Why the Chicago Blackhawks should look into selecting Cole Eiserman

Eiserman has fallen down draft rankings, but he can score with the best of them.
U18 Ice Hockey World Championship 2023 - United States v Sweden
U18 Ice Hockey World Championship 2023 - United States v Sweden / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

What do the Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, and Carolina Hurricanes all have in common? Aside from advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they all have at least two 30-goal scorers in their lineups. The saying goes “defense wins championships”, but offense gets you into the playoffs. And, according to GM Kyle Davidson, that’s where the Blackhawks plan to be soon.

This season, Connor Bedard and Jason Dickinson tied for the team lead with 22 goals. Bedard could reasonably contend for 40 goals next season, but no one else projected to be in the lineup appears to be a threat to crack the 30 mark. Frank Nazar and Landon Slaggert both have decent offensive potential, but goal-scoring is neither of their fortes.

2023 first-rounder Oliver Moore had a great freshman season at the University of Minnesota, but only potted nine goals. Ryan Greene, another potential top-six forward, managed 12 this year at Boston University. If Davidson is serious about turning this squad into a playoff roster shortly, he must prioritize acquiring players who can put the puck in the back of the net.

This leads to the US National Team Development Program’s Cole Eiserman.

Eiserman has fallen down the draft rankings. Mock drafts earlier in the season projected him to go fifth overall. Blackhawk Up’s most recent mock draft has him going 13th, citing a lack of consistency as the reason for his fall down the draft board.

While there are questions about Eiserman’s overall game, something that cannot be questioned is his scoring touch. Over the past two seasons, through 56 USHL games, he tallied 53 goals. Keep in mind, he was doing this as a 16 and 17-year-old, often against players three years his senior. Eiserman’s 0.94 goals-per-game average is better than NTDP alum Cole Caufield’s 0.86. Caufield was another player who went later than he should have in the draft due to concerns his play style wouldn’t translate to the NHL.

After two productive seasons at the University of Wisconsin (including a Hobey Baker win as college hockey’s top player), Caufield has become a key piece in Montreal’s rebuild. Eiserman is slated to join Greene at powerhouse BU next year and already has pro size (six feet, 196 pounds). If the Hawks were to select Eiserman, he could potentially join them as early as next spring.

I understand teams may not want to select a player if they are unsure he can contribute for a full 60 minutes, but Davidson has prioritized speed and compete in the players he has already selected. There is room for Eiserman in Chicago due to his elite scoring. Look at Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. They were never known for their commitment to defense with the Hawks, but no one complained about that because they were scoring more goals than they gave up.

With the Hawks owning Tampa Bay’s first-round pick, there’s a good chance Eiserman could fall into their laps. If not, Davidson could easily trade up a couple spots with his abundance of draft capital and land what could be the top goal-scorer in the class.

The Hawks finished dead-last in goals-per-game last season, and, as of now, don’t project to finish much higher in the years to come. If Eiserman is available June 28th, Davidson should seriously consider selecting him and adding some much needed oomph to a stale Chicago offense.