Grading Kyle Davidson's first-round picks in his third draft as Chicago Blackhawks GM

Kyle Davidson has now gone through three drafts as the GM of the Chicago Blackhawks. It is fair at this point to draw conclusions about his overall draft philosophy and to assess whether that philosophy is bearing fruit for the Blackhawks.
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Now, time for a bit of criticism.

Again, I would have taken Demidov at No. 2 overall. I felt (and still feel) that his overall offensive potential would have been perfect in a decades-long fit beside Connor Bedard. That could have been our Crosby-Malkin or Kane-Toews duo going forward and I am admittedly bummed that we won't get to see that.

Furthermore, I felt that the other two trades that Davidson made were... odd.

Sending a second-round pick and number 20 overall to the New York Islanders to move up two spots, and then late last night sending the Hurricanes the number 34 and number 50 pick to move up to number 27, are signs of two things in my opinion.

1) Again, Davidson loved "his guys" and he went out and moved whatever he needed to to get them. 2) Davidson is aware of the fact that the Hawks pipeline is beginning to get a bit crowded, and so he opted for the old "quality over quantity" strategy. I like that idea, however, the two picks that he made carry some risk.

Davidson has now selected eight players in the first round across three drafts, and we should commend him for taking the necessary risks to get those players. Heck, even the strategy of tanking to get Bedard carried an immense risk, but that one paid off very nicely.

Eventually, I predict that Davidson and the Hawks will be burned by playing this aggressive strategy of moving whatever we must acquire "our guy", but for now, the results seem very positive.