I can’t promise that I’d draft him if Byfield was on the board when the Blackhawks pick. There are a few players that stand out to me that I would prefer over him. We will get to that in future articles.
It comes down to what Bowman is looking for. If Bowman wants to draft the best player available, Byfield might be his choice. If he’s looking at building for the future, he might choose to go with defense.
I believe this draft has a lot of top-four defensemen. What they did with Adam Boqvist needs to happen with this next defensemen, if they choose one. They need to wait a year or two to see if he’s NHL ready. If he’s ready right away, play him.
The Blackhawks do have a few defensemen in their system that could become stars for them. They lack the same with their forwards. With money to spend in the offseason, the Blackhawks would add depth to their defense and draft a future-forward. If that’s the case, Byfield could be a good pick.
If Dach is the future top center for the Blackhawks, Byfield would be a good complement to Dach’s skill. If Byfield is really the next Malkin, the Blackhawks will have two solid players. I’m just not fully sold on Byfield.