Montreal Canadiens: The Three Easy Steps to Contend for Connor Bedard

Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The Montreal Canadiens have the best odds of winning the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery. While that would be great for the franchise going forward, it is the team that wins the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery that will see their fortunes turn around immediately.

Whoever earns the right to draft Shane Wright first overall this July should be jumping for joy. He is a terrific prospect, a great two-way centre with size that can fill nets with pucks and scored 94 points in 63 games for the Kingston Frontenacs this season.

If the Canadiens land the top pick at the Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, that would be fantastic news. Wright could step right in to the lineup next season and would slot in right behind Nick Suzuki to form a great one-two punch for a decade or more.

But a year from now, Connor Bedard will be drafted first overall and he is just on another level. Bedard is just 16 years old, but he scored 51 goals and 100 points for a Regina Pats team that didn’t even make the playoffs in the WHL. He won’t turn 17 until July so he was one of the most dangerous offensive players in the WHL this season while being four years younger than many players in the league.

He is, without hyperbole, the greatest hockey prospect to come along since Connor McDavid. A year before being drafted, McDavid scored 28 goals and 99 points in 58 games on a terrific Erie Otters team. That gives McDavid a slightly better points per game, but also a much lower goals per game than Bedard at the same age.

So, teams are going to be lining up to try and land Bedard with the top pick. Having just finished last overall, the Canadiens should be among those teams. They can be, quite easily I might add, if they just follow these three simple steps.