It is never too early to look ahead. The 2022 NHL Draft is going to be a big moment for the Chicago Blackhawks who have been struggling the past few years. The team made some big moves during the 2021 NHL Draft and maybe we could see some more during this next one.
The team has drafted stars like Alex DeBrincat, Kirby Dach, and Philipp Kurashev through the draft as of late, and maybe this coming draft will see some more future stars for the team. Here is who the team drafted in 2021:
1. Nolan Allan
Round 1 Pick 32
2. Colton Dach
Round 2 Pick 62
3. Taige Harding
Round 3 Pick 29
4. Ethan del Mastro
Round 4 Pick 105
5. Victor Stjernborg
Round 4 Pick 108
6. Ilya Safonov
Round 6 Pick 172
7. Connor Kelley
Round 7 Pick 204
8. Jalen Luypen
Round 7 Pick 216
So there are the eight players the team drafted in 2021. Now let's talk about 2022. The team has seven picks for the 2022 NHL draft as of right now. With the deadline coming up in the next month one would expect that to change. You might be thinking since the team hasn't been that great that the Hawks are going to be drafting high this year, well that is not the case for the team.
The Blackhawks traded away their first round pic in 2022 when they added Seth Jones in a deal that sent Adam Boqvist and a few picks to Columbus. Because of that deal the team does not have a first round pick this season unless it is the first or second overall pick. We will talk more about the lottery when the season comes to a close, but for now just assume the team is not drafting in round one.
So what picks do the Blackhawks have?
The Blackhawks have their own: 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th round picks, as well as 3rd rounders from Edmonton, Toronto, and Vegas, as well as another 6th rounder from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sure they might not be drafting early, but that has not mattered in the past.
Mackenzie Entwistle was a third round pick, Kurashev was drafted in the fourth round, and Kubalik was a steal from the seventh round. This team does have a lot of potential picks to use on a steal like they did drafting Kurashev in 2018. Now we will have to wait and see what the team does to finish the season.
So what can we expect now until the draft?
The Blackhawks probably are going to make some moves to set themselves up for the future. They have a few players they can trade away ahead of the deadline to bring in some more draft capital and set themselves up for the coming years. Unless the team goes on a hot streak during January and early February this team is selling at the deadline, that is if they have someone in charge by then.
With the league currently paused due to a COVID-19 surge within so many different teams, now would be a good time for the team to take a step back and assess where they are at and what they need to fix to succeed in the future. And of course everyone should enjoy the holiday season.