The Chicago Blackhawks have not traded Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg, Bryan Bickell or any other player from the 2015 Stanley Cup Championship run so their first pick of the NHL draft came at #54 after trading their first round pick away for Antoine Vermette. The Chicago Blackhawks draft came up with Graham Knott with the 54th selection.
Since I don’t live in Canada and don’t watch OHL hockey I will give you some of the scouting reports I have read about Knott. He is a big kid at 6ft 4in and is close to 200Lbs. The scouting reports read that’s he’s big but needs to grow into his frame. There was a very good interview with him and here is the link to read it from Yahoo Sports Buzzing the Net.
Knott played for the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL which sounds like one of the many team names Scott Darling played for on his way to the NHL. Knott grew into his role with the IceDogs and had a very nice season scoring 25 goals in 59 games. Of course these are like a weeks worth of points Conner McDavid scored in the OHL last season.
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The nice thing for kids that need some time to develop that get drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks is that there is time to develop and not be rushed to hockey’s biggest stage.
Here is the scouting report on Knott from Top Shelf Prospects.
"Graham Knott has excellent size at 6’3″ and is another potential power forward in this draft. He loves to hit, and does so in all three zones. Knott gets in quickly on the forecheck, pressuring defenders into turnovers and finishing his checks. Knott plays a power forward’s game driving to the net with the puck on his stick, whether that means going around an opponent or through them. He gets to the front of the net without the puck, and battles hard for loose pucks in the corners. Knott is a pure goal scorer with the soft hands to finish in tight, to make deflections, and to pounce on rebounds. He uses his body effectively to shield the puck and extend plays in the cycle game. Passing isn’t Knott’s biggest strength, and he does not try to make overly creative plays, but he does keep the play moving down low. If there is a criticism it is that Knott must learn to play with a more consistent energy level game to game. There are games where he has a tendency to disappear, and not get as involved as he does when he is at his best. He will need to correct this going forward."
The Chicago Blackhawks in an ironic bit of history have had great success picking 54th in the draft, since Conn Smythe Award winner Duncan Keith was selected 54th in the draft back in 2002! No pressure kid to live up to filling those skates one day!!
No trades, just a pick of Graham Knott at pick 54 for the Chicago Blackhawks.
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