The Chicago Blackhawks enter the summer of 2011 with an entirely different approach than last year.
Obviously, ownership isn’t shopping for jewelry this summer, but management isn’t preparing for the biggest sell-off by a defending champion in the history of the league.
Heading into the draft, the Blackhawks have a number of options available, and decisions to make, that weren’t possible 12 months ago.
The Blackhawks have five picks in the first three round of the 2011 Draft, and 10 total selections. Here are the picks the Blackhawks currently own:
- Round One – Pick 18
- Round Two – Pick 36 (from ATL)
- Round Two – Pick 43 (from CGY via TOR)
- Round Three – Pick 70
- Round Three – Pick 79 (from TOR)
- Round Four – Pick 109
- Round Five – Pick 139
- Round Six – Pick 169
- Round Seven – Pick 199
- Round Seven – Pick TBD (from BOS)
The number of picks the Blackhawks own should give GM Stan Bowman some flexibility if he feels like there’s a veteran available via trade. He can also add value to potential trades with veterans on the Blackhawks roster by considering some of these picks.
Another reality this summer for the Blackhawks is that the overall organizational depth is much better than it was last year heading into the draft. Jimmy Hayes was acquired during the draft last year – after the Hawks selected his younger brother in the first round – and other good prospects were acquired during the trade frenzy that took place last year.
Some of the prospects in the system should also feel pressure with the number of picks held by the organization; some former top prospects may become available with the added depth and wealth of selections.
With a weak free agent class and the Blackhawks looking for just a few pieces, this could be a busy draft for the Blackhawks.