What do the Blackhawks Need from the 2024 Draft Class (Top 10 Mock Draft)

A way too early look ahead

London Knights v Windsor Spitfires
London Knights v Windsor Spitfires / Dennis Pajot/GettyImages

I just did an article detailing how the season may play out with teams "racing towards the bottom".

While it looks like the Sharks and the Flyers are already leading that race, it does stand to reason that the Chicago Blackhawks won't be too far behind that pace. With 59 points last season, adding in Connor Bedard and some experienced veteran forwards, it appears like there will be improvement, just perhaps marginally so.

My expectation is that the teams at the bottom of the standings will sell off early next season due to the fact it looks like there are (again) a clear top 4 players in the 2024 draft. Those players appear to be Macklin Celebrini, Ivan Demidov, Cole Eiserman, and Berkly Catton. After those 4 there will likely be a run on defense as the 2024 class boasts a very healthy amount of 1st round graded blue liners.

Amongst those defenseman in the 2024 1st round mix are: Sam Dickinson, Aron Kiviharju, Will Skahan, Artyom Levshunov, Henry Mews, Cole Hutson, Adam Jiricek, and Zayne Parekh. While I don't expect the Blackhawks to target a defenseman if in the top 4 picks, I do expect them to leave the next draft with at least one player that projects as a top 4 defender for the future.

So how might the top 10 look next June for the 2024 NHL Draft? Here is a way too early look on how I might draft if I were these teams GMs:

1. Flyers - C Macklin Celebrini

2. Sharks - RW Ivan Demidov

3. Senators - LW Cole Eiserman

4. Blues - RW Berkly Catton

5. Predators - LD Sam Dickinson

6. Blackhawks - RD Henry Mews

7. Coyotes - RW Beckett Sennecke

8. Islanders - RW Konsta Helenius

9. Canadiens - LD Aron Kiviharju

10. Ducks - RW Maxim Masse

In terms of what Chicago should do, I think that if they fall within the top 4 they must take one of those talented forwards. If they draft 5-11 range though I think that the defense prospects offer a wide array of options for Kyle Davidson. Dickinson, Mews, and Kiviharju are my top 3 right now. I also think Jiricek, Levshunov, and Charlie Elick look like players that fit nicely into our prospect core. I especially like Charlie Elick and could see the Chicago brass similarly looking at him most of the year.

Elick has size, is a right shot defensive defenseman, and plays in the WHL getting a teams best foward line each night. He went 3rd overall in the 2021 Bantam draft and demonstrates calm decision making under pressure, typically making the correct passes with accuracy.

If the draft played out where the Hawks drafted say 6th and 23rd (Tampa Bay) and we took two RHD in Henry Mews and Charlie Elick... I'd feel alot better about having an elite top 4 in the future then I do right now. While this draft has 4 elite forwards (and possibly 5 with Helenius) the real strength appears to be in the depth of quality 1st round talent at the blue line.