3 first-round talents the Blackhawks can steal in Round 2 of the NHL Draft

With two picks in the second round heading into the NHL Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks can land first-round-caliber talent in more than just Round 1.
U18 Five Nations Tournament
U18 Five Nations Tournament / Michael Miller/ISI Photos/GettyImages
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Young organizations amidst a rebuilding project are the most interesting ones to watch in the NHL Draft, and the Chicago Blackhawks may top the list. One reason is that, unlike the San Jose Sharks, we don’t know what general manager Kyle Davidson wants to do with his plethora of first-, second-, and third-round picks. 

He has so many in the second and third rounds that there is a realistic chance the Blackhawks can land all three of the following first-round-caliber talents should they be available on Day 2. Two of the three players listed below could even fall as late as the third round, even if someone could scoop them up as early as the late-first, giving them a wide range of where they could fall.

The first player listed, however, is one who shouldn’t make it past the middle of the second round if he’s not drafted in the first, and we will begin our odyssey with them. They were one of the most exciting forwards for the US National Development Team in 2023-24, and many fans in the Windy City and all over the world would like to see him in Chicago’s system. 

Teddy Stiga, C/Boston College

My 32-team mock draft has Teddy Stiga falling to the No. 31 pick to the Anaheim Ducks, but it also doesn’t mean the Boston College product won’t freefall into the second round. If he does, the Blackhawks can easily scoop him up, and it wouldn’t be a bad decision in the slightest, as Stiga, per Elite Prospects, has a “two-way game” and “playmaking ability” listed under his “Player Type” category. 

That’s a good start for the smallish center slash winger who put together a fine season in 2023-24 for the USNTDP Juniors and its U18 team, finishing the year with 117 points and 54 goals in 88 games. Stiga was also an alternate captain for the US U18 team at the World Juniors, showing us that even in a leadership role, he could still adequately perform with 11 points and six goals in seven games. 

A major jump in production from 2022-23 - 33 points and 20 goals in 76 contests that year - should be enough to convince anyone to snag Stiga if he falls to the second round. But Stiga is also an all-around player whose contributions to defense and special teams give him even more steal potential should he drop out of the first round.