Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks’ ‘All-Drafted Team’ Would Compete Annually

By Aaron Goldschmidt
Feb 11, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks president John McDonough during a press conference to announce that Chicago will host the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks president John McDonough during a press conference to announce that Chicago will host the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 18, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) celebrates his second period goal with defenseman Duncan Keith (2) against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 18, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) celebrates his second period goal with defenseman Duncan Keith (2) against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensemen

Duncan Keith – Drafted in 2002, Michigan State Spartans

Where would the Blackhawks be without Duncan Keith?  A shutdown No. 1 defenseman who can play in all situations.  No wonder he’s won the Norris Trophy twice as the NHL’s top defenseman.

This one is a no-brainer.  Plus, he has arguably one the of the best contracts in hockey.

Brent Seabrook – Drafted in 2003, Lethbridge Hurricanes

His goal in the Western Conference finals of 2013, Game 7, speaks for itself.  Seabiscuit has been one of the most clutch Blackhawks over the past 10 seasons.

He would probably be a No. 1 defenseman in more than half of the other teams in the league.  Seabrook has been reliable and made many great defensive plays that saved the Blackhawks from heartbreak.

Nicklas Hjalmarsson – Drafted 2005, Sweden

The Hammer.  Ever since Brent Sopel retired in 2010, the Hammer has taken over as shot-blocking king.  Hjalmarsson doesn’t produce that much but he makes up for it with his defense.

Every year we see Hammer dive in front of multiple pucks, grimacing in pain but staying on the ice until the whistle.  Most of the time he doesn’t miss a shift.  You need warriors like Hjalmarsson if you want to win in this league.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Chicago Blackhawks
NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Chicago Blackhawks /

Dustin Byfuglien – Drafted in 2003, Brandon Wheat Kings

“My Goal is to make Byfuglien a household name.”  Indeed he did.  Byfuglien to this day remains a fan favorite for his big hits and heroic goals throughout the 2010 Stanley Cup run.

His battles with Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger intensified the series with every hit.  Byfuglien made the switch to his natural position as a defenseman after he was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnipeg Jets), but he hasn’t changed anything about his monstrous hits.

Stephen Johns – Drafted 2010, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

This was a player I was very excited to see put on a Blackhawks uniform, but he never did.  Johns was part of the trade that sent Patrick Sharp to the Dallas Stars in an attempt to create cap space after the 2015 season.

Johns is a big player at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, and would have been great for the Blackhawks’ blue line.  His physicality would have made him an instant fan favorite.

Adam Clendening – Drafted 2011, Boston University Terriers

Clendening was an interesting prospect because he spent a lot of time in the minors.  A lot of people thought he was next in line for a shot at the NHL since he was so productive with the Rockford IceHogs until he was traded to the Canucks in 2014.

Since then, he has bounced around and now plays for the New York Rangers.

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