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Chicago Blackhawks’ Early-Round Draft Review

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Nov 8, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) reacts after shooting the puck against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks defat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) reacts after shooting the puck against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks defat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Blackhawks Had A Busy 2016 NHL Draft

A regular Friday night in June would consist of sitting down with some buddies and watching the White Sox play average baseball. But for one Friday night in June, Chicago Blackhawks and NHL fans alike get to sit down and watch the future stars of the league get picked by their teams. Along with the names being called, trades go down as well. The ‘Hawks definitely made some noise with a trade they made Friday night.

The ‘Hawks decided to part ways with Andrew Shaw for the 39th overall pick and the 45th overall pick. The ‘Hawks used the 39th pick on forward Alex DeBrincat, and the 45th pick on defenseman Chad Krys.

A couple picks later the ‘Hawks already had the 50th pick, and used it on the Russian forward Artur Kayumov. The ‘Hawks also used their 110th pick on Swedish defenseman Lucas Carlsson before making some later-round selections. Kayumov and Carlsson are so far from the bigs that it is not worth it to go into their play. So let’s just say that those were some good picks and move on to the players that will be on the ‘Hawks this decade. Draft recap time!

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Andrew Shaw Trade

The night started off with a bang for the Blackhawks front office. I never saw this coming. I thought that when the ‘Hawks traded away Teuvo Teravainen, they were doing it to just clear room up for Andrew Shaw.

But no! Stan Bowman decided to free up some more room with getting rid of Shaw. The front office threw the entire ‘Hawks fanbase a curveball here, but a curveball that I love.

I will admit that that I have been a Shaw hater for a while, and I never really understood the love affair that most ‘Hawks fans have with Shaw. He was a pesky “get under the skin” guy who did it pretty well. The fact of the matter is that he was asking for too much money for the type of player that he is.

A small guy who can’t really handle the puck through the neutral zone, create plays or even just stay on his skates does not deserve the money he was asking. I have said it a million times before: Shaw is an expendable talent who did not need to be on this roster. I am going to miss ranting about him all the time though.

He was sent to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for two second-round picks. The first player the ‘Hawks selected with their new draft spots was DeBrincat.

45th Pick: Alex DeBrincat (18 years old, forward)

This guy is someone who most hockey analysts picked to easily go in the first round, but somehow he fell to the second round for the ‘Hawks to snag. DeBrincat is an 18-year-old winger who currently plays in the OHL for the Erie Otters.

On the Otters, he has played alongside big-name young stars like Connor McDavid and Dylan Strome. Playing with these two future stars may or may not rub off on him that much, but it certainly can’t hurt. Above is a video from last season when he scored 16 goals in 12 games for the Otters. Pay attention to some of the filthy toe drags and some snipes he has in the video as well.

At 5 feet 7 inches and 165 pounds, DeBrincat is definitely one of the smaller guys selected in the draft. And since the only reason he was selected by the ‘Hawks was because the team got rid of Shaw, here come the Shaw comparisons.

DeBrincat is 4 inches smaller than Shaw, but his game is much more all-around. He will be a pesky guy in the league, but he will also turn around and put up more goals. He is a guy who can actually handle the puck on the ice and stand in front of the net to put away rebounds. In the past two seasons with the Otters, he scored 51 goals. I do not care what level of hockey you are at, 51 goals in two consecutive seasons is magnificent.

Also like I said earlier, since he is a short guy, he will most likely be really annoying for opposing players. So here is a video of him spearing someone in the World Juniors.

45th Pick: Chad Krys (18 years old, defenseman)

Next up is Chad Krys. He is a 5 foot, 11 inch defenseman from the U.S. First of all, he is a Boston University commit for next season, so he has a while until fans see him donning the feathers on the west side of Chicago.

In terms of his play, he is described as an “undersized offensive defenseman.” Most scouts and reports say he is a magnificent skater, which is one of the most important assets for a young blueliner to have.

Along with his ability to skate in all four directions very well, he is very fast from end to end. He can easily be in the offensive rush on one end, and get back to play defense at the other end. The ability to skate this fast allows him to cheat up in the offensive zone at times, and to become a fourth forward.

Last season with the United States National U18 Team, Krys scored three goals and added 26 assists in 53 games. These numbers do show that one of his weaknesses is his weak shot. However, that is not something that should be worried about too much, since a hard shot will come when he puts on muscle and hones his game more.

Krys still has a long way to go before he even sees the ice of the United Center. But if he progresses well and continues to mature, he will fit in nicely as a second-pair defenseman in the future.

Pretty great night for the ‘Hawks and their fans. They got rid of Shaw and picked up some great young players. Up next for the offseason: free agency on July 1. Go ‘Hawks!

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