Pre-Lottery 1st Round Mock Draft for the Blackhawks

Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympics - Day 13
Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympics - Day 13 / RvS.Media/Basile Barbey/GettyImages

With just 18 days until our fate is sealed, it's good to take a quick look at what could happen in the June draft. Central Scouting (CSS), visit for the list, just came out with their final rankings. While I disagree with some of their rankings, it's important to note that no one will truly know how it plays out for 5-8 years into a players career.

I am going to go into this mock based on what I believe that particular team might do, with influence on how I personally am ranking the prospects. Remember as always, I firmly believe that drafting for current needs is foolish. A player drafted 15-50 will likely be ready in 2-4 seasons and a teams' needs will greatly change by then. You take the best player on the board, everytime.

I am going to go with the truest of orders: just one sim lottery and then drafting with that order... It didn't go our way on that 1 "spin".

1. Columbus - C/RW Connor Bedard

Note: This is a no-brainer / franchise changer of a selection for any team. Columbus should easily put a great group of players around him right away.

2. Philadelphia - C Adam Fantilli

Note: The Flyers get their future captain and dominant two way center here. This would change their direction from fire-sale team to re-tooling team from day 1 he is drafted.

3. Anaheim - C / LW Leo Carlsson

Note: I believe the Ducks would go with the bigger, more developed player here. They have Zegras, McTavish, and Terry already and adding Carlsson would nicely balance out their core of forwards.

4. Chicago - C Will Smith

Note: Maybe the toughest draft position to be in. The Hawks would be looking at Smith, Benson, and Michkov most likely. I've listened to some scouts recently talk about Smith and it has sold me on his game breaking ability. I reviewed his games against better competition and saw a player with an extra burst of speed than most. Even though he is of average size, I think his offensive IQ is ahead of alot of players at this stage of development. If Benson were a center than it'd be Benson here, but Smith appears too good to pass on if this was the scenario.

5. San Jose - C Nate Danielson

Note: The Sharks could come out of this draft with an entirely new direction if they so choose. I believe Danielson is way better than even his recent move up in the rankings. This is an elite skating two way center with size. I think San Jose is firmly looking for that long term 1C.

6. Montreal - RW Zach Benson

Note: I think the Habs would be thrilled if Benson were available for them. While they do have Caulfield in a similar position, this is an elite playmaker from the right dot and should be ready within a season.

7. Arizona - RW Matvei Michkov

Note: The true wildcard of the draft, Michkov would be ideally placed in Arizona. His KHL contracts lines up with both the new arena as well as the development of their elite prospects like Logan Cooley.

8. Washington - C Oliver Moore

Note: The Caps are definitely a team that could draft in any which direction. When it comes down to it, they need playmaking up the middle in the future. They could be patient with the future Golden Gopher and it could prove to be the best move in years to come.

9. Detroit - RW Matthew Wood

Note: Yzerman isn't shy about grabbing the guy he wants, no matter the draft position, however I think Matthew Wood is too good to pass on here. He would represent a nice compliment to their rising core as a big, physical, and dependable wing.

10. St. Louis - D David Reinbacher

Note: The Blues have 3 picks in the first and I expect them to try and re-tool their team quickly around recently signed stars Kyrou and Thomas. Reinbacher has been a quick riser over the last few months and there is a lot to like. Moving up in competition, the right shot D has size, smarts, and a physical frame that appears to be fast-tracking to the NHL.

11. Vancouver - LW Colby Barlow

Note: Barlow is a scorer. That's what he will be in the NHL. Well-rounded player, defense, back-checking etc may not be apart of his game but Barlow will score at every level he is at in a variety of ways. The Canucks are going to need some firepower moving forward and I think Barlow is one of the safer picks when it comes to that skill.

12. Arizona - RW Ryan Leonard

Note: Gritty, skilled, with a little nasty to his game, Leonard should be a fan favorite quickly. This is the pick acquired in the Chychrun deal and if Ryan Leonard is the pick, then Yotes fans should be beyond happy.

13. Buffalo - C Dalibor Dvorsky

Note: One of the safer picks in the draft to me, Dvorsky has a very high floor although his ceiling to me is likely a middle line center. I think you can pencil him in as a two way dependable center for years to come and put him in all situations without a worry.

14. Pittsburgh - D Lukas Dragicevic

Note: The Pens are a mess and it will likely only get worse. Hitting on this picks is important for a quick turnaround. At some point in the near fututre Kris Letang will need to hand over the Power Play QB spot and the best in this draft is Dragicevic. This pick would be a perfect fit.

15. Nashville - D Axel Sandin-Pellikka

Notes: The Preds may soon be in full rebuild mode and if that it is the case, I think drafting talented defenseman is paramount to shorten that plan. I think drafting D, as it typically takes them longer, to start a rebuild is the smart way to go. Sandin-Pellikka looks like a player with the skill and experience to be a top 4 D in the NHL.

16. Calgary - RW Gavin Brindley

Notes: Brindley has improved every month he has been at Michigan. He has toughness, skill, and compete to spare. I think this what the Flames are looking for. If I were Calgary, I'd take a hard look at the well-rounded forwards at 16.

17. Montreal - RW Gabe Perreault

18. Detroit - D Oliver Bonk

19. Winnipeg - C Sam Honzek

20. Chicago - LW Andrew Cristall

Notes: This reminds me of the Frank Nazar situation where we maybe would want to draft him higher, but just got lucky and he fell to us. Cristall is not the best skater and definitely doesn't have the size. He is a scorer though and looks like he could fill up the stat sheet if paired with an elite center. Let the Smith to Cristall era begin.

21. Seattle - RW Lenni Hameenaho

22. Minnesota - C Danny Nelson

23. Columbus - LW Brayden Yager

24. New York Rangers - RW Koehn Ziemmer

25. St. Louis - C Riley Heidt

26. Nashville - D Tanner Molendyk

27. St. Louis - RW Etahn Gauthier

28. San Jose - RW Eduard Sale

29. Colorado - D Beau Akey

30. Carolina - LW Bradley Nadeau

31. Vegas - D Etienne Morin

32. Toronto - C Quentin Musty

As you can see, there are some big name not in my first round, that's how deep and good this top 50 is this year. Most players drafted in the second round this draft would have likely been 1st round selections just a year ago.

The draft is in a little over 2 months, but it is never too early to get to know these potential future Blackhawks.