Time to look ahead to draft
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Draft order be damned, the Blackhawks played to win until the season’s final whistle.
The Hawks took an early two-goal lead Saturday and tried their best to give themselves a worse spot in the June draft but lost 5-2 to the Predators in a spirited season finale. The Hawks finished at 36-34-12 (84 points), the 12th-worst record in the league. Only the Wild (83 points) finished behind them in the seven-team Central Division.
Viktor Arvidsson’s powerplay goal snapped a 2-2 tie with 16 minutes, 27 seconds left in the third period.
The Hawks have a 2.5 percent chance of winning the top pick — most likely to be American forward Jack Hughes — and an 8.2 percent chance of getting one of the top three picks in Tuesday night’s draft lottery. It is the second consecutive season the Hawks missed the playoffs after nine straight appearances.
If the Hawks don’t beat the odds and move up, they’ll have the 12th pick unless the holders of one (or more) of the picks below them moves up.
After the Blues won Saturday, the Predators needed a win in regulation or overtime to claim the Central Division title. A shootout win would have resulted in the Blues finishing ahead of the Predators based on tiebreakers and provided the Jets a chance to win the division with a victory in their late game against the Coyotes.