Evaluating the Chicago Blackhawks options for the No. 2 overall pick between Levshunov or Demidov

SKA Hockey Club player, Ivan Demidov (11) seen in action...
SKA Hockey Club player, Ivan Demidov (11) seen in action... / SOPA Images/GettyImages
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Ivan Demidov

Going into the 2024 Draft, many consider Ivan Demidov to be the most skilled forward the class has to offer. He has lethal offensive capabilities which was apparent this season in the Russian junior leagues (MHL). Demidov's 60 points in 30 games for SKA-1946 St. Petersburg showed just how dangerous he is when the puck is on his stick. His playoff performance also speaks for itself, with 28 points in 17 playoff games, Demidov proved this season that he is a potential game-breaker.

Demidov's puck skills and awareness are his biggest strengths and always have been. He is a patient player who knows how to create space for himself and his teammates. Demidov thinks the game at a very high level which is why he dominated the Russian junior league this season. His shot is not the strongest in the draft, but he is a very accurate shooter who knows exactly where he wants to place the puck.

One area Demidov can improve upon is his defensive game. While it is not as weak as some may think, there is room for him to develop it further. He is very active in the defensive zone which shows potential for him to have a stronger two-way game in the future.

Demidov did not get much playing time when called up to SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL, which is usually the case for a teenager in that league. He will spend another season in Russia where he is expected to play in the KHL full-time before making the jump to North America. Though many are skeptical if he will come over to the NHL, the Blackhawks don't seem to be worried.

Demidov projects as a first-line winger in the NHL and a potential star forward. If the Blackhawks select him with their pick, he could be the right-hand man to Connor Bedard for years to come. The team doesn't have a prospect with the offensive ceiling as Demidov, and adding a player like him could give them another star for the future.