Blackhawks: What’s the plan for the 2021 NHL Draft?

By Joseph Felicelli
Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dominik Kubalik #8, Chicago Blackhawks
Dominik Kubalik #8, Chicago Blackhawks Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

Hidden Gems

One of the more exciting parts of the draft, beyond the top picks, is finding the “diamonds in the rough,” players who outperform their draft slot, and find their way to solid NHL careers while defying the expectations of their draft slot.

As an example, Dominik Kubalik was drafted #191 overall by the Kings, and then traded to the ‘Hawks for a 5th round pick. Not too many players drafted that late score 30 goals in the NHL in a single season.

Because of the lack of film and data for scouts to evaluate from this past season, many players will slip through the cracks of the evaluation process, and there is a much higher chance to “miss” on players early, and “hit” on players later on in the draft.

With the advancement of video available on the Internet, it is a lot harder to be an “unknown” in the draft process, but this season’s challenges have made it tougher to evaluate, and good players will end up sliding into later rounds than they would have in a normal season.

So how do teams view the draft class?