Blackhawks land SIX first and second-round talents in NHL Mock Draft 2.0

With the 18th pick at their disposal as well as the second pick, the Chicago Blackhawks put themselves in position to land two stars in NHL Mock Draft 2.0.
2024 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game
2024 Kubota CHL Top Prospects Game / Dale Preston/GettyImages
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1A: Ivan Demidov, RW.SKA St. Petersburg (No. 2 ranking)

My previous pick here was Artyom Levshunov, so I mixed things up and rolled with a forward this time, and one who could be every bit as effective as the consensus No. 1 overall pick, Macklin Celebrini. We would all like to see Demidov come over to the States right now, but staying in Russia for at least a season should still allow him to play in the KHL, put on some size, and turn some of his few weaknesses into strengths before he comes over. 

1B: Tij Iginla, C/Kelowna Rockets (No. 23 ranking)

Per FC Hockey, this was a reach as there were still players available ranked as highly as 14th overall, but someone with a later birthday with respectable size and elite goal-scoring capability caught my eye. Therefore, I rolled with Tij Iginla, whom I believe would be a steal if he dropped this far - something that Tankathon would probably agree with, considering where he landed in their mock. 

2A: Jesse Pulkkinen, D/JYP U20 (No. 24 ranking)

After drafting a pair of high-octane forwards with the first two picks, I wanted to snag some blueliners in the second round, and Jesse Pulkkinen was there for the taking. There won’t be too many blueliners as physically imposing as Pulkkinen, who at 19 is already 6’6, 216 lbs. This is the kind of player you would assume is an old-school, stay-at-home type of defenseman, but believe it or not, he logged 28 points and 11 goals in just 18 regular season contests this past season in U20 SM-sarja. 

2B: Veeti Vaisanen, D/KooKoo U20 (No. 40 ranking)

Veeti Vaisanen doesn’t carry Jesse Pulkkinen’s size or productivity, but he’s also over a year younger. That said, Vaisanen was good enough to play 50 regular season games in Liiga, where he produced a respectable 10 points and two goals, along with a seven-game regular season and an eight-game postseason stint with KooKoo’s U20 SM-sarja team, finishing the year with eight points and four goals.