I've admitted I'm no scout many times. Especially looking at these potential draft picks for the Hawks in the 3rd spot, I've leaned on highlights, other scouts and guys like Wiz.
With that being said, for whatever reason, once the Hawks "won the lottery" and jumped on to 3rd, I started my research. I was immediately drawn to Dylan Cozens.
I was all over the fact that he was a centre; a BIG centre at that.
I liked that he came from a small town in Northern Canada (I have a soft spot for small towns as I am from one).
I loved that his path, his style and his fit with what the Blackhawks need in a top draft pick.
Since then I've really wavered on whether he is the right selection for Chicago.
I will leave you with that – as a bit of a tease – as I will have my FINAL pick as if I was Stan Bowman and Mark Kelley later on this week.
Now, let's take a look at Cozens:
This feature from Hockey Canada is a great way to start. You get to know Dylan and what he's all about.
… and a Dylan Cozens highlight pack to see how the speedy, 6'3 centre gets around the ice:
(Courtesy: Western Hockey League)
Here's a snapshot:
The first thing that jumps out to me is that the Caribou Cougars… great name!
Here are the rankings from the Central Scouting, Elite Prospects and Draftsite.com for Cozens:
* 5th by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
* 7th by EliteProspects.com
* 3rd by DraftSite.com
Lastly, Wiz has Cozens in the 3-hole with Chicago taking him. Here's why:
The Blackhawks draft Dylan Cozens if… they don't want to pass on a player with his work ethic, skill and feet, and really strong shot. You don't get many chances draft prospects like this, who win in the corners. (Bill Placzek, DraftSite.com)
Rumors and Trade Stuff
Jacob Trouba – or his rights at least – were dealt to the Rangers for Neil Poink and a 1st rounder. The 1st rounder is actually Winnipeg's original pick that they traded them in the Hayes trade.
The Hawks are very active right now and it's very possible that another trade happens this week. As I mentioned the Hawks are looking at more trade options and possibly looking to do a majority of their upgrading there vs. free agency.
I've heard that the RFAs – the big ones – Marner, Rantanen and Point were once guys that were "holding teams up" as it affected how their roster was going to shake out, are not going to stop teams now. The trade talks are so rampant and a lot of GMs are getting FOMO (fear of missing out).
Mark Lazerus reported Joe Pavelski might have some interest if he chooses not to sign in SJ. The Sharks just signed Erik Karlsson to that monster 8 years/ 92 million contract on Monday.
Pierre LeBrun mentioned that the Hawks are keeping an eye on the Anders Lee situation in Long Island as well. The Hawks are very familiar with Lee after his 3 years at Notre Dame.
I am compiling some Hawks notes and following up on some things I have been hearing. I'll leave you with this… don't count out the Hawks for acquiring another veteran defenseman. It would be at the point that the Hawks would send back a defender or ship them out in a subsequent trade.