2017 – Henri Jokiharju – 29th Overall
Similar to a player like Teuvo Teravainen, Henri Jokiharju was let go way too soon. I truly do believe that Jokiharju had a future on the Blackhawks blue line before being sent packing for Buffalo for Alex Nylander.
I am sure there are situations where I would have been ok with the Blackhawks parting with Jokiharju, but a trade for Alex Nylander was not one of them. This draft pick shows us that Bowman and company are capable of finding quality players even late in the draft, as Jokiharju broke the NHL lineup just a season later after improving his game.
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I do not really know if Bowman was planning on keeping Jokiharju ever, or if he always imagined that Blackhawks were going to find him to be expendable, but either way I think it was a mistake.
The next two NHL drafts brought Chicago Kirby Dach, Adam Boqvist, and Nicolas Beaudin. These guys are all still with the team, but looking at Stan Bowman’s track record. None of those players are safe from being dealt.
What do you think of the complete list of first round picks from the past ten years with Bowman? I think it is worth mentioning that he did find some steals in the draft in a later round as well. While his first round track record might not be too great, Bowman did bring in Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, and Alex DeBrincat all after the first round.