It’s official, the Chicago Blackhawks will be selecting 8th overall in the 2018 entry draft.
The televised event of the draft lottery selection saw Carolina making the biggest jump going from 11th to 2nd. The Hawks were originally slated to pick 7th and dropped 1 spot. Could have been worse.
To give you perspective, there have been some really strong picks in the 8th slot over the past 7 years:
2017: Casey Mittelstadt (BUF)
2016: Alex Nylander (BUF)
2015: Zach Werenski (CBJ)
2014: William Nylander (TOR)
2013: Rasmus Ristolainen (BUF)
2012: Derrick Pouliot (PIT)
2011: Sean Couturier (PHL)
That’s a great track record of talent (and potential talent) for Stan, Mark Kelley and Co.
The Hawks have drafted 8th overall 3 times in the past with Jeremy Roenick in 1988 as the best. The other 2 were current goaltending coach, Jimmy Waite (1987) and Mark Bell (1998).
According to the message boards, you have all been checking out the mock drafts a lot lately now that we know where the Hawks are selecting.
In most that I’ve read, it looks like the realistic views have Chicago grabbing one of Evan Bouchard, Quinn Hughes, Noah Dobson, Adam Boqvist or Oliver Wahlstrom.
That’s a lot of defencemen to go along with Wahlstrom as the repeat offenders in these lists. I like the sounds of that. I’ve been beating the DE-FENCE drum for a while now.
So, let’s say for the sake of this blog that any player the Hawks select is 2-3 years away from the NHL. What will be the greatest need at this time with this team? Obviously, they will look to take the most talented player, but I know Stan will be thinking long-term with this pick as well.
With the shape this team is in currently, they could have a few holes still in a few years. Off the top of my head, I would highlight a few areas/players that I am excited to see them fill to get back to contention:
1) really solid, 2-way defencemen with shut-down capabilities (Bouchard, Dobson)
2) offensive defenceman with the ability to run a PP and take over a game with skating/rushing ability (Boqvist, Hughes)
3) game-changing forward with speed and creative instincts (Wahlstrom)
I know there are others that fall into these categories, I’m just trying to look at it from who I realistically think they’ll take and which categories that player will fall into to help this team in the future.
I will also not pretend that I’m a scouting expert/have time to watch all of these kids, but I have been reading up a lot and checking in with some of my contacts from the CHL and other leagues.
Now that the dust has settled on the draft order, who do you think the Blackhawks should take?
See ya out there!