Tuesday, October 3, 2023

After Stars Fall In Playoffs, Blackhawks’ Draft Pick Lineup Is Complete… For Now


The Blackhawks haven’t played a game in over a month. The NHL Draft Lottery, which saw Chicago sports fans more excited than they had been in years, was over three weeks ago. The draft is a month away, and free agency is even further down the road.

And yet, Blackhawks fans still have a reason to watch hockey besides the obvious excitement. With the Dallas Stars’ ugly elimination Monday night, Chicago finally knows where its entire barrage of picks will be used.

It’s no secret that the Blackhawks are building for the future, and it appears they intend to do so through a combination of the draft and their prospect pool. Their prospects, headlined by players like Kevin Korchinski and Frank Nazar, is among the best in the league, but there’s still work to be done on the draft side.

The team couldn’t have lined up a better year to stockpile draft picks, as this year’s draft class is regarded as one of the best in recent memory. It’s headlined, of course, by 17-year-old Connor Bedard, who’s all but already on the Blackhawks roster. There’s plenty of talent in the first few picks especially, as players like Adam Fantilli, Leo Carlsson, and Matvei Michkov are elite prospects that could go first overall in most other drafts not featuring Bedard. Later in the draft, the upside doesn’t fall off much. Many draft experts seem to believe the group expected to go in the second round of the draft is just as talented as the first round most years. In fact, when Patrick Kane’s Rangers were eliminated from the playoffs and it moved the conditional pick the Blackhawks got in return for him from a first-rounder next year to a second-rounder this year, many believed it to be an upgrade.

GM Kyle Davidson seems to have a crystal ball, because throughout the beginning of the Blackhawks’ rebuild, he’s focused on amassing as many picks as he can possibly get. At this point in the offseason, he has 11 picks at his disposal, among the most in the league. Additionally, the Blackhawks are slated to make nine selections in the top 100 overall.

In the first round, Chicago gets the opportunity to select Bedard, one of the top prospects in NHL history, at first overall. They’ll pick again at 19th overall, courtesy of a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team will be busy in the second round, as they’re slated to make selections at picks 35, 44, 51, and 55. In the third round, they’ll pick at number 67, then again at pick 93. The 93rd pick was initially sent to the Coyotes from Dallas, then given to the Blackhawks in exchange for a 2022 third-rounder during the draft last year. They’ll finish out the draft by making their own selections in the fourth, fifth, and seventh rounds.

Although the Blackhawks’ draft pick lineup is seemingly complete, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if Davidson is still actively trading in the month remaining until the draft. There’s been rumblings of an attempt to package their second-rounders to move into the top ten overall, and it’s never out of the question for the front office to grab a few later-round picks to further flesh out their already strong prospect pool. For now, Blackhawks fans can thank their lucky ‘Stars’ as they continue to gain more capital in the upcoming draft.


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Masha Skyler
Masha Skyler
Jun 1, 2023 11:15 am

upcoming draft

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