Sunday, June 30, 2024

Chicago Blackhawks Almost Pulled Off Stunning Trade In NHL Draft


The Chicago Blackhawks had quite an eventful evening during the 1st round of the 2024 NHL draft. They kicked things off by taking top defenseman Artyom Levshunov from Michigan State. He is easily one of the best prospects on the defensive end they’ve had in years. Next they added versatile scorer Sacha Boisvert at 18th overall, providing much-needed size at the forward position. Then came the small blockbuster moment when GM Kyle Davidson traded two 2nd round picks to Carolina for the 27th overall pick. With it, Chicago landed gritty pest Marek Vanacker from the OHL. His attitude and physicality are two things the Blackhawks need.

What many people don’t know is there was almost a far bigger shock. According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, Davidson worked the phones trying to jump up from #18 into the top five. He came agonizingly close to a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the 4th overall picks. It would’ve cost an unprotected 1st round pick in 2025 and another undisclosed selection. The initial belief is they were targeting big WHL center, Cayden Lindstrom, though that isn’t clear. Lindstrom is 6’4 with excellent speed and goal-scoring skills. A 1-2 punch of him and Connor Bedard could’ve been deadly.

The Chicago Blackhawks still came away with a great night.

Getting Lindstrom would’ve been a blockbuster moment, but sometimes, the hockey gods don’t grant your wish. That doesn’t change the fact they got the best defenseman in the draft, an ascending forward who’s drawn comparisons to Evgeni Malkin, and an enforcer who could be a more talented version of Andrew Shaw. On the bright side, they keep their 1st round pick next year and should have plenty of ammunition to continue building a young roster that suddenly looks skilled and deep at several positions.

The tricky part is developing them all to their full potential. Is Luke Richardson the guy for that job? He’s gotten some leeway so far as the team has endured a rebuild. Still, his .324 winning percentage is the worst a Chicago Blackhawks head coach has had since 1955. He needs to start pushing this team towards success. They aren’t ready for a playoff push yet, but the talent base is strong enough to expect improvement in 2024-2025. The most telling thing will be how much Bedard improves in his second season.


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Jun 30, 2024 7:09 am

Making an offer doesn’t mean ALMOST anything, Erik.

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