NHL Draft Lottery Monday’s NHL Draft Lottery was significantly messed up, triggering a lot of suspicion from fans about its legitimacy.

If the NHL was hoping to get fans buzzing about its Draft Lottery reveal on Monday night, mission accomplished. If the league was looking for positive publicity, that’s a different story.

The San Jose Sharks, the league’s fourth-worst team, were revealed to have the No. 4 pick. To that point, the draft order was chalk and everything was going along swimmingly.

That changed with the next pick. Kevin Weekes, who was hosting the broadcast, revealed that the Columbus Blue Jackets, were picking third.

“And there is our first change in the order,” Weekes said. “With Columbus dropping to third. So now either Anaheim or Chicago will select first overall. Anaheim has never selected first overall and the last time Chicago drafted No. 1 was when they took future Hall of Famer, Patrick Kane.”

But the slight change in the order wasn’t the problem. No, the problem is that while Weekes announced that the Blue Jackets were going to pick third, the card was not turned over. The broadcast went to a quick promo for Monday night’s playoff game between the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers, then went to a commercial.

And when the broadcast returned from commercial, the matter wasn’t addressed. In fact, it was ignored. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly wished the Blue Jackets, as well as the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks luck before revealing the card with the No. 3 pick.

To the surprise of — well — absolutely nobody, that was the Blue Jackets.

It was then revealed that the Ducks would pick second. That meant that the Blackhawks, the NHL’s third-worst team during the regular season, would pick first and will almost certainly end up with generational prospect, Connor Bedard.

This was an NHL Network production. In the United States, it was broadcast on ESPN. In Canada, the same broadcast was on Sportsnet.

So, in a broadcast done by a league-run network, it was revealed that one of the best prospects in years is going to one of the NHL’s biggest markets and most celebrated franchises.

That triggered some suspicion, to say the least.

[Photo Credit: ESPN]

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