Chicago Blackhawks Could Take Defenseman With Their First Draft Pick
With the Stanley Cup Final coming to an end very soon, hockey fans’ eyes will now turn to the NHL draft. In case you missed it, the NHL Draft Combine ended earlier this week. Everyone was interested in Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, and Jesse Pujujarvi’s measurements. Matthews, Laine and Puljujarvi are the consensus top three picks in the NHL draft.
While all of the Toronto Maple Leafs fans are counting the seconds to the first round of the NHL draft, Chicago Blackhawks fans are going to have to wait a little bit longer. The Blackhawks do not have a first- or second-round pick in this year’s draft. Their first-round pick was sent to Winnipeg in the Andrew Ladd trade. Their second-round pick was traded to the Flyers for Kimmo Timonen. The 2016 second-round pick was originally a fourth-rounder but became a second-rounder because the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.
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Let’s be clear: The Blackhawks can acquire a first- or second-round pick before the draft. But barring anything unforeseen, the Blackhawks’ first pick will come in the third round at No. 82. NHLdraftsite.com recently released its first mock draft. The site has the Blackhawks taking Dylan Coghlan, a 6-foot-2 defenseman who played in the WHL with Tri-City.
Coghlan is a right-handed shot who plays a physical game and can move the puck somewhat. He is said to move more subtly than a player his size might move. In his two seasons with the Tri-City Americans, he appeared in 125 regular-season games, posting 6 goals and 23 assists for 29 points. He also appeared in four playoff games, recording 1 goal and 2 assists.
Coghlan got some praise from media outlets after his play in the most recent World Junior Championships. The WHL’s Redline’s scouts praised Coghlan’s no-nonsense style of play. He was said to make every pass right on target, is simplistic and has no frills. They believe he sees the game well and can process an incoming attack faster than most junior defensemen. RedLine scouts also believe he has upside on the offensive side of the ice.
With the Blackhawks needing help on defense for now and in the future, this pick makes sense. Despite the recent signings of Robin Norell and Gustav Forsling, the Blackhawks are going to desperately need young and cheap defensemen. The NHL draft is to take place June 24-25 in Buffalo, New York.