With June finally here (aka Connor Bedard month), the Chicago Blackhawks are just about to embark upon a franchise changing time period. June 28th in Nashville (I love that it's there, can't wait for the boo birds) will not only see Connor Bedard, but it will also see many important decisions being made after the first selection.
Will Kyle Davidson move up from #19 or try and move up from #35 to have back to back drafts with 3 first round picks? Will he work his cap space to try and strong arm a valuable asset away from a team in need of cap relief? There are a multitude of tough decisions ahead for the Blackhawks.
One thing that has become apparent from various interviews is that the Blackhawks will make moves and target skating above all else. Some players after #1 that I've circled are Oliver Moore, Nate Danielson, Alex Ciernik, Gabe Perreault, Gavin Brindley, Riley Heidt and Tanner Molendyk in terms of first round options. While I like players like Brayden Yager, Colby Barlow, Oliver Bonk, and Andrew Cristall, I'm not sure they'll be high up on Kyle Davidson's board.
While it's exciting to see a new group of high end prospects enter the Blackhawks' fold, there is also the notion that Chicago could also acquire a veteran player via trade. Brock Boeser and Conor Garland's names have been out there. They are both good top 6 to middle 6 forwards that could be great stop-gap additions for a Connor Bedard led team.
I also expect Davidson to perhaps "push" some picks to later drafts if there aren't players on the board that he deems draftable in terms of fit. So while we are all very excited for the draft and in particular the #1 selection coming to an actual cumulative time, the work is far from over.... it's just begun.