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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The Hawks Three First Round Picks

Artyom Levshunov is as elite of a defensive prospect as you will find in any draft.

Despite my stated disappointment in not getting Demidov, the Hawks will walk away from this draft with very likely a future No. 1 defenseman. He is as talented offensively as he is defensively, and he projects as a duel-threat defender who can play 25+ minutes a night and play on the powerplay, as well as on the penalty kill.

I think what makes this pick particularly exciting is that Levshunov is elite right now (at his level of Hockey) and yet, it feels like there is so much room for him to grow. The Blackhawks organization adores this kid, and Hawks fans should too. Oh, and his personality is gold. I know that shouldn't be the deciding factor in drafting players, but really Chicago could use some more characters in the locker room and Levshunov is that.

Sasha Boisvert is a noted goal scorer and he has very nice size for an 18-year-old.

I feel like Blackhawks fans may disagree with giving Davidson such a high score for this draft, especially after it seemed like they had fallen in love with Demidov, and then they were screaming for him to pick Cole Eiserman at No. 18.

Marek Vanacker was a fast-rising prospect in the draft so it isn't surprising to see him go here.

He was typically ranked somewhere between 25 and 40, but again as the draft was approaching it seems that his stock was rising. He is described as a "200-foot left-handed shot who is a strong skater and can dig in on the forecheck or backcheck." I like this pick as again, it is Davidson identifying a player that fits a certain style of hockey that the Hawks want to play.