Chicago, IL — Now that the 2013-14 season is in the books it is time to think about next year and the future. Stan Bowman is I’m sure.
The upcoming resigning of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane has never made it more imperative to make sure that there is a sufficient supply of upcoming youngsters for some time so these two franchise players stay in the Indianhead jersey til they physically can not skate any more. Stan, that is what Chicago wants, so please make it so. Which means in order to afford what these two will deserve they will need to have young skill surrounding them in the pipeline to stay within the cap.
Now that the playoffs are over we know where the Hawks will be selecting. Unless the Hawks make trades or draft day trades they currently have the following picks:
Rd 1 – 27th pick overall
Rd 2- none pick to Phoenix Coyotes for David Rundblad and Matthieu Brisbois
Rd 3- 62nd & 88th the extra pick is from the Florida Panthers as part of the Brandon Pirri trade.
Rd 4- 93rd pick is actually from the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of the Dave Bolland trade. Chicago’s own pick was sent to the NY Islanders for Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
Rd 5 – 141st & 148th the extra pick is from the San Jose Sharks as part of draft picks trades done in 2013 draft day.
Rd 6- 178th pick
Rd 7-208th pick
Without a 2nd round pick it is very important that the first round selection is a good one. Not that you can not pick up good players in later rounds but it is important to get your higher rounds right for your team. That being said let’s take a look at the potential candidates that will be available with the 27th overall pick. The focus here is on who would fit the Hawks organization the best.
These names could go anywhere from as high as 17th. Remember Teuvo Teravainen and Brandon Saad went much lower and fell to the Blackhawks. They fell not because they weren’t valued but teams scouts assess differently so it is possible for higher picks to fall if the player does not fit the organizations skills assessment and need. Some teams value size,some speed, some versatility you get the idea, with that here we go.
Alex Tuch,RW – Not sure this one will be there for the Blackhawks but this is a a pure power forward with excellent forechecking skills. He also has size at 6’3″ he’s a big American boy. The scouting reports on him is he has one of the heaviest shots in the draft.
Nikita Scherbak,RW – This Russian who is skilled, skilled & skilled would fit perfectly with the Hawks. The problem is he is Russian and could opt for the KHL but his set up skills and overall offensive upside maybe enough to take a gamble on. Scouting reports say he has good mobility and some slick hands hmm sounds like a couple of other Hawks. His size is decent at 6’1″ and his overall skills maybe too much to ignore.
Conner Bleackley,C – This 6′ Canadian has the triple crown of hockey, size, skill & strenth. He is a 200′ ft forward that does not mind getting dirty with good hockey sense. He opens up passing lanes & is a leader to boot. He was named captain of his Red Deer Rebels team. He needs to work on skating speed but other than that he is NHL ready. He has also been described as a hard worker. How could any team pass on this combo.
Nick Schmaltz,RW – This is a 5’11” American that has all around skills. He is a good 200′ player with play making abilities. He is low key but paired with dynamic offensive players of which the Hawks have plenty this kid could thrive. He is also a local kid from WI as we saw last draft the Hawks like local kids when they selected Ryan Hartman.
John Quenneville,C – yes that Quenneville. He is the 2nd cousin of Chicago Blackhawks’ head coach which may make for some sticky situations but this kid has the goods to deliver. Scouting reports say the kid has a nose for the net which the Hawks could use more of. He does everything well with good size already at 6′ and 182lbs.
This draft is not said to be particularly good for defenseman so I don’t see the Hawks taking any early. There is a good American goalie Thatcher Demko that could be available at 27th pick but again I don’t see the Blackhawks taking a goalie early.
Other than winning the Stanley Cup I can’t think of a more exciting time in a franchises season or one more filled with promise for fans. Stan Bowman and Mark Kelly Director of amateur scouting have done very well in the past and there is no reason to think their impeccable record will stop now. Happy Drafting.