Tuesday, May 14, 2024

New Rumors Suggest Blackhawks Could Package First-Round Pick For Veteran Star

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Since general manager Kyle Davidson took over in late 2021, every move he has made has been with the goal of tearing down existing pieces of the roster in order to amass assets. He’s done that as well as any fan can hope for, as the Blackhawks consistently rank among the league’s best prospect pools and we’re already seeing young talent being integrated into the NHL roster.

But this year, that all could change. Chicago has as deep of a pipeline as anyone in the league and have secured a firm foundation of young cornerstones like Connor Bedard, Alex Vlasic, Kevin Korchinski, Frank Nazar, and a handful of others. With so many players at or near the game’s top level and so many first- and second-round picks at their disposal, it seems it’s time to start turning those picks into roster improvements more quickly.

The Blackhawks aren’t likely to trade out of the No. 2 pick, but they also have the 20th-overall selection, which initially belonged to the Lightning, at their disposal. Matt Larkin of the Daily Faceoff wrote Sunday about the possibility of Chicago flipping that pick for a veteran star.

“If we accept the premise that the Blackhawks could improve significantly next season by putting the right personnel around Bedard: does Davidson consider packaging that other first-round pick and attempting to trade for an impact player who is on the right side of 30? Think Travis Konecny or Nikolaj Ehlers, for instance.”

– Matt Larkin

The Blackhawks aren’t quite ready to be a true Stanley Cup contender, but a move to surround Bedard & Co. with veteran talent could certainly speed up that process. With the teams of each of those players looking to get younger and free up cap space, no team is more well-positioned to make a deal happen than the Blackhawks. Their projected $33.84 million in cap space, plus a well-stocked war chest of draft capital, will certainly be enticing for teams like the Flyers and Jets.

Do the Blackhawks have enough high-level prospects to begin turning draft capital into roster improvements? Davidson has previously insisted that this roster has to get better and that they can’t finish bottom-three in the NHL standings again. Perhaps the best way to avoid doing so is by grabbing a veteran star like Konecny, Ehlers, or another similar skater. For Chicago, there’s no better time to do so than the present.

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