Colby Barlow Should be a Target of the Blackhawks
Colby Barlow doesn't look like he just turned 18 and he certainly doesn't play like it either. The Orillioa, Ontario native is already a stout 6'1 187 as a goal scoring LW for the Attack in the OHL. He proudly wears the Captains' patch in his second season with Owen Sound and has amassed an outstanding 44 goals in just 55 matchups so far.
Colby Barlow would have gone in the top 5 or 6 picks last draft, but this isn't last year. Barlow is more likely to go in that 8-13 range due to sheer depth of elite talent (like himself). Owen Sound, with the season winding down, has had an averaage season with 63 points in 58 games, but it is of no fault of Barlows'.
Barlow, while listed as a LW, can and has played center. I believe though his projection is on the wing at the NHL level. He is also not a true "sniper" but more a jack of all trades goal scorer. Barlow consistently cleans up rebounds, hard lines north to south, and picks up tough dot to dot passes for quick hitters into the back of the net.
An improving two-way player as well, Colby has the ear of his team and is vocal during stoppage. He sports a pro level wrister and a frame that looks to fill out into a traditional top line LW sized player at the NHL stage. He has improved in some areas many didn't expect either, like him taking PK time with the Attack and showing a tenacious compete level when trailing.
Colby Barlow looks like a prospect that would be a quick transistion player, one that could be in the NHL within a year. He sports the skill, frame, and maturiity that would enable him to make a quick leap up especially with the opportunities that the Blackhawks would surely afford him.
Now while we all hope to be locked into a top 4 pick, if I were GM Kyle Davidson, I would try to package our Tampa 1st (low to mid 20s currently) along with a mid and late 2nd round pick to move up if Barlow makes it to the 11-13 range. To come out of this draft with a combination of our top selection (Bedard, Fantilli, Michkov, or Carlsson / Benson) along with Colby Barlow would be an A+ draft no matter whom else they select as far as I'm concerned.
We have the draft capital to make a move, but is Colby Barlow the type of player we should go after? From my perspective there is no debate, if he makes it past 10, we go and get him no matter how many picks 33-96 (along with Tampa 1st) we need to give to make that happen.
Here is Barlow playing PK and picking up two short handed goals in World Juniors 10 weeks ago: