Will Berkly Catton Slide Far Enough in the 2024 NHL Draft for the Chicago Blackhawks to Draft Him?

Spokane Chiefs v Winnipeg Ice
Spokane Chiefs v Winnipeg Ice / Jonathan Kozub/GettyImages

The narrative over the years has been pretty consistent, that under six foot wing prospects will not go amongst the top picks in the draft. Despite their production, skill traits, and modern NHL rules for whatever the reason may be, players like Berkly Catton don't go in the top five selections often.

Sure, Connor Bedard is an exception here... but we are talking about a generational talent that just averaged .90 ppg as a true eighteen year old. That doesn't happen often, if ever. What does happen is that players like Alex DeBrincat go in the 2nd round or a player like a Cole Caulfield or Zach Benson escape the top ten picks.

Alex DeBrincat
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

325 points in 187 games

Let that sink in. That's the combined production of the three players mentioned in their draft minus one years. None of these players were drafted in the top ten picks of their respective draft years. Berkly Catton just completed his draft minus year: 116 points in 68 games. Now, let that sink in.

In comparison, those are the numbers of three elite wing prospects at the same level that are below six feet that combined were at 1.73 ppg in their draft eligible campaigns. Berkly Catton just finished his draft eligible year at 1.71 ppg and shows alot of the same skill traits that the three establised NHL wings did (Zach Benson finished with 30 points in 71 games as a rookie).

Zach Benson
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages

Looking at the draft pool this year, the defense class (the top 6 defenders being Levshunov, Dickinson, Silayev, Buium, Parekh, and Yakemchuk) will certainly all go quite high. Then there are some intriguing players average to good size in Cayden Lindstrom, Macklin Celebrini, Liam Greentree, Tij Iginla, Trevor Connelly, or Cole Eiserman. Ivan Demidov, a similarly sized player at the same position, is likely to go ahead of Catton.

That could be as many as twelve to thirteen players that may be considered before Berkly Catton. For the record, we at Blackhawk Up firmly have Berkly Catton going inside the top ten picks of the draft, however you can start to see a scenario based on history where Catton could fall.

Cole Caufield
Detroit Red Wings vs Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Is this where, having already taken a defenseman in the top four picks, Kyle Davidson decides to try and use some of the assets he's acquired of late to move up from the 19th/20th spot to get a talented wing. Would a New Jersey, Buffalo, Philadelphia, or Minnesota be a willing trade partner to stock pile picks instead of taking a player they don't prefer. These particular four teams do all have young players (Jesper Bratt, Zach Benson, Bobby Brink, and Marco Rossi) that are perhaps too much alike to Catton to want to draft another similarly profiled forward.

So if say Buffalo likes eight to nine prospects on the same tier scale and they want #19, #54, and Isaak Phillips (to fill in their defensive depth) who would say no? While at today's date it may seem like a dream to get two elite prospects, just look back a few years throughout the drafts and see all the highly productive similar in stature players that NHL GMs wish they didn't pass on.