Drafted: RW/LW/C Teuvo Teravainen (1st round, 18th overall)
Redraft: LW Tanner Pearson (1st round, 30th overall, Los Angeles Kings)
Definitely not a first pick I’d like to legitimately redraft, as I think Teuvo can still be a key cog in the Blackhawks organization moving forward. But Pearson would’ve been a nice get with this selection.
Pearson is a Stanley Cup winner (2014), though he hasn’t made an incredible impact on his team thus far. He dealt with injury issues in the 2014-15 season, missing about half the Kings’ games. The 2015-16 campaign was his first full one in L.A., and he posted 36 points in 79 regular-season games, cooling off a bit after a hot early run.
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Pearson is a bigger winger than Teuvo (6-1, 208 versus 5-11, 178), but he’s not as multi-purposed as Teuvo, having taken 34 faceoffs in his NHL career (Teuvo’s faceoff struggles aside). He also doesn’t get much run in the defensive zone, proving to be more sheltered than Teuvo at this time. Pearson has never started less than 53.5 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, while Teuvo had a rugged 43 percent offensive-zone starts rate this regular season.
There are certainly upsides to both players, but Teuvo probably has more of them. You would feel fine saying the players have made equal impacts on their respective teams thus far in their short NHL careers.
Drafted: RW Ryan Hartman (1st round, 30th overall)
Redraft: G Zachary Fucale (2nd round, 36th overall, Montreal Canadiens)
This is where it starts to get a little more difficult to redraft, as many of the players in these more-recent drafts haven’t had the time to make an NHL impact, and so their names are less known by general hockey fans.
I’m going with a goaltender here, as the Blackhawks’ goaltender depth issues were certainly obvious at this point, even with Crawford half-carrying the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup in this year. Fucale is just 21 years old now and recently completed his first AHL season with the St. John’s IceCaps.
It was an up-and-down go for the youngster, who posted a 16-19-4 mark with a 3.13 goals-against average and .903 save percentage. He also had three assists, which makes one wonder if he’s very active playing the puck or just lucky that his teammates move the puck quickly up ice without much passing prior to goals.
Fucale isn’t a big guy, especially for a goalie (6-2, 187), and he has some things to work on. Hockey’s Future notes his rebound control and glove hand are in particular need of help. But he’s young and definitely someone the Blackhawks could’ve worked up to be Crow’s successor.
Next: 2014 And 2015 Drafts