8. Stanislav Svozil, D, Brno
Defenseman Stanislav Svozil has a ton of experience in both the Czech Extraliga and international play, including the World Junior Championship. While he is not one of the top defenseman available, he may end up being the best choice for the Hawks at the back end, depending on which pick they have.
Svozil is on the smaller side, but as such, is a lanky body who Morreale describes as “an excellent skater capable of moving the puck well with good vision.” That is exactly the type of defenseman the Blackhawks could use given the issues that they had this year with keeping the puck out of the net.
A guy that can quickly move the puck out of the defensive zone and get a speedy breakout going is a valuable commodity in the NHL. With the troubles the Blackhawks had in their own end, especially on the penalty kill towards the end of the year, Svozil might end up being a great option.
Overall, Svozil is probably not one of the more well-known names on the draft board this year. However, if the ‘Hawks end up slipping down the ladder, then he may end up hearing his name called for the Windy City.
7. Zachary Bolduc, C, Rimouski Oceanic
While the Blackhawks do have a lot of talent through the middle, there are simply too many talented centers available at the draft this year to pass them up. Zachary Bolduc definitely fits into that category.
Bolduc is a slim player with great hands and really quick feet, who knows how to move the puck through all three zones. He is also a scoring machine, putting up 29 points in 27 games this year for the Rimouski Oceanic. While this is not necessarily the most pressing need for the ‘Hawks, Patrick Kane won’t be around forever, so a guy who could help light the lamp would be a welcomed addition.
Even though he is a natural center, it’s not impossible to think that a player of his talent couldn’t experiment with playing on the wing. We’ve seen it done at the professional level a lot with guys like Dylan Strome, so it is something that could potentially be done with Bolduc as well.
The Blackhawks, historically, have not selected a ton of players from the QMJHL. However, depending on where their draft lottery falls, Stan Bowman might want to consider grabbing Bolduc if he’s on the board. He is, without a doubt, a young gun that would be able to make an impact on almost any team he joins.