This Year’s NHL Draft is going to be different. For a team that now seems to be gearing up not for a playoff opportunity but a chance in the draft lottery, the Blackhawks need to start thinking about the NHL Draft.
The future has always been the main goal for the Hawks, as this team was not going to seriously win the cup this season. However great play during February and young players looking to be ahead of their curve made the case that this Hawks team might be a little better than expected. That is still the case but it can clearly be seen that this group is not ready yet.
Today let’s highlight what is going on with the NHL Draft and discuss what kind of position Chicago is in going into the event. As of now, the draft is set for July 23-24. The event is going to be a little further back than usual but still occurring this season. I mention that because there were considerations of pushing the draft back by a full season.
You might ask yourself why the draft would be pushed back? Well for the good of the league and the teams taking part in the draft it makes sense. With the pandemic, the prospects have not all played the same amount during the past year and there is not a lot to go off of for scouts.
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However, all the teams are in the same position league-wide. Pushing the draft back would only delay all of the young players a year and with the 2022 draft occurring next summer as well then there would be two sets of prospects looking to enter the league at the same time.
It is not a matter of pushing the draft back because logistically they are not able to hold one. The league did the 2020 draft over zoom last year and it wasn’t horrible – honestly, I found it to be entertaining. Teams want it delayed to help get a better idea of the prospects they are looking at.
While the NHL Draft isn’t going to be delayed, the Blackhawks still could try to emphasize next season’s event.
The NHL Draft is set for this summer, and the Hawks do have most of their picks going into the event. Chicago has all their draft picks minus their third-rounder which they traded away to get Andrew Shaw back during the 2019 offseason according to CapFriendly.
When the Hawks make trades in the coming week ahead of the deadline I would like to see them bring in some draft picks for next offseason instead of this one. Yes, teams are less likely to trade next year’s picks instead of this year’s but getting a deal done involving a pick in next year’s draft will be better for Chicago.
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If the difference of trading someone like Mattias Janmark is a second-rounder this season or a third-rounder next season I think I would take the third-rounder. The Blackhawks are a very capable team and they have landed some great prospects through the draft in the past, but considering how much uncertainty revolves around this year’s draft class looking ahead might be the better option.