be held on Wednesday, June 28, followed by Rounds 2-7 on Thursday, June 29.

Meanwhile, the Stanley Cup playoffs grind on, with BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio offering odds of +275 for the favorite, the Boston Bruins, on Wednesday afternoon.

Check out what all the top Ohio sportsbook apps have to offer here at



Lou Monaco

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media ( in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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