The History of the Chicago Blackhawks Drafting Inside the Top 10

Why it's likely they won't hit on every selection ?

Chicago Blackhawks v Dallas Stars
Chicago Blackhawks v Dallas Stars / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Saturday's thrilling comeback OT victory over the San Jose Sharks was a matchup between the two teams at the bottom of the league. So, while the comeback and eventual win was exciting, it ultimately will still likely net in a drafting position between 1 and 4 at the end of June.

This upcoming draft, explained in detail throughout the season thus far, looks to have one elite prospect while the rest aren't as sure of things for the teams drafting inside the top 5 let alone top 10. If not Macklin Celebrini at #1 overall, Kyle Davidson could have a very difficult choice ahead of him. Will it be a steady and top 4 projected defenseman like an Artyom Levshunov or Sam Dickinson, perhaps a swing at the fences on a Cayden Lindstrom, or maybe you draft the production and dynamic offensive skill traits of Berkly Catton or Ivan Demidov? Time will tell, so let's take a look at how the Blackhawks have faired over time in this situation. More importantly, how the recent dynasty was built.

Patrick Kane
Vegas Golden Knights v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Working backwards (most recent) here are the times the Blackhawks have drafted inside the top 10:

2023: Connor Bedard (#1) - Clearly it's been a short time, but so far so good for the highly touted Canadian center.

2022: Kevin Korchinski (#7) - In this, his rookie season, Kevin has had his shares of ups and downs but appears to be learning the NHL game as he develops both physically and mentally.

2019: Kirby Dach (#3) - A big skilled center out of western Canada, Dach has shown flashes of becoming a highly productive top 6 player with Montreal. Injuries and indecisions on position placement led to the Blackhawks trading him (a trade that would net them Frank Nazar and Gavin Hayes).

2018: Adam Boqvist (#8) - A smaller, but skilled offensive defenseman, the drafting of Boqvist by former GM Stan Bowman was orginally suppose to be the next player that would handle the Power Play 1 QB role held by dynasty icon Duncan Keith. Boqvist would ultimately be traded for Seth Jones and has seen his injury history and one sided play continue in Columbus.

2007: Patrick Kane (#1) - Kane will go down as one of the greatest Blackhawk players of all time. A 3 time Stanley Cup champion, amongst many accolades, Kane lived up to his expectations as a #1 overall pick.

2006: Jonathan Toews (#3) - Thank you to the Penguins for not drafting him first and foremost. Toews is a franchise icon and should have his number retired shortly. With Patrick Kane, Toews helped make up one of the most dominant eras of Chicago hockey.

2005: Jack Skille (#7) - Skille never panned out as an NHL player with just 84 points skating with 4 different teams.

2004: Cam Barker (#3) - This one still hurts as it was a draft with a clear cut top 2 franchise level players in it (Ovechkin and Malkin). Playing in just over 300 NHL games, it was viewed as a pick that could start a rebuild at the back end. While Barker did have one 40pt season in Chicago, he ultimately would move on and play for 3 different teams before moving his game to Europe (Russia, Switzerland, and France) before retiring.

2001: Tuomo Ruutu (#9) - This was right around when the internet started up, however there was still mostly just whispers via newspaper and the 5 min sports report on the ultra talented Finnish forward. Ruutu would end up having an average career (346 points) despite showcasing elite skill traits in his rookie season with the Hawks (44 points with 23 goals) that made it seem like Chicago could have a superstar on their hands.

2000: Mikhail Yakubov (#10) - The first of 2 back to back picks, the big Russian center played in only 53 NHL games (only 40 with the Blackhawks) before going back to Russia for a long career.

1998: Mark Bell (#8) - Bell was a really solid NHL player and played well for the Hawks over 5 seasons, including 2 seasons with over 20 goals. Ultimately Mark Bell would end his NHL career with 450 games and 182 points which are typically in line with good 3rd line forwards.

1989: Adam Bennett (#6) - 21. 21 games played for the Blackhawks as the #6 overall selection. 11. 11 total points in his NHL career.

1988: Jeremy Roenick (#8) - Confident, brashness, and smooth.... Roenick would go on to be one of Chicago's favorite players due to his exciting brand of hockey. With over 1200 points in his career, including 3 straight 100+ point years with the Hawks, Jeremy Roenick is still recognized as a franchise player by fans young and old.

1987: Jimmy Waite (#8) - The Hawks goalie coach was drafted in an era when such positions were taken this high. Waite would never pan out into an elite netminder in the NHL and his career would see him bounce between different leagues.

1984: Ed Olyczyk (#3) - The local hockey hero got to be drafted by his childhood team and even with lofty expectations and pressure, would finish his long career (over 1000 games) with nearly 900 regular season points.

1982: Ken Yaremchuk (#7) - The Edmonton native was one of the more exciting WHL players (over 400 points in 3 WHL seasons) and it was believed that his dynamic goal scoring would translate quickly to the NHL. With just 36 goals in his career, Yaremchuk would finish his playing days in Europe (Italy and Switzerland).

1980: Denis Savard (#3) - One of the best ever to wear the jersey for the Hawks. With 5 seasons of 100+ points, dazzling plays, and a constant connection to the city Denis Savard will always be viewed at as one of the franchises best.

Before the selection of Savard there would be a handful of top picks panning out for the Blackhawks, however if you really look throughout history it's almost 40/60 (against) on if a top 10 selection will eventually turn into a Hawks' mainstay player.

As the Blackhawks near yet another pick inside the top 10 it's important to note that it typically takes 4-7 years to determine the path (in terms of being a Blackhawk) for these type of players. So which category will the 2024 pick be in? The one that has the likes of Kane, Toews, Savard, and Olyczyk in it or maybe the one with Barker, Skille, Bennett, and Yakubov in it?