Looking At The Blackhawks Last 3 First-Round Draft Picks
By Ryan Fedrau
Unless they trade it, the Chicago Blackhawks will have the 17th-selection in the 2020 NHL entry-level draft. Before then, let’s take a look at their last 3 first-round selections.
During the last three drafts, the Chicago Blackhawks have had the 29th, 8th, and 3rd overall selection in the draft. As fans see, it looks like the Hawks have regressed since 2017. If anything – they’ve gotten better.
In 2017, Chicago selected defenseman Henri Jokiharju. Jokiharju would play 38-games with the team during his rookie season, before being traded to Buffalo. The Hawks gave up on him way too quickly, which saw them pass up on a future Top 4 defensemen in the making. He wasn’t the offensive stud other players from the past few drafts defensively we’ve seen, but he still put up 12-assists un 38-games. That isn’t too bad.
With the Blackhawks signing multiple defensemen before the 2020 season, moving Jokiharju wasn’t too much of a surprise. They didn’t have room for him. Looking back at that trade, I personally think they could have used him going forward.
In 2018, Chicago selected defensemen Adam Boqvist. This was a draft pick that was a key pick, someone who is expected to be the next big thing in Chicago. The Hawks have a long history of great defensemen in the modern era, hopefully, Boqvist can carry that torch.
In 41-games, Boqvist has 4-goals and 9-assists for 13-points. Those aren’t the offensive numbers he’s put up for other minor league teams, but he’s gotten his foot wet in the NHL. It’s fair to say Jokiharju might have actually had the better rookie season. Both men running the top lines in Chicago one day would have been special. It’s too bad Stan Bowman made that trade.
In 2019, Chicago selected forward Kirby Dach. Dach’s draft pick was questioned by the fanbase but quickly showed that he might be the best of the top three picks. Of the top rookies this season, Dach was one of the only ones who played in their first season. Both Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes played a year outside of the NHL.
Seeing the success Makar and Hughes give me hope for Dach in his second season. He already proved he can improve after how well he looked from the regular season to the playoffs. I consider that almost a second season for the rookies, as there were 130-plus days away from hockey.
In 64-games, Dach scored 8-goals and 15-assists for 23-points. That’s tied with Kaapo Kakko for points and is two points better than first overall pick, Jack Hughes. All three men will have solid careers, but Dach might be the better of the three, even though Kakko could have the better situation of the three.
So in 2020, there are so many rumored picks. Every week, new mock drafts come out, and every week, I cover the players they bring up. Noel Gunler and Dylan Holloway are two favorites for the Hawks to pick up. There’s also a rumor of them trading up to select goalie Yaroslav Askarov.