REACTION: What might the Blackhawks do with the third overall pick?


It really happened, Blackhawks fans! We all woke up this morning, rubbed our eyes and came to the realization that the NHL Draft Lottery last night was not a dream. They moved up nine spots to the third overall pick in the upcoming 2019 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver on June 21–22, 2019.

The down side of that is that all the meatball theories are being thrown on the table. On the commute in this morning, I heard a respected member of the Blackhawks media suggest that the Blackhawks trade their pick, Brandon Saad, Adam Boqvist and potentially another piece to move up one—just ONE—spot. Let me be the first to tell you, that would be immensely irresponsible and stupid.

Before you fire up your EA Sports NHL 19 video game and start constructing irrational trade scenarios, let me be the one to tell you to stop.

REACTION: What might the Blackhawks do with the third overall pick?

Just stop it!

I am as happy as all of you are and, potentially, even more happy. Last night was Christmas in April for me. Despite their faux playoff run, Blackhawks fell “bass-ackwards” into a top-three draft position. All the pieces have fallen into place. We all have to remind ourselves of some very important things, though. Tinkering too much with a brand-new, shiny toy could result in breaking it before you even get to use it. The Blackhawks, more specifically Stan Bowman, need to use this pick wisely.

I believe they will use it wisely. Bowman’s actions since Joel Quenneville was fired tell me he is on the road to improving this team for next season. My honest opinion is that Bowman has done some of his best work as a Blackhawks General Manager these last six months.

He cut bait on mistakes he made last summer instead of his normal regiment of doubling down and found a useful player in Drake Caggiula. He admitted Nick Schmaltz was not the player they had hoped he was and brought in two talented (and bigger) former first round picks in Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini. Instead of blindly buying into the playoff hype, he stood his ground and did not overpay for a low-percentage trade deadline acquisition. I have been far from a Bowman fan, but I am completely on board with these moves, or lack thereof in some cases.

Here comes the part where I make all the fans with wild imaginations and their crazy nonsense scenarios angry. These are just a few I have seen or read:

Point: The Blackhawks should trade down and select another defenseman. (?)
Counterpoint: NO! They are playing with house money, and they do not need another defenseman after spending the last two drafts stockpiling defensemen. That is silly. They needed depth scoring and a shutdown defenseman. This draft can bring the Blackhawks depth scoring, but no defenseman in this draft can step in before Toews and Kane are gone and be a shutdown defender. That kind of move will probably need to be done through a trade or free agency.

Point: The Blackhawks should trade up to take Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko.
Counterpoint: NO! Unless you can get a team to willing take your spare parts and garbage (which they will not), there is no package the Blackhawks can put together that does not set the roster back going into next season. Furthermore, the talent gap between Hughes/Kakko and third overall is not so wide that it would be worth overpaying to move up. Big market teams like the Rangers and Devils are not letting go of top-two picks for anything less than a blockbuster, franchise-changing deal.

Of the two scenarios, moving down the draft would hold the higher potential, but is unlikely. Bowman could acquire a useful player (or two) and still draft a high-end offensive player.

This brings me to my prediction. I think the Blackhawks stay at third overall and take a player like Dylan Cozens or Kirby Dach, unless something crazy happens like Hughes or Kaako dropping, ala Seth Jones.

This is a great opportunity for the Blackhawks organization. Just look at this list of recent players drafted third overall:

Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Miro Heiskanen
Pierre-Luc Dubois
Dylan Strome
Leon Draisaitl
Jonathan Drouin
Alex Galchenyuk
Jonathan Huberdeau

These are all potential high-end, difference-making players. Rejoice, Chicago, safe does not always mean bad. Take it in and celebrate.

Give us your thoughts below!

Center Ice Forums REACTION: What might the Blackhawks do with the third overall pick?

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    Jeff Osborn

    It really happened, Blackhawks fans! We all woke up this morning, rubbed our eyes and came to the realization that the NHL Draft Lottery last night wa
    [To continue reading full article, click here: REACTION: What might the Blackhawks do with the third overall pick?]

    @PuckinHostile on Twitter

    Mister Ricochet

    Damn beautiful thing getting the #3 pick.  The “rebuild” on the fly calculus has to have changed.  Couple thoughts of mine and on Twitter from guys like Al Camiglia and others.

    The more I think about this I have a feeling the Hawks love Zegras. Speed/skill galore, #1 PP material, Kane like vision and hands that plays center.  He checks all boxes of those who worship at the speed skill alter….. If that’s the case as it sits now they can move down for him.

    Can’t stop thinking the overwhelming consensus was for CLB to take Puljujarvi 3rd and they smartly took Dubois in 2016 instead. Who knows how Kelley and Stan have them ranked. Zegras fits the Hawk mold of freak skill/speed at all costs…… He might be the guy they have ranked #3.

    #3 to Toronto for Nylander and his 7 mil cap hit and their 2019 1st in the we need to win now while Kane and Toews are young angle?

    Gets Toronto out of cap hell for a few yrs and a shot at a top 3 player or the #1 rated Dman in the draft, Nylander gives the Hawks a 22 yr old legit top 6 winger signed for 5 yrs at 7 mil, a roll of the dice late in the 1st rd (Cam York/Vlasic/Newhook/Brink) and 2-3-4 runs in the playoffs with Kane&Toews (although the defense has not been fixed)?  My guess is this the kind of move ShovelFace McDonough will be advocating for.

    Some kind of deal for a top 2/4 Dman like Fowler as Al Camaglia suggested as a possibility.  In that kinda scenario maybe a move for Trouba and WPG 1st for the Hawks’ 3rd.

    Or they are assured that Podkolzin will come to NA.

    I also think the same way about NTDP Dman Cam York as I do about Zegras as far as the Hawk mold.  This kid can work his edges the same way Jack Hughes can and ran the U-18 PP.

    Like you Jeff I do have confidence that StanBow and Kelley will make the right move and scrub every angle, as they should.  Personally I have no problem with them taking the highest rated player they have at #3.   Cozens, Zegras, Turcotte, Dach have a great chance of being that 10-12 yr #1 center that a rare chance with the #3 presents.



    Phil M

    Is Nylander really worth 7 mil a year? I don’t think they should be targeting offensive minded forwards in trades. They can already score. They need defense. Top end proven defense is the only thing they should even be considering in a trade here. Really they probably are better off keeping the pick and having a top end talent on the team on a cheap contract for the next several years.

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