Plenty of fans and analysts have provided their opinion on who the Blackhawks should take with the third overall pick. There are several prospects worthy of being taken third overall, but there are also some Chicago should avoid.
Here are the top candidates the Blackhawks should avoid with the third overall selection:
5 – Vasili Podkolzin
Podkolzin is far from the worst player the ‘Hawks could end up taking, but they should still avoid him. First of all, Podkolzin is a winger; Chicago should be looking to take a center or a defenseman.
Still, Podkolzin is likely to be the best winger available, so that aspect wouldn’t be the worst part about selecting him.
The real issues are his contract status with the KHL and his lack of production. Podkolzin is locked into a KHL contract for the next two season. After that, it would be up to him whether he wants to make the jump to the NHL or stay in his native country.
In addition, Podkolzin has struggled to put up production numbers expected by scouts. Although the common narrative is that Podkolzin passes the eye test and his production numbers will come, the current lack of production in KHL shouldn’t be written off completely.
4 – Kirby Dach
Like Podkolzin, Dach wouldn’t be the worst pick third overall. In fact, one advantage Dach has over Podkolzin is his ability to play center.
Still, what Dach brings to the game is done better by Dylan Cozens and Alex Turcotte. Both Cozens and Turcotte bring a two-way aspect to their game which is something Dach doesn’t do as well as them.
Dach is also criticized as not shooting enough, something Cozens certainly isn’t knocked for.
3 – Victor Soderstrom / Philip Broberg
This is two-fer, and you’ll see why shortly. The Blackhawks selecting Broberg or Soderstrom third overall would certainly be a reach.
With that being said, there’s a reason why they’re on this list. It’s pretty well known throughout Blackhawk fandom that General Manager, Stan Bowman, has an affinity for Swedish defensemen.
Soderstrom and Broberg are the best Swedish defensemen in this draft and Soderstrom in particular is quite polished for his age and position. Bowman needs to control himself and not reach too far.
2 – Cole Caufield
Caufield is a small, goal-scoring winger. He is compared by just about everyone to current Blackhawk, Alex DeBrincat. Not a bad comparison, but Chicago already has a DeBrincat.
As mentioned previously, the Blackhawks should be looking for centers and defensemen, not pieces they already have.
1 – Peyton Krebs
Krebs was going to be on this list anyway, but perhaps not first on the list. Then, the day this list was put together, he tore his Achilles.
After that news broke, he slid (or rose) to first on this list. Krebs is a great skater, a playmaking threat and is also known for his leadership.
He’s also relatively small and who knows how his Achilles injury will impact his skating. He is also knocked for his goal scoring, or lack thereof. Krebs could end up overcoming these issues, but the Blackhawks should stay away.