The Chicago Blackhawks were not the only team that passed on Ivan Demidov

The Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets also did not take the forward many had hoped the Blackhawks would take.
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The Chicago Blackhawks took defenseman Artyom Levshunov with the No. 2 overall pick.

There was some hope the Hawks would take Russian forward Ivan Demidov because he has more upside. He was viewed as possibly being a capable superstar partner for Connor Bedard much like Evgeni Malkin has been for Sidney Crosby all these years.

General manager Kyle Davidson opted to replenish the defensive prospect group by taking Levshunov.

The Michigan State defenseman has a very high floor and projects to be at a minimum, a solid NHL blueliner.

He is already capable of providing outstanding support to the offensive unit. Levshunov still needs to get better at his main job objective and that is helping keep pucks from reaching the back of the net.

Demidov's ceiling is projected to be higher than Levshunov's and that is why there was hope the Blackhawks would go with the Russian player.

The Blackhawks will at least avoid having to compare what Demidov does with his NHL career in regards to what Levshunov does.

That is because the Anaheim Ducks decided to take forward Beckett Sennecke at No. 3 overall and then the Columbus Blue Jackets took Cayden Lindstrom at No. 4.

The Ducks for the second straight draft deviated from the beaten path by taking Sennecke over what many draft experts viewed as the best international skating prospect in Demidov. Adam Fantilli was projected to be the No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft when the Ducks shocked the world by taking Leo Carlsson instead.

Lindstrom is a big, fast skater who would have been the ideal prospect for the Blackhawks had they not been drafting so high. He battled some injuries this year at the juniors that knocked him out of being considered as the second pick.

It makes sense for those franchises' fanbases to worry if their team made a mistake rather than the Blackhawks since the Hawks had a legit need on the blueline and Levshunov is an outstanding prospect in his own right.

At least Levshunov was considered the best defensive prospect in the draft whereas Sennecke was not even considered a top 10 prospect by many draft experts. Lindstrom had been consistently ranked behind Demidov. Then again, what matters are the team's draft boards and not the rankings of draft sites (even though a lot of them do great work).

Demidov did get a star-studded welcome to the NHL when he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens.

The Habs fanbase was hoping the Canadiens would take Demidov maybe even more than the Blackhawks fanbase did. The Blackhawks should not be ashamed of taking a highly talented blueliner. Levshunov hopefully has a Duncan Keith-like impact on the franchise as that will make passing on Demidov seem like it was nothing.

If Demidov fulfills his potential and becomes a superstar, it also helps that two other franchises did not take him and will be missing out.