Despite not putting up a ton of points, Ryan O’Rourke, still had a decent season this year. The 6’2, 181-pound defenseman was +16 and is a natural leader, being named the youngest captain in the OHL this season, wearing the ‘C’ for the Sault St Marie Greyhounds.
While plus/minus is not often considered a great indicator of a season, as powerplays and penalty kill skew the numbers, being +16 is still an accomplishment that not all players are able to achieve. O’Rourke isn’t the most disciplined, putting up 79 PIMs this year, but Chicago could use some grittiness on the team, as it is something they’ve often lacked.
O’Rourke moves the puck well and is an imposing two-way defenseman. While not the biggest body on the ice, he could likely be considered one of the top D-men in the OHL and was ranked the 27th best North American prospect.
The Blackhawks have been in need of solid defense for a long time. Having skipped on Bowen Byram last year in favor of Kirby Dach, Chicago could definitely find a use for a defenseman like O’Rourke on the roster.
Bowman will likely have a cornucopia of choices at the 17th spot, and he will have to choose wisely to ensure that the player they take in the first round will be the best possible addition.