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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Artyom Levshunov

Artyom Levshunov is the top defenseman in the draft, and rightfully so. The Belarus native played his first North American season with the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL last season before emerging as a top defenseman at Michigan State (NCAA) as a freshman.

The 6-foot-2 defenseman tallied 35 points in 38 NCAA games with Michigan State, surpassing draft-year numbers of many talented NHL defensemen such as Quinn Hughes. He is a strong skating defender who keeps improving his overall defensive game. Levshunov is also a very smart defender who knows when to join the rush on offense, often leading to quality scoring chances for his team.

Levshunov's defensive game was seen a quite shaky when he played in the USHL, but he showed this year in the NCAA that he is capable of shutting down opposing team's top players. His two-way game is what makes him such an intriguing option for the Blackhawks. He plays a very poised game for someone his size which has led to him earning the trust of his coaches.

He also is a right handed defenseman, which the Blackhawks do not have many of in their system. While the Blackhawks do have a lot of young defensemen in their prospect pool, they don't have one with the potential of Levshunov. His combination of size and skill, along with his quick adaptability, makes him a strong candidate to be the Blackhawks premiere defenseman of the future.

Levshunov will likely play one more season in college before making the jump to the NHL, but his arrival in Chicago would be much anticipated.