Do the Chicago Blackhawks have the NHL's Best Prospect Pool?

Not yet...
Cleveland Guardians v Chicago Cubs
Cleveland Guardians v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

With the season still 2 months away it's hard not to get excited seeing Connor Bedard in a Blackhawks jersey on the ice for the first time. While his reputation has earned him high praise, rightfully so, he certainly by all accounts is still a prospect. That makes him apart of our future and thusly our prospect pool of players.

While Connor Bedard is the leagues best prospect (not debatable) it is important to note this is a team game that requires quantity as well as quality to equate to true team success. Kyle Davidson, since taking over both as interim and now as full-time GM, has now drafted two classes while at the same time stripping down the parts of the old regime. This means a complete restart, which by all accounts was long over-due.

So what has Davidson done and what do we have? For that, please click this paragraph for my "Top 50 Blackhawks Prospects" article I wrote after the draft.

In the article, while doing my research, I was constantly in awe that I could actually make a list with 50 players on it. When you look around the league, it's more common to only have 30-40 players you could count as true prospects.

So that means we have the best prospect pool? From my perspective, not quite yet. When looking around the league I see a few teams that have prospect quality (NHL elite talent - to quality NHL depth - to AHL depth) that is slightly ahead of ours due to the amount of years they've been adding.

The Sabres, Ducks, and Blue Jackets all come to mind when looking through their talent as clubs that have an edge on our list as it currently stands. Do they have a "Connor Bedard" ? No, they don't however instead they all boast depth in the top 6 or top 4 projected NHL talent category that ultimately translates to wins in the league.

The Sabres have been building through the draft for what seems like forever. They also just got a steal in Zach Benson at #13 this past draft. He was my #5 rated prospect (my opinion). Add to that (under 100 games / 23 years old) recent #1 pick Owen Power, Matthew Savoie, Jiri Kulich, Devon Levi, Noah Ostlund, Isak Rosen, JJ Peterka, and Jack Quinn (and honestly 10 more NHL projected players) and it's hard to argue they don't have the leagues best group.

The Ducks surprised almost everyone by bypassing Adam Fantilli for Leo Carlsson at the draft. I am well on record as saying they will regret this. Not because Carlsson won't be a really good player, but because Fantilli has the look of an elite 2 way center that will wear a captains patch one day. Despite this opinion, the Ducks are loaded with young talent that will be arriving in Anaheim quickly. Carlsson, Zellweger, Mintyukov, Gaucher, Dostal, Pastujov, Hinds, Perreault, Luneau, Warren, Helleson, and Lacombe amongst the group are all but ready to have their NHL futures begin.

Lastly, the Columbus Blue Jackets. They "lost and won" the draft right? Another year with great odds and yet they fall to 3rd... only to get a worthy #1 overall pick in Adam Fantilli. Add to that what I think is the #1 defensive prospect in all of hockey David Jiricek. Add to those 2 elite chips the likes of Kent Johnson, Mateychuk, Tarasov, Del bel Belluz, Svozil, Ceulemans, and Dumais and it looks like a new direction for the franchise.

Some other franchsies that boast a good young prospect core include; Detroit, New Jersey, Arizona, and Minnesota as other teams that I think compare however at the moment Chicago is ahead of. I think the Blackhawks have the 3rd or 4th best "pool" of prosepcts in hockey as it stands. The real question will be; once Connor Bedard is not a propect where will our prospect core rank? If we can keep it in the top 5 of the league with strong drafts, then the wins will start coming in from my perspective. Connor Bedard can't do it all by himself after all.

Connor Bedard, Oliver Moore, Adam Gajan, Martin Misiak, Nick Lardis, Milton Oscarson
Chicago Blackhawks Welcome Event for the 2023 NHL Draft Class / Michael Reaves/GettyImages