Blackhawks: A June draft won’t help the defensive problems

Stan Bowman, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Stan Bowman, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

While it’s nice to consider that the Chicago Blackhawks may end up with a chance to draft a top prospect, it doesn’t necessarily solve the problems.

There are issues with the team as it stands currently, regardless of whether or not Calvin de Haan makes his return this season or next. At the top of the list is the defense of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The forward corps isn’t terrible, and with some tweaking, it could be very good. Goaltending will likely be dealt with over the next year or two.

On the other hand, the defense is…not good. It’s been the biggest issue with the team all season long, and while Stan Bowman tried to address this in the off-season, it didn’t work. They just couldn’t get it done, and they’re just isn’t a quick fix in sight.

So, the draft, right? No. This can’t be the answer.

Simply put, the Blackhawks cannot draft their way to a solution to this problem. It doesn’t matter what the date is. They need help, and now. The real issue is that the team has no number 1 d-man in the system. Maybe Boqvist or Mitchell. Maybe. The team needs someone they can build around.

Even if the Blackhawks somehow luck their way into a top 3 pick and can take someone like #3 ranked prospect Jamie Drysdale, he’s not going to be able to be “the guy” for a few years, if he can step it up and become a player of that caliber.

What can they do then?

This depends on what management’s plan is. Unless they can pull off some trades to free up cap space, and land a great player, there likely isn’t much to be done.

Additionally, as Pierre LeBrun noted for The Athletic regarding a June draft this year,

"“You could make trades involving draft picks, but not players for obvious reasons with the playoffs around the corner.”"

He goes on to quote a conversation he had with a team executive that used Montreal as an example.

"“They’ve got 14 draft picks this year. No doubt, the exec says, that the Canadiens would have tried to flip some of those picks for roster help at the draft. Under this scenario, they wouldn’t be able to do that. Montreal’s best play if the draft is held before the season resumes would be quantity for quality in a picks-only deal, trading up in the draft.”"

The Blackhawks do not have 14 picks. Chicago has draft picks in rounds 1 through 6, depending on what happens with the 3rd rounder they acquired from Calgary for Gustafsson.

Bowman is going to have to get creative to find a solution to this problem. The team needs help at defense, and it can’t be a player that is at best a roll of the dice or years in the making.

Related Story. Will Calvin de Haan return for the 2019-2020 season?. light

If the Blackhawks are going to be competitive again, and Bowman’s job very well may depend on the team contending as soon as possible, then the Chicago needs defensive help immediately.