With Connor Bedard lightning up the World Junior tournament and showcasing his skills as the next generational talent to hit the NHL.
It is time to look at what teams will enter tank nation at the attempt to land the #1 overall draft pick.
The Buffalo Sabres went all-in on tank nation in 2015 in an attempt to land Connor McDavid but the draft lottery did not fall in their favor. At the 2016 NHL draft the Toronto Maple Leafs went all-in on tank nation with the hopes of getting the #1 overall draft pick to select Auston Matthews and it worked.
Teams are not guaranteed to get the first overall pick with the worst record in the NHL but it is worth a shot to enter tank nation to land a franchise turning player like Connor Bedard.
Top 5 teams in on tank nation to draft Connor Bedard
- Arizona Coyotes: The Coyotes will be sellers at the NHL trade deadline and Jakob Chychrun and Lawson Crouse are two players likely moved when the deadline hits. The Yotes would love to draft Bedard after having no draft lottery luck the past few years and have a player that will turn the franchise around instead of being the laughing stock franchise in the NHL.
- Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks have made it no secret that they are in full rebuild mode and looking to secure the worst record in the NHL to get the best odds at drafting Connor Bedard. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Max Domi are all likely traded at the trade deadline. The Hawks are even willing to trade Seth Jones if the right deal comes along.
- Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks were close to be playoff contenders in the 2021-22 season but have regressed this year and Ducks management have let teams knows players like John Klingberg, Cam Fowler, John Gibson are available for trade. They will be looking to secure a position in the bottom 5 for a decent shot at landing Bedard in the draft that could make the team instant playoff contenders for the 2023-24 season.
- Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets have been a massive disappointment this year. A lot was expected of the team after the massive and surprising signing of Johnny Gaudreau. Columbus currently is tied with the Ducks for the second worst record in the NHL and they will look to take hold of that position for a shot at the #1 overall 2023 draft position.
- Philadelphia Flyers: GM Chuck Fletcher has stated the team is retooling and not rebuilding but with the Flyers having the sixth worst record in the NHL, Flyers management has to be thinking to tank rest of the season to increase their odds at getting the #1 overall draft pick. Players like Travis Konecny, James van Reimsdyk, Kevin Hayes and Ivan Provorov will likely be dangled at the NHL trade deadline to add some draft picks and prospects plus help secure a spot in the bottom 5.