Who were the absolute best, worst, and most intriguing picks in the Blackhawks draft class?

Few enjoyed a better draft than the Chicago Blackhawks, and with so many picks, it’s hard to pick out a clear-cut best and most intriguing.
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Yeah, you can make a sound argument that the Blackhawks won the first round of the 2024 NHL Draft, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t have a slip-up or two. That said, it didn’t quite happen in the first round, as not only was I impressed, but so were others, and our small sample size here should foreshadow what a strong contingent of the fanbase also thought. 

Obviously, I’m a fan of Artyom Levshunov, but the best pick of the draft was none other than Marek Vanacker, whose 82 points and 36 goals this past season should turn a lot of heads in the Blackhawks fanbase. 

Trading up to No. 27 overall to snag Vanacker was one of the most brilliant moves of the 2024 draft, so major props to general manager Kyle Davidson there. The size and productivity are there, and I can see Vanacker just dominating as one of the OHL’s best, if not their best, players in 2024-25. 

Blackhawks enjoyed an excellent draft, but they had a few hiccups

I was not a fan of the AJ Spellacy pick at all, even if I didn’t mind him as a player. It, like many of the “bad picks” out there, wasn’t necessarily me feeling as though AJ Spellacy won’t eventually turn into an ultra-productive player or anything like that, but it’s more of the fact of who was still on the board when Kyle Davidson picked him. 

He selected Spellacy over the likes of Alexis Bernier, Henry Mews, and especially William Zellers, and it’s something I still can’t figure out. Mews, especially, was a mystery, because he was a player I wouldn’t have been surprised to see go toward the end of the first or at least in the early second round. So to pass on him and take Spellacy instead is just a mystery that, hopefully, ends with a sound resolution for the Blackhawks. 

But you can’t say the same about the No. 67 pick, John Mustard, who was another underrated player I could have seen going much earlier than the third round. The 17-year-old was already averaging a half-goal per game with the Waterloo Black Hawks, and he was one of the most entertaining prospects in this draft class. Look for some repeat performances throughout his college hockey career at Providence. 


(Statistics powered by Elite Prospects)