The Blackhawks have some decisions to make, and they have some late draft picks this year. One of those decisions is who to take with those selections. A player that I have had my eye on, is currently a member of the USHL, playing for the Chicago Steel. Jake Livanavage put up 45 points in 61 games this season as an 04-born defenseman. He’s currently projected to go in the mid rounds of the upcoming entry draft.
"A heads up, mobile defenseman that is highly underrated on the 2022 NHL Entry Draft radar"- The Scouting News
I was able to get a few questions fired off to Jake, and here are his responses!
Did you have a favourite player/team growing up?
I would say my favorite team growing up had to be the L.A. Kings. I got to watch them win the Cup when they beat the Rangers in Game 5 in L.A. and ever since then, it’s kind of stayed with the Kings. My favorite player growing up was Jeff Carter. I just loved the work ethic and what he brought to the game. Now I have to say my favorite player is Auston Matthews just being from Arizona and being able to skate with him through the summers and everything.
Who do you try and model your game after?
I like to model my game after Jared Spurgeon as an under-sized D man. I think he brings a lot of compete, he plays very well on both sides of the puck and excels on the Power Play.
Is there a teammate you played with who’s work ethic stands out to you?
One teammate’s work ethic I will always remember is Christian Manz (rookie goaltender for the Steel this past season). He came in not expecting much but he worked every day which made the coaches play him. Ever since day one, he would put his head down and go to work.
Obviously we’d love to see you come to the Blackhawks and stay in Chicago! But do you have any preferences for teams that pick you in the draft?
Honestly, I don’t have a preference. If I am lucky enough to get selected by any team it would just be a dream come true and I would be happy anywhere I end up.
Jake is currently committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2022-23 season, where he will be able to show the world, and the team that picks him, why he deserves to be an NHL defenseman. His scoring ability, his work ethic and his 200 foot game have stood out to NHL scouts, so hopefully the Blackhawks jump all over him if he’s still available. Best of luck to you Jake, big thanks to you, Dan Vatch and the Chicago Steel for this opportunity to talk!