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Chicago Blackhawks Stan Bowman’s Draft Gamble

By Keith Schultz
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Chicago Blackhawks Stan Bowman Must Pull A Rabbit Out Of His Hat At This Year’s NHL Draft To Help Restock The Chicago Blackhawks System

The Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman has taken two gambles at the past two trade deadlines to try to secure Stanley Cup Championships for his team while their Cup winning window is wide open.

In 2015 he traded his #1 draft pick and a top defensive prospect in

Klas Dahlbeck

to the Arizona Coyotes for a #2 Centerman in

Antoine Vermette

. This gamble although not paying immediate dividends did pay off when Vermette got hot when the games meant the most in the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals.

So, of course the gamble paid off a year ago because in the end the Chicago Blackhawks hoisted their third Stanley Cup in 6 seasons.  One thing to think about though is the fact that they did lose a #1 pick in the process which hurts the Hawks system overall in the long run.

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This year Stan Bowman took the same gamble shipping his 2016 #1 pick to the Winnipeg Jets for Andrew Ladd.  This time the gamble blew up in the Chicago Blackhawks face.  Ladd although pretty effective during his short stay with the Chicago Blackhawks wasn’t able to find the same magic Vermette did in the playoffs.  Ladd had the chance to bury the St. Louis Blues in Game #3 but his shot hit both posts and the Blues would go on to win the game and the series.

So of course if I was the GM I would have taken the gamble too because Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith and cast aren’t getting any younger even though they all have a lot of great hockey ahead of them.

The problem is the gamble cost the Hawks to players to develop in their system, and if you look at the Chicago Blackhawks draft history it says they struggle after round #1 with their picks if you throw out 2011.

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In every year going back to 2006 when Toews was selected, players drafted outside of round #1 haven’t made it to the NHL except in 2011. That draft was pretty special for the Chicago Blackhawks with them finding Brandon Saad in the second round and Andrew Shaw in the 5th round.

This type of magic is what Stan Bowman needs to discover once again this year in the later rounds of the NHL draft. The Hawks need to restock the Rockford IceHogs and it’s pool of great prospects that it had as recently as two years ago when Teuvo Teravainen and all of the defensive prospects were playing in Rockford which gave Bowman the leverage to make deals.

Now playing in Rockford are a bunch of Andrew Shaw type players like Ryan Hartman and Vincent Hinostroza while the defensive prospects only really boast Ville Pokka who the organization is obviously not in love with at this time.

The Hawks have struck in the late rounds of the draft for 5 years now, so it is time for Stan Bowman to pull some magic out of his hat and put back the IN STAN WE TRUST in our vocabulary after this years early exit by the Chicago Blackhawks out of the playoffs.

There are always hidden gems out there in the draft, and it’s time for Stan to do his best digging effort to find them to keep this organization running at the highest levels in all areas with the best talent.

Next: Where Does Hossa Fit Next Year?

What Do you think about Stan’s chances at this years draft?

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