This Thursday, the hockey world will come together in Montreal to host the most important event of the calendar year. The NHL Entry Draft will be the opening of a door that many young hockey players have dreamed of since lacing up their first pair of skates.
Not only will it give these young men an opportunity of a lifetime, but it will also provide organizations with assets that hopefully one day lead them to a Stanley Cup.
The Blackhawk’s new leadership group heads to Montreal as rookies amongst veterans. This should come as refreshing news to fans, given this group is looking to reverse past trends.
They will also likely be one of the most active tables on the draft floor. I expect Kyle Davidson to have a phone in his hand every time the camera shows him. Trades are all but inevitable for the Blackhawks come Thursday and Friday.
With that being said, let’s dive into what the 2022 NHL Entry Draft will look like for the Hawks.
No First Round Pick
For the first time since 2016, the Blackhawks organization will be without a 1st round selection in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. Not an ideal situation for a team in a rebuild.
There is a steep drop-off when it comes to the success rate of players drafted per round. To put it in perspective, studies show that there is a 91.7% chance a player selected in the first round plays a game in the NHL.
The odds continue on to show that there is a 65% chance for players selected in the second round, 56.7% for the third, and 32.3% chance for the fourth. The drop-off continues from there.
A first-round pick is essential for a rebuild.
Thankfully, there’s hope.
In addition to many reports indicating Chicago’s wish to acquire a 1st round selection, Kyle Davidson shared his thoughts:
“Being where we’re at in our trajectory, that’s where the talent is found, that’s where we need to bring players in at. So it’s definitely something we’ll look at. Whether that’s a possibility is a different question, but it’s something I’m definitely interested in.”
Acquiring a pick like this is never easy. I have touched on it before that the most likely scenario where the Hawks acquire a 1st round pick will be through an Alex DeBrincat extension and trade.
It has been reported that the team is seeking multiple first-round draft picks, including one for this year, as well as a top-tier younger player who is NHL-ready.
I have heard the "ask" for DeBrincat is basically three 1st-Rd Picks-one for this year and 2 more coming in previous years + a high-end younger player who can play in Chicago this season. That's a big ask and if it stays that way DeBrincat could definitely be here in October.
— Al Cimaglia (@AlCimaglia) June 29, 2022
The teams who have a high pick and are said to be interested in acquiring his services include the Anaheim Ducks (10th overall), Seattle Kraken (4th overall), Ottawa Senators (7th overall), New Jersey Devils (2nd overall), and Philadelphia Flyers (5th overall).
Time will tell for DeBrincat, but at this point, it would be surprising if he was not traded for a first round pick.
As of right now, the Hawks will not be selecting until Friday of the draft. Despite not having a first-round pick, they are set up nicely for the second and third rounds.
In the second round, the team will be selecting 38th and 57th overall. The 38th overall pick is their own and the 57th was acquired last trade deadline from Minnesota in exchange for Marc-Andre Fleury.
The team will have their biggest showing during the 3rd round. They will be selecting 81st, 90th, and 94th overall. All of these picks were acquired via trade.
81st overall: Acquired from Vegas in exchange for Matthias Janmark in 2021
90th overall: Acquired from Toronto via Calgary in exchange for Nikita Zadorov in 2021
94th overall: Acquired from Edmonton in exchange for Duncan Keith in 2021
The team has plenty of opportunities to select a great player with these five picks. It’s ironic, but Alex DeBrincat was selected in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft. A homerun like that is exactly what this regime is looking for.
Moving on, the team only has 3 more picks in the draft. In the 6th round, they will be selecting 167th overall and 173rd overall. They will wrap up their draft when they make their final pick in the 7th round at 199th overall.
Names To Keep An Eye On
It’s relatively impossible to guess who the Blackhawks plan on taking with their selections. They are weak in the position of left wing and will attempt to bolster their underwhelming defensive pool as well. You can expect speed and size to be the main attribute of their selections.
A few names to hold you over for now include LW Josh Filmon from Swift Current of the WHL, RHD Sam Rinzel from Chaska High, and RW Devin Kaplan from the US National Developmental Program.
I plan on covering each choice the Blackhawks make this upcoming draft, so expect a full rundown in the coming days.
One of the greatest events of the year is almost here Blackhawks fans, get excited!