The 2022 NHL draft will be held at the Bell Centre in Montreal on July 7-8. Prior to that, a lottery consisting of two draws following the completion of the 2021-22 regular season will determine the order of the draft for the 16 teams that failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Two notable changes have been made beginning in this year's: Teams will be restricted from moving up more than 10 spots in the draft order if it wins one of the draws and cannot win the lottery more than twice in five years. However, wins in the lottery prior to this year won't count against this total.

NHL Central Scouting Bureau listed Shane Wright of the Ontario Hockey League's Kingston Frontenacs as the top prospect in their mid-season rankings. In his January rankings of the top prospects, TSN's Craig Button compared the 17-year-old Wright to Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron.

Any NHL club would love to land a player with the potential to blossom into one of the game's great two-way centers. Wright could prove to be a fine long-term consolation prize for those who fail to reach this year's postseason.

While this season is approaching the halfway point, there are already a handful of teams near the bottom of the NHL's overall standings facing long odds of reaching the playoffs. Some of them, like the Montreal Canadiens, could use the first-overall pick to commence a long-overdue roster overhaul. Others, like the Arizona Coyotes, could use that selection to continue their ongoing rebuild.

Here's our ranking of the five clubs that desperately need to win this year's draft lottery. This list is limited to teams that have not won the draft lottery within the past five years. Therefore, we've excluded the Buffalo Sabres (2021, 2018), New York Rangers (2020) and New Jersey Devils (2019, 2017).

Do you agree with our ranking? Feel free to express your thoughts on this topic in the comments section. 

5. Chicago Blackhawks

This season isn't one the Chicago Blackhawks will remember with any fondness. 

General manager Stan Bowman stepped down in October following sexual assault allegations by former player Kyle Beach against former video coach Brad Aldrich. 

On the ice, they're near the bottom of the Western Conference and in danger of missing the playoffs for the fourth time in five years.

A decade ago, the Blackhawks were two years removed from winning the 2010 Stanley Cup, with more championships to come in 2013 and 2015. They were the class of the league, built on a foundation of players they'd chosen through the draft: Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and the 2007 first-overall pick, Patrick Kane.

The high cost of keeping that core intact, along with the desire to maintain a championship roster, saw the Blackhawks sacrifice their future by trading away young talent such as Artemi Panarin, Brandon Saad, and Teuvo Teravainen. With aging stars and eroded roster depth, they're no longer considered a playoff contender.

Buoyed by the Blackhawks' promising performance during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season, Bowman made a series of moves last summer with the hope of getting his club back into contention. However, the additions of Marc-Andre Fleury, defensemen Seth and Caleb Jones and Tyler Johnson failed to bring about the desired improvement.

That was no fault of Fleury, Johnson and the Jones brothers. They were joining a once-powerful team that still lacks sufficient depth to surpass the clubs ahead of them in the Western Conference standings. With Toews and Kane both 33 and approaching the final year of their contracts, it's time for the Blackhawks to reject quick fixes and begin a serious rebuild.

Whether Kane and Toews will be part of that process remains to be seen. In the meantime, the Blackhawks could use the first-overall pick in this year's draft as the centerpiece of their rebuilding plans. That prospect could form part of the foundation of a future contender involving younger players such as Alex DeBrincat, Kirby Dach and Brandon Hagel, as well as prospect winger Lukas Reichel.

The Blackhawks have an additional incentive to win this year's draft lottery. They sent their 2022 first-round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of last summer's Seth Jones trade. However, if that pick is among the top two, the Blackhawks retain that pick and instead send their 2023 first-rounder to the Blue Jackets. 

4. Ottawa Senators

This was supposed to be the Ottawa Senators' breakthrough season following four years outside the playoff picture. Flush from signing a contract extension last September, general manager Pierre Dorion proclaimed, "The rebuild is done. Now we're stepping into another zone."

Dorion had to walk that statement back by December as his Senators sat near the bottom of the overall standings. Injuries to several key players, a COVID-19 outbreak in November, a porous defense and shaky goaltending left the club with the NHL's third-worst record with just 10 wins and 22 points in 30 games. 

The Senators' solid performance over the second half of last season provided Dorion and Senators fans with the expectation that this club was poised for playoff contention. While their difficulties through the first half of this season have likely scuttled those hopes, there remains plenty of promise on the roster and within their system.