3 Bad Contracts the Chicago Blackhawks Could Take On at the Deadline To Get More Draft Picks

Taking on some of these bad deals is a way to offset not having many players to move at the trade deadline.

David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
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Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson traded away any player that would net him a draft pick before last year's trade deadline. He also added two draft picks during that time from the Ottawa Senators by taking on Nikita Zaitsev's $4.5 million cap hit for 18 months.

The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun is reporting that Davidson might be willing to add a few more bad contracts with the salary cap space he has if he can get some extra draft picks for taking on the hassle.

LeBrun made it clear that it sounds like Davidson will only take on contracts that will expire after next season much like how Zaitsev's deal was only going to be on the Hawks' books for a short period of time.

It would also be nice to get some production out of whoever Davidson possibly brings in like Zaitsev has provided this season. Nikita has not been great, and he is currently on injured reserve, but when he has skated this season, he has played better than say, Jarred Tinordi.

Production is just an added benefit. The real aim in taking on these bad deals is to get another draft pick, preferably one in the first three rounds.

The Blackhawks got a second-round pick in last year's draft as part of the deal to pay the remainder of Zaitsev's contract. Davidson selected forward Roman Kansterov with the No. 44 pick. The teenager is already playing in the KHL, Russia's top professional league. He is the team's 14th-best prospect according to Chicago Sun-Times Blackhawks beat reporter Ben Pope.

The good thing about Kansterov is he is staying in the KHL through 2027. While that may seem like a long time for him to get to the NHL, it is a good thing as he will be a cheap addition to a team that will have Connor Bedard and Kevin Korchinski on their second contracts. Plus, it spaces out the wave of prospects officially coming into the organization. If some of these forwards fail during the first wave, Kansterov could end up being a suitable replacement.

The Blackhawks still need to keep stacking draft picks to put together stellar draft classes if the organization hopes to return to sustained winning. That is why Davidson is open for business to take on a bad asset if it means getting a good one as part of the deal. Plus, Davidson does not have a ton of players to trade off at the deadline, so this is another avenue to acquire more draft capital.

Three players fit the description of a relatively short-term large financial commitment with a salary cap clogging number their current playoff-contending teams might want to shed.