This year’s NHL Draft Lottery didn’t have the same jump-out-of-your-seat excitement for the Blackhawks as a year ago when they won the rights to select Connor Bedard, but by no means is the 2024 result a disappointment for the franchise.

“To be at number two and to hold our spot, I'm really happy,” General Manager Kyle Davidson told reporters minutes after the final draft order was revealed.

Chicago didn’t win the flashy lottery for the top spot, but they did effectively win on the night with the right to keep the No. 2 pick they held entering the annual lottery draw.

The long-shot odds were nearly identical to retain No. 2 (14.1%) as they were to potentially move up to the top spot for the second year in a row (13.5%). There was a more-than-likely 72.4% chance entering Tuesday’s Draft Lottery that Chicago would actually see their position worsen at the top of next month’s draft in Las Vegas, in prime position to slide back in the order if any other team besides San Jose won the top spot, and then again if any other team took the second drawing.

General Manager Kyle Davidson meets with reporters following the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery to discuss Chicago picking No. 2 and recent signings

In seven week’s time, the Blackhawks are slated to draft a player for just the fourth time in franchise history from one of the top two picks — and just the third time in the last 50 years.

"It's huge to pick that high in the draft,” Davidson added. “We're really excited about the player that we're going to get, and it's going to be a foundational piece, going to come in and add to the core of what we've already established here. Number two is a win. We're really excited about that."

Chicago’s future core is now coming into focus. With five first-round picks over the last two drafts, and 15 selections overall in the first three rounds over the past two summers, those numbers are set to rise to seven first-rounders — also owning Tampa Bay’s No. 20 overall selection this year — and 22 picks in the first three rounds by June’s end. Over that time period, no NHL team has had as many picks in the high rounds, and no team has had as many first-round picks.

“I think we've got a really good opportunity to add to what is already a pretty special group,” Davidson said.

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Now the work really begins for the Blackhawks staff. Next week, Davidson and director of amateur scouting Mike Doneghey will host their amateur scouting meetings to start to finalize their initial draft board, internally ranking all the possible names they could want to call in Las Vegas. In early June, they’ll head to Buffalo, NY for the NHL Scouting Combine to meet with the top prospects and get a better sense on medical evaluations and fitness test results. And come June 28, they'll have their wish list of players to go after to continue to build for the future. 

“It's just an exciting process,” Davidson added, saying he can’t wait to dig in with his amateur staff in the weeks ahead. “When you you get a job like the GM job, that's what you think of is building the team and talking hockey players and trying to put the roster together and really build something special.”