Could the Blackhawks clean up in the draft and make the playoffs?
As the shutdown continues for the NHL, there is more chatter about some of the lingering issues for the current season. With the NHL entry draft being high on the priority list, how will the Chicago Blackhawks be affected?
High on the league’s priority list is the NHL entry draft, which takes place on June 26th and June 27th. The league could have the draft before the season even resumes. That means, the Chicago Blackhawks‘ could have their draft picks before the season resumes, if ever.
Sportsnet has reported that the decision on the draft has to be made relatively quickly. There are a lot of issues to be sorted out, but if the draft stays the same, it has happened with the agreement between the current teams. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly was quoted as saying,
"“While no formal vote is required to set the timing of the draft, the league’s head office will consult with its 31 teams before reaching a decision, according to Daly. And time is of the essence given how much planning would need to be done before staging a virtual draft two months from now.” – Bill Daly (Sportsnet)"
It has also been pointed out that with no active leagues, the draft could be a way to keep people interested in the NHL. Sportsnet noted that the hype around the upcoming NFL draft is making some other people take notice.
The draft would likely be a virtual draft, for what it’s worth.
What does this mean for the Chicago Blackhawks?
They are currently 23rd place in the league which means they could land a high draft pick. However, since the season hasn’t been decided, the Blackhawks might also still be in contention for the playoffs, if the season resumes. That’s a big “if” at this point, but it’s worth considering.
At the moment, the draft order could also be interesting because like other teams, Chicago has a conditional pick, 3rd round from Calgary in exchange for Erik Gustafsson. According to CapFriendly, here’s what happens with Calgary’s conditional pick to the Blackhawks.
“2020 conditional 3rd round pick* (CGY – #77)
*Conditions: Chicago will receive the higher (or better) of the Calgary or Edmonton 2020 3rd round pick (on the requirement that Edmonton’s pick meets its conditions and becomes the property of Calgary. The Edmonton pick is a conditional pick that Calgary does not yet own.*”
Determining the draft order would impact all of this. Would Chicago even get this pick if the season were to shut down? This is quite a mess to wade through.
The situation is extremely complicated, and no doubt Stan Bowman has been on the phone a lot over the last few weeks. For now, we’ll have to wait to see how it all turns out, but we likely won’t have to wait too long.