Time to look ahead to draft

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - BULLS BLACKHAWKS - By Jimmy Green­field

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.

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