2019 NHL Draft Profile: Bowen Byram

As we continue our prospect profiles in advance of the 2019 NHL Draft, we have examined the scouting reports of five players the Chicago Blackhawks might consider with the third overall selection. They are:

These five prospects have something in common: they’re all forwards. With the Blackhawks spending early picks on defensemen heavily over the past few years, conventional thought is that Chicago will look to add up front in the draft. However, one player might be good enough to change that line of thought.

Let’s talk about defenseman Bowen Byram.

Defenseman
Vancouver Giants (WHL)
6-0, 194 pounds

Ranked #5 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM
Ranked #6 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #3 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #4 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #4 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #6 by TSN/McKenzie

An exceptionally gifted defenceman that knows his strengths and plays by them. He possesses elite skating ability and is at his best when playing high energy, up-tempo hockey. He handles the puck well and is able to keep control of it under pressure. He makes calculated decisions that consistently shift momentum in his team’s favor. His creativity in the offensive zone speaks to his confidence in his ability to be a game-changer. Defensively astute, he actively takes away lanes and limits options for the oncoming opposition. All-in-all, Bowen Byram is a workhorse that understands how to take advantage of turnovers and shift the pace of play in his favor in all three zones. (Curtis Joe, EP 2019)

The Vancouver Giants’ defender is off to a terrific start to his draft-eligible campaign. He began the year with a gold medal at the Hlinka U18 tournament where he produced four points in five games. Thus far in the WHL, he’s produced five goals and 14 points in 18 games. The mobile blueliner loves to engage offensively and has the ability to embarrass opposing wingers as he dangles with impunity on the blue line. He owns a big shot but can also saucer it through traffic. A tremendous skater with a big upside. Cam Robinson

Calculated two-way defenseman with leadership traits who makes the proper reads an carries an on-ice demeanor similar to that of a seasoned veteran. Byram has excellent mobility and always looks to either join the rush or create a breakout by himself, and he makes difficult plays while handling the puck look easy. Byram uses flip, chip, bank or stretch passes to trap forecheckers, and he’s capable of dishing the puck with accuracy and authority while backskating or off balance. He consistently keeps his feet moving and reacts to the puck’s changing direction with quickness and confidence. Byram is a strong stickhandler who protects the puck extremely well, especially in instances when he skates methodically into traffic in the neutral zone. He’s an upright skater with a powerful stride with both lateral quickness and rapid directional changes. Byram can run the power play from the left point or the top of the umbrella and owns a hard slap shot that is accurate, creates rebounds and requires little backswing to achieve significant velocity.

Defensively, Byram displays quick feet in maintaining a tight gap, even if a quicker opponent tries to shift gears on him. His stick is highly active and poke checks are timed without putting him at risk of getting caught flat footed. He likes to stand up at his own blue line; either to strip the puck or deliver a hard check. Byram can be guilty of puck gazing or wandering far from his slot duties, but both are part in parcel of his desire to transition up ice in attack mode. He plays with a lot of emotion and likes to get involved in physical battles, plus give the occasional stinky glove to the mug of an unsuspecting opponent.

Skating

Byram is an excellent skater in both directions and this becomes the basis of a strong two-way game. He is able to join the rush, or pinch in at the blue line and still get back to his defensive position. His strong backwards skating allows him to maintain strong gap control and makes him tough to beat on the rush. Byram has outstanding speed and excellent acceleration. He also adds excellent pivots, edgework, and agility. This allows Byram to cover all areas of the ice. Byram is strong on his skates and has excellent balance. He wins battles in front of the net and along the boards. He is also strong at protecting the puck.

Offensive Game

Byram has a very good shot from the blueline and the vision and passing skills to quarterback the power play. He understands how to get his shot on the net through traffic, using his lateral agility to open up shooting lanes. He is able to score in a variety of ways and can sneak down from the point to use his wrist shot or snapshot. Both feature a quick release. They can also be effective weapons on the rush. Byram also has an excellent slap shot.

Byram is a strong puck-mover, willing to make plays through the neutral zone and to push forward to create offence as well. He is not afraid to lead the rush or join it as a trailer. Byram has excellent vision and passing skills. He can make a strong first pass to start the transition game as well as quarterback things from the point. His offensive game is at a very high level.

Defensive Game

Byram is willing to play a physical game and forwards have to be aware of coming down his side of the ice with their heads down. He is smart and disciplined, not getting himself out of position to make those hits. He is strong along the boards and in front of the net. However, Byram will need to add some muscle to his frame before he can do this at the pro level. Byram can skate the puck out of danger and makes a strong first pass to start the transition game. His outstanding skating ability allows Byram to maintain excellent gap control and makes him very difficult to beat in one-on-one situations. Byram plays huge minutes on the Vancouver Giants and is counted on in all situations.

Projection and Comparison

Byram has the skills to be a number one defenseman in the NHL. However, he may not be ready next year as he still needs to add some muscle to his frame before he is ready for the pro game. It is also natural that defensemen take a little longer than forwards to be NHL ready. In terms of a stylistic comparison, Byram’s game is reminiscent of Drew Doughty, however this is not comparing skill level.

124 thoughts on “2019 NHL Draft Profile: Bowen Byram

  1. He needs a fair bit of development yet, which leads to a bit of added risk his ceiling may not be as high as anticipated. Would certainly make the blue line better in a few years if he did realize his potential to the max.

  2. @Stape – (carried over from last blog)

    I listened to portions of that podcast and Button does put Zegras as the next best C after Hughes in his mind which is curious since a week ago he had both Cozens and Dach ahead of him and in the podcast he says he’s he thinks Pod is probably not NHL ready for next year and again week ago he was saying ‘no doubt in my mind’ that Pod is ready for NHL next year so I guess the takeaway is that his mind is constantly changing and probably will be different again by next week

  3. This guy is a wonderful skater with great skills and a good frame. The logjam on defense can be dealt with if he is deemed the PBA. I would be pretty excited to see him wearing the Indian Head.

  4. Could solidify an already loaded defensive prospect core. I still like a forward either Cozens or Podkolzin better, but would not be opposed to taking Byram. I think its gotta be one of those three. All have good size and are at least a year from NHL play.

    No need to go after a super big fish on defense in free agency if they take this kid (aka Karlsson). Still prefer a forward. Podkolzin has a substantially higher ceiling than Cozens or Byram who have pretty similar ceilings for their positions. If all three reach their max potentials its like choosing between Doughty (Byram), a Datsyuk/Rick Nash love child (Podkolzin), and a more offensively gifted Ryan Kesler (Cozens). Completely happy with anyone they go with. All add size and speed to complement the four horseman who are great puck movers.

  5. Ian, just what part of his game needs a fair bit of development? He seems to excel in all zones. His decision making is already top notch. Of course he needs to increase his strength but who doesn’t at 17. Do you have a specific concern or are you just set on a forward?

  6. Just in the first round. After the first round it goes last place to Stanley cup winner picks 32-63.

  7. If the Blackhawks trade anything at the draft it shouldn’t be down – it should be veterans for additional picks (stares directly at Gustafsson).

  8. Gus is a very interesting trade chip Tab – wouldn’t surprise me

    Sooner or later Boquist or Joki will probably be able to take over the PP

  9. The idea of the Hawks taking another defenseman in the first round after selecting 5 of six with their first two picks the past three years seems hard to fathom. (Boqvist, Beaudin, Jokiharyu, Mitchell and Crys.) I think Bowman and the Hawks will really have to be bowled over with his talent if they decide to dip into that well again.

    I personally think the Hawks need more high end talent at forward in their system. That said, lack of top 4 talent on the blue line is what prevented the Hawks from making the playoffs the past two seasons, so maybe overloading defense prospects is not a bad thing.

  10. Gustafsson probably has a good amount of trade value, near 60 points, can run a pp, and not too bad of a liability on defense. Could be used to acquire a really good 3rd liner or a 2nd liner. I would try to move Anisimov at the draft as well. Make space for a forward like Dzingel or possibly a Duchene/Panarin.

  11. I see that with Gus as well. Could be a trade chip for a d-minded forward or an experienced d-man.

    Cozens reminds me in size and d-game of Entwistle. Obviously more skilled, but keeping in mind that Entwistle is a center and can also play wing. Curious if Stan takes Cozens, how the lines will shape up if they both make the team. Entwistle could be a solid 3rd line center, with Cozens second line, and obviously Toews #1. All considering Cozens makes the team out of camp and they can sign him.

  12. Note:

    The Blackhawks already have Toews, Strome, Anisimov, Kampf and Johnson under contract for next year who have NHL experience at center. If the Blackhawks plan on their pick at #3 being on the NHL roster from the jump this year, and they take a center, one would hope that means he’s slotting in as a 2C or 3C w/ Strome… which means one of Anisimov/Kampf is displaced…

    Point being the Blackhawks have a lot of moving pieces right now that need to be sorted out and could be very, very active between now and the end of the 2019 NHL Draft.

  13. BL52 no not set on a forward, thinking that a big forward is needle though, just saying the more development has the more guesswork involved and bigger risk. Agree Blackhawks could be very active.

  14. Tab, Byram is rated #2 by Central Scouting, not #4.

    Would not fault the Hawks for taking him at #3 if they feel Pod is too risky.

  15. No no no.

    Theres a logjam already.

    “Lets pick another defenceman”

    “But we already have a f**k ton. We dont have hardly any forward prospects.”

    “We have Sikura. We have Kurashev. Theres um Entwistle. That >cough< college kid..,Barrett? Uhhh…Kubalik"

    Yea. Draft a forward.

  16. Central scouting just put out the final rankings. Elite prospects is still using the midterm stuff.

  17. Original where i am at if Byram becomes the true no.1 guy, it’s a great pick, but if he anything less although could still be very good, he becomes just another thats added to group. Same for a Zebras or Turcotte if they don’t reach max potential they just add to list of smaller skilled guys already signed. A bigger guy even if they don’t become superstars can still fill a need for for very good big skilled forwards, just my opinion.

  18. Loags- I’ll agree that Sikura isn’t good with no real NHL promise. However, the Hawks d needs help. Their PK is dreadful. With the rotation they have now of Keith, Gustafson, Murphy, Seabrook, Jokiharju, Dahlstrom, and Forsling… How many would you actually like on your roster?

    Does Adam Boqvist, Beaudin, Lucas Carlson, Mitchell or Krys make you feel better about that PK?

    Of the 7 NHL guys, you’d probably like to keep 4. The others are just guys. Now, if you can remove 1 and have to throw in a prospect or 2… Do you still have a logjam? Or is all well in the world. They drafted a lot of guys of similar skillset. Not all of them will make it despite how good they may look now. Of they can identify the ones least likely to succeed and package with Seabrook and take Byram I’m all for that. Byram has a skillset none of the other prospects have.

    Now as far as forwards go. Yes it’s pretty thin. But they have 6 guys that are under 25 in Debrincat, Strome, Kahun, Perlini, Kampf, and Caggiula. 4 of those are probably 3/4 line players. But you still have 19/88/20 under contract as well as 15 who we’d probably like to see moved. Kubalik is 23 and should contribute.

    If you move Seabrook and Anisimov you can sign a forward or 2.

    The Hawks can go either way. Draft the best player available. Don’t draft for need. Not at number 3 overall.

  19. Also, Button had that “college” kid as a 1st/2nd round pick. Ranked ahead of Jokiharju. He’s not a scrub.

  20. Ernie–I agree that the dmen are similar but at this point you dont keep taking more dmen otherwise what was the point of the last 2 drafts.

    Perlini is a dud. Im saying it now. Hes lazy on the ice and is scratched often. 2 weeks doesnt make a season and you can expect more of this from him. In fact its why Arizona gave up on him.

    You said it yourself its pretty thin. Theres Strome, Debrincat and Saad.
    Kane and Toews are 30 and 31. In three years they begin fading. Time to bring in another forward.

    I will say this. You’re right in that some of the dmen drafted wont pan out. You can pretty much bank on it. But those that dont you wont get as much for them as youll more than likely get some other teams disappointment and then hope again for another Dylan Strome scenario but more likely get the Perlini scenario.

  21. Tab, do you think Gustafsson would fetch a late first rounder in a trade? Or a second rounder? We got a first round pick that led to Beaudin from Hartman. If Hartman was able to fetch a first rounder, I don’t see why Gustafsson wouldn’t.

  22. “Also, Button had that “college” kid as a 1st/2nd round pick. Ranked ahead of Jokiharju. He’s not a scrub.”

    Ernie: Barrett should be decent. Hes got moxy but hes not great which is what were trying to draft at No. 3

  23. I agree with Ernie. Despite Loags valid comment about no good forward prospects, you can’t go by that.

    I see 4 or 5 legit top 6 forwards already on the team but I don’t see any true top 4 d-man. Even if Boqvist is a top 4, they still have a huge hole on the backend.

    Having said that, I think you have to pick the player that you believe has the best chance of being a star. Position and current needs have to be second in the decision process.

  24. Ernie, very well stated. The Hawks have many needs, starting at D. No guarantee that more than three in our system (excluding Joki) will turn into top 4 pairing. Any turning into top 2 is questionable. Keith getting older and Seabrook is now bottom pairing. Boq, Beau, Mitchell, Carlson need a lot of work on defending in their own zone and they are not physical.

    Byram is the complete package, who will be NHL-ready in 1-2 years. D takes longer to develop than O and the Hawks would not make the mistake of rushing him.

    As I posted earlier, if Pod is too risky, would not fault the Hawks for taking Byram.

  25. On Gustafsson:

    I would like to trade him too. His value is high right now. Hes a huge problem defensively.

    But tell this to Stan Bowman.

    If he is traded I will be shocked. On the same level as ‘Tampa being swept’ shocked. That did happen so there is a chance. Lol

    What scares me most (besides f**king clowns) is Bowman will give “Gus” a ridiculous contract in the near future. This probability is scary high.

  26. Of all of our defensive prospects, Joki is the only one I would be really bummed about if he were moved. He is the most complete and had a very solid first year as a pro. Keeper.

    The rest are either more specialized (Boqvist, Beaudin) or don’t have super high ceilings (Mitchell, Krys). Byram would immediately become our top defensive prospect and would make up for any lost potential if we dealt either of the flying B’s.

    As for Gus, we might get a lot back for him. I would rather do that than get locked into him at high dollars for a long time knowing that in 2-3 years we should have some glittering youngsters on the blue line. That said, he had 60 points this year, so I would want a roster player(s) for him as opposed to picks.

    Bottom line though is that Stan has cards to play and he shouldn’t feel constrained about doing it.

  27. Tallon said Coach Q has a strong say in his roster.

    Dont laugh but maybe Seabrook to Florida.

    Remember when Brian Campbell’s contract ‘had to go’ and folks thought that would be little chance of happening.

    I said don’t laugh, dammit!

  28. I hadn’t really thought about drafting a D man until I heard what Button was saying about Byram -although I’m less convinced on Button’s opinion based on how he keeps changing his mind

    If and it’s a big if – if Byram projects as a #1 D the Hawks have to really consider him and use some of the other D prospects as trade bait to improve in other areas

    Button’s comments were the first time I’ve heard anyone actually say that about Byram so I’m a bit skeptical still and would generally prefer a forward

    The reality is however that with the exception of the year PITT won when Letang was injured all recent Cup winning teams (going back to 2009 in my head) have had a #1 D man

  29. As I said earlier in the week the #3 pick is critical for the future however there will be a lot of other moves before next fall. I believe there will be at least 5 new faces (if not more). These other moves will have to address the glaring issues (awful PK, poor bottom 6 depth, enough competent d-men). The #3 pick will be a key part of the strategy to solve these issues but the other moves will be just as critical.

    Regarding Gus I am torn. He improved more in one season than anyone I can recall in recent memory. He is under contract at a favorable number next year. If he continues to improve he is a bona-fide top 4 guy. I wouldn’t move him this summer. If you think it is easy to build defensive depth look no further than the successful Bluejackets playing Adam Clendening, the Capitals essentially playing with 5 guys in round 1 or Tampa having to play the legendary Jan Rutta. Having 6 quality guys who can stay healthy is a challenge for everyone. I wish SB the best of luck in solving that problem for us.

  30. LOAGS – I already mentioned that about Tallon taking #7. Maybe….?????

    Is there any way possible to package Gus with some other players to get a high enough round 1 pick along with our #3 overall pick to get both Podz/Coz & Byrum….????

    Wishful thinking I know….

  31. Wishful thinking indeed from Joey and Loags about Florida taking #7.

    Let’s compare Brian Campbell at the time he was traded vs Seabrook today:

    Campbell, age 32, 1st or 2nd pairing quality
    Seabrook, age 34, 3rd pairing quality

    The only way you unload 7’s contract is to throw in a good prospect or maybe a high 2nd round pick. Only a team which needs to reach the floor could consider this. At the time Bowman gave him this contract I was in disbelief how someone could be this dumb. 8-yr term was much worse than AAV, which instantly made him untradable.

  32. Ernie agree on drafting best player, that’s why I can,t get away from Podkolzin. Even Button with all his praise for Byram acknowledged that Podkolzin was either 2nd or 3rd best and Byram was more in a group with 4 or 5 others you could make an argument for. The #2 ranking is North American no Europeans included. Also thinking about 88 and 19 window and if your all in on developing Dmen you may be losing their last years. If a no. 1 type Dmen is a must maybe another route to acquire one may work better. As for pk goes positioning and good stickwork in passing lanes combined with speedy puck recovery and poise to get it out are as important as any part of it. So yes a couple of those guys could certainly help in that area with some good coaching.
    Loags high 1st round picks moving in recent years is rare at best.

  33. Wrap–yea me too. I dont think i was around here the day Coach Q was hired so I wound up forgetting to mention it.

    Just to go further on it, I’m pretty sure that the Panthers lack leadership in their dressing room and ‘Seabs’ has it in spades.

    Im also certain Q would love to have him and will ignore his lack of speed.

    Tallon wants to succeed in the worst way as the team loses millions each year and will most likely help his coach anyway he can.

    Altho i do see Panarin and Bobrovsky getting lured there. Ive read Panarin wants to play on the coast. Plus there was the Panthers serving that ‘Panarin bread’ at the Q press conference.
    Also Tallon said he wanted Luongo to think aboot his future before doing anything rash.
    Translation: We want Bobrovsky. Get out of the way.

    We’ll see.

  34. O6H–Don’t be so sure and under estimate what Tallon will do to appease his coach who doesnt give a thought to cap space and salaries.

    Q is only thinking aboot winning and hes loyal to those he trusts. Remember…everyone was barking aboot Seabrook the last couple years and yet Coach Q kept playing him 20+ minutes.

  35. Q benched Seabrook last year, he is not blind, he can see what everyone else can see that Seabs has nothing left in the tank. If Q gets Tallon to trade for Seabrook I think we have to seriously re-think Quennevile as a Hall of Fame coach.

    No way Seabrook gets moved to Florida (or anywhere else for that matter) unless the Hawks throw in a sweetener to mask that bitter pill.

    Will

    Not

    Happen

    .

  36. Miroslav–well of course theyll have to throw in a sweetener and/or eat some salary.

    Just because he benched him doesnt mean much. After that Seabrook was playing better and he rose his ice time again.

  37. You know…

    we saw a 62 win team get swept. Swept!

    Im guessing, Miroslav, you wouldve said ‘will not happen’ to that too.

    My point being the Nhl is full of shocks and surprises.

  38. From the Athletic regarding Seabrook’s final season grades:

    “…Looking at Evolving-Hockey’s model again, he was second-worst among all league defensemen with a -9.9 GAR and tied for second-worst with -1.7 WAR. He was also among the top-10 worst defensemen in even-strength GAR, shorthanded GAR, on-ice scoring-chances against and high-danger chances against per 60 minutes…”

    Seabrook isn’t going to Florida.

    If I had said that Tampa will not get swept, I would have been wrong.

    And if Florida acquires Seabrook because Q can’t live without the second worse defenseman in the league, I will be wrong.

    Will

    Not

    Happen

    .

  39. One last time: Q does not want 7 and would protest if Tallon tried to . . . oh, nevermind, Tallon cannot be that stupid.

    If the Hawks cannot find a landing spot for 7, I wouldn’t be surprised that in two years they buy out the remainder of his contract. Hawks are in a bad place.

  40. Nothing against this guy but even if he does become a better D guy then everyone/or some of the Four Horsemen its a lot to pass up on a 1st line center with size when this good D guy might only be as good as the Four Horsemen or slightly better, then you wasted the one chance we will get for another 8 or 9 yrs, a top 3 skill pick to get a 1st line center with size.

    I like the idea of picking the skilled fast center with size and getting a prime yrs established top pair/3 D guy from ufas/trade in summer.

  41. I like the idea of drafting Byram and starving out the rest of the top 10 who would have like to draft a defender (Buffalo especially). Could them turn to Buffalo and use Beaudin/Mitchel and (to Tabs point) Gus to pry away their pick and draft the best forward that falls to us – Zegras, Tucotte, maybe even Pods if the Russian factor plays a role.

  42. If Bowman could screw up 7 s contract he can blow the number 3 pick . Panarin is leading his team in the playoffs . and we get Sad

  43. Nothing against this guy but even if he does become a better C guy then everyone/or some of the existing forwards its a lot to pass up on a 1st line D-man with skill when this good C guy might only be as good as Strome or slightly better, then you wasted the one chance we will get for another 8 or 9 yrs, a top 3 skill pick to get a 1st line D-man with skill.

    I like the idea of picking the skilled fast D-man and getting a prime yrs established top 6 forward guy from ufas/trade in summer.

  44. Miroslav– ugh. Analytics. Seems like theres an abbreviation for everything. I honestly dont know wth GAR and WAR stands for.
    Theres too much of that crap imo.

    However I wont dispute he has definitely slipped. Everyone pretty much sees that. He had partners like Forsling guiding him into the gutter as well.

    But hey…Bowman traded Manning so Ibelieve theres hope. Whether it be Florida or another team, one of those managers might be stupid enough. Theyre stupid enough to sign players like Ladd, Lucic, Backes and Eriksson ridiculous contracts theyre stupid enough to take Seabrook.

    Anyhow im done on the subject.

    And now…Craig Button:
    On Nail Yakupov:

    “He has speed, quickness and power,” Button said. “He has a blend of skills, which will make him a very good player at the NHL level.”

    Oops.

  45. Nice reverse.

    Then the question is, what position is easier to get from ufas/trade in summer or summer of 20.

    1st line center with size, top pair D guy or 1st line RW/LW.

    If its even between the three players, then I would go with the harder position to get.

  46. You’re missing one thing on Campbell vs Seabrook. Dollars. When Tallon signed that insane deal for Campbell (without the foresight to see everyone else needing paper) the salary cap was 56.7 million. Brian Campbell’s contract was 7.142 million. Accounted for 12.5% of the cap. A full 11 years after the deal, the AAV/hit would still be in the top 10. Despite the salary cap increasing by more than 20 million.

    In 2011 when Campbell was traded the cap was 64.3m. 11% of the cap vs 8% today.

    Granted Campbell’s usefulness was definitely higher.

    I wonder if there’s more of a “hockey trade” out there. It’s a given youd have to throw in a sweetener for anyone to take Seabrook. But you wonder if the Hawks would be willing to take something back. Say it is Florida. I use them because that might be one of the few teams Seabrook could potentially waive hit ntc for. Would you take back Yandle?

    Yandle was signed in that weird period where Tom Rowe somehow got in charge. The same knucklehead that fired Gallant. Yandle has some offensive prowess. But he routinely is top 3 in giveaway differential. The contract has less term and less dollars. And with his offense, you could probably dump it quite a bit easier.

  47. I wouldnt be mad with any of these 3 Elite Players.

    Only thing that wouldnt be good is The Four Horsemen and this guy are not top pair D guys and were stuck with five 3 & 4 s.

    I think each of the three ways could work and will work.

    Who do we get ufas/trade in summer. Were going to be busy.

  48. Packaging Gus + whatever to get another high first rounder sounds like wishful thinking at it’s finest but mark me down as impressed if Stan were to actually pull that off

  49. I wouldnt worry about a little higher caphit for 56.

    Bowman traded 23 and 44 with their caphits.

  50. BLM2, I would be fine with loading up the D like. Its what NAS did and the reason they got to a top 5 team.

    Since about a half/day after the draft, my gut keeps saying Cozens, as of now.

    I do like the idea of having a Stacked D group. We could get Nelson and Zingal.

    I do feel whoever the Bowman and crew pick I will be totally good with it.

  51. Hopefully, the front office is asking, “Which players are 3rd pick quality?” At the moment, I think there are only two:

    -Pod, if he comes over right away (would be my first choice)
    -Byram (no weaknesses – a complete stud)

    Cozens, Dach, and Turcotte are great, but probably not #3. If Pod is not coming over, got to pick Byram.

  52. Pretty scary. New Jersey has 6 picks in the top 80. Wow.
    So Jack Hughes then 5 other legitimate prospects.
    And I’m hoping our guy Stan walks away with 2 realistic good NHLers.

  53. So heres the thing…VPod, or This B man d dude for a taste of what might be…or maybe he would come over maybe plays for a paycheck…or a bet on a cozin or my friend dach…a third pick for a third line center or #2 right wing, or a d dude that in 3 months works and sticks or can be flipped for a pick and a third line nhl center…or keep writting checks to cover the last one…

  54. BL52 only thing is defense is still quite a few years away, if a dman begins in Nhl in 2 years with a 3 yr elc probably takes end of it to play at a elite type level. Forwards are trending down by then, your wasting last years of 19 and 88 plus wasting alot of prime years of 12,17 20 and whoever you sign. If your bringing 4 or 5 d along together the growing pains may be longer without veteran support. A young forward with faster development would be able to contribute at same time as current developing defensemen. That would be closer to 19 and 88 timelines.

  55. Ian, if you’re using your #3 with just the single goal of one more kick at the can with T & K then timing is important. I agree, D usually take a few more years to peak.

    https://www.quanthockey.com/nhl/player-age/19-year-old-nhl-defensemen.html

    I think most of us know that the chances of T & K winning another cup in Chicago in the next 3 years is close to zero. You have to start your rebuild and pick the best player regardless of position or they will struggle for 10 years.

  56. If #7 can adapt his game to his current skill level I see no reason why he can’t become Sopel 2.0….

    Like all of us, the mind still thinks we can do things at the same level as our youthful days…. The smart ones learn to adapt & still be successful.

    #7 bless his heart tries to do too much because of who he’s paired with, if he keeps it simple he will be an asset to the team & just maybe catch the eye of another team that may want to trade for him…???

  57. I’m all over the map with what I want Stan to do with this #3 pick. My latest leaning is Byram. If (BIG IF) he turns out to be a legitimate top-pairing guy then he is the best pick for the biggest need. A few years down the road we could have a top-pairing of Byram-Boqvist and the potential, if close to realized, is pretty damn exciting.

  58. BL52 just saying drafting Byram, assuming he becomes no.1 guy your looking 5 to 6 years realistically to be at that elite level. So your no.1 defenseman isn’t addressed until then.
    If starting from scratch on a long complete rebuild, what you’re saying makes perfect sense. Try to draft and develop defense, then your forwards and they peak together, but thats not the case with Blackhawks who have a lot of forward pieces ready now with clock ticking.

  59. Ian, I think 5 or 6 years may be an exaggeration but you have a valid point.

    However, if you go by that logic, why don’t they just trade all prospects and draft picks and go for broke next year?

    I think we are back to the concept of picking the best player at #3.

  60. Byram is 17 turning 18 at the draft, it’s rare defensemen unless they no. 1 overall generational type players and then not a given, are playing at that level before they are 23 or 24 years old. Look at how it went for Blackhawks Keith and Seabrook drafted then a year of 2 later Toews and Kane and played their peak years together. That’s why 19 and 88 are a few years younger.

  61. The goal is to find a happy medium that allows them to contend again soon without mortgaging the future to do it, hopefully it can be done.

  62. Ilya Kovovalov

    Ilya Konovalov is the 5th ranked European goaltender. He’s 6’0 tall and will be 21 in July. He’ll be lucky to be a 4th round pick.

  63. Draft strategy…

    1. Pick best player available regardless of position.

    2. If a coin toss, pick the Canadian.

    3. If two Canadians, pick the Western Canadian.

  64. @Joey: I agree it’s possible for 7 to adapt. I mean Jonny got lean this year this year and that seemed to go well. He is no longer top pairing but he still plays some good hockey. It’s too bad that his lack of speed has made him an easy target for some of the dimmer bulbs.

    As of right now, I am leaning towards Byram (admittedly without having seen a lot of any of these guys). There is just something about the impact a stud defenseman logging 25+ minutes a game can have. It strikes me that with the way the game has changed (less contact, more speed, stretch passes, joining the rush, etc.) that the modern game really lends itself to these type of guys.

  65. Note: There’s a LOT of value in a 50+ point defenseman making $1.5M. Gustafsson could be a strong trade chip IF the Hawks opt to make him available and replace him with someone who… plays defense.

  66. What’s to prevent the Hawks from interviewing Podkolzin understanding that even if he said all the right things to the Hawks, he could change his mind any time thereafter? From what unread, he’s just too good to pass up unless you have no faith he’ll come over.

  67. As I said before if and it’s a big if Byram projects as a #1 D ( as Button suggests) it’s hard to pass on him

    However there’s no consensus among the so called experts that is his ceiling – many have him projecting a #2 or even a 2nd pair guy

    Wiz on draft site doesn’t rave about him and only has him as his 3rd highest ranked D man

    I haven’t seen him play so I’ll leave it to Stan and co. to hopefully make the right call – just saying Byram is not a slam dunk #1 D of the future

  68. Tony L, I have posted several times that if it is guaranteed Pod comes here this year, he is too good to pass up. He may be the best or second best player in this draft. Is a complete 200ft winger. Would not risk taking him if he promises to come here only after his two-year KHL contract.

  69. Didn’t we have a lot of hot moms and some sisters on the team during 2009-2016.

    We need that again.

  70. Original, Bowman and crew do tend to pick the best player in drafts no matter what the number pick is. Saad, Teauvo, De Bob lee swagger cat, BoQvist, 3rd pick.

  71. Tab, i mentioned before Pens are tight against cap next season and unlikely to want to do a straight cash dump. Would be great if Bowman could work a trade with Gus going to them and Olli Maatta coming back.

  72. That’s another idea, being creative like the Schmaltz Strome trade. Could trade high end prospect for high end prospect to acquire the style we need.

    Like the 56 value is in gold right now. Another D guy without size or DEF oriented. Even though he showed he’s tuff, we need DEF D guy that’s tuff.

    It might not only be 3rd pick quality, ufas are going to happen. Trades might be big for us.

  73. Mo if that was done could still sign as mentioned a Chariott or Gardener depending on what they feel and defense is shored up for next season and not have to rush young assets. Also have ability to draft who they like best and develop them right.

  74. No matter who we pick, we need to add a DEF D guy ufas/trade, have to.

    So I like the tuff D guy not those karllson or gardener kind.

    Can’t wait for draft July 1 we are adding good players this time.

  75. Yeps Ernie, i did see that about Ilya Kovolov, and thought yhe same…the liitle access to you tube highlights and recent production in KHL, might be a nice 4th round (although we have 2), maybe deal one with Seabs for and take this guy in the 5th or maybe 4th round, if he’s around..Foresberg not, Delia – a strong maybe, Gravel…hmm, Nalimov? Not impessive and talks s$*t about being moved if the hawks don’t bring him over this very year…not a fan…Ilya Kovolov around 5th round…see if we can work a package with the likes of Seabs, Forsling, Kahun, Hayden, AA, Koko and and maybe even one of our 2- 4th rounds to cut dead weight, bring in a Jake Gadner Defender type D-man, A Brock Nelson as Pk, and shut down 3rd center..draft who is best..get us a 3rd round and sign Kubalik…my limited opinion, Cozens, good, Dach, good, Turcotte, good, but #3 for third line center or second/ third line winger? Bryam very, VPod, Very, but a big ? mark as to VPod available to play straight away?
    Just 2cents…lets make a buck

  76. Ps..You can toss in Gilbert, Luke Johnson, Knott, Both Sikura’s, Nillson, and any other dead weight for a Seabs dumo deal and any all picks…

  77. And don’t forget to dump Fortin and Nalimov (though i’m not sure if he is even signed) or string them along on minimum contracts for pick bait in the Seattle Expasion..

  78. Bobcat, I think you’re overvaluing Seabrooks worth if you think trading him with a 4th or any of those nothing prospects will make a team think about biting. Seabrook has more value off the ice than on at this point. And it really pains me to say that.

    It’s going to take one of the young defenseman or Gustafsson to even get a call back. And even then, you’re not getting anything back. Total dump ala Bickell.

    And remember, Seabrook has final say. He may not allow a trade at all. So you may be stuck with him and hope he waives his clause come Seattle expansion next season. That scenario may be most realistic as it would then protect you from losing someone younger.

  79. Nalimov’s rights carry on in perpetuity. At least until he signs an NHL contract or the NHL/KHL come to a transfer agreement.

  80. Looks so good on paper…not high on a Jake Garner or type Ufa thought for this 2/3 year max till the real younger d get their legs…i like all and love Seabs for all he has done..but as we all will in time…it’s time to unload that contract…we’ve been lucky to find a partner, i too would keep Keith(balance him as acsecond and often 1rst pairing while we develop, he can teach some s#i+ not many see…thats where a Jake G or even an older Stralman, even an Edler, or a stray D like Lindel would be sooo much better than scardy cat Forsling, and a piece of big lumber of a dufus we banked on Dahlstrom

  81. Was just going to post like the Bicks trade.

    Bowman has the advantage this time, other then 7 contract, so even if we make a trade like that for 7, were going to ad a lot of good players.

    That would be 7m more in good ufas/trade then we already going to do. MS said about 5 players. That would have us at 27m in cap space.

    That would be insane adds.

  82. To me Stan is in a really good spot. If Kakko goes at number 2, he should pretty much auction off Byram. If Stan knows he wants a Center, he should listen to the Kings and Avs offer to move up to number 3 only if they want Byram.
    As we saw on the team website in 2017, Dallas called Stan and wanted to trade up for Goalie Jake Oettinger and they told Stan that on the phone.
    In this case , if Stan loves Podkolzin, stay at #3 and take him. If LA calls and wants to leapfrog Colorado to get Byram, make the trade for either their later 1st round pick or early 2nd rounder.
    If the difference between Zegras, Dach and Cozens is minimal and we will get one of those 3, make the trade yet stay in top 5.

  83. Craig although I respect Buttons opinion, this last time he was talking primarily to Blackhawks fans and didn’t say the same things there he did to rest of hockey world. I don’t get the feeling other teams are on this Byram bandwagon he sold to Hawks fans, so not sure if L.A. would want to give up anything significant.
    A lot of other comments on Byram are the reason a scout rated him that high is because he will be 1st defenseman picked and somebody will want a defenseman in first 6 picks. Also heard scouts that he would be unlikey to be one of the top 5 defenseman picked last year, let alone top 5 overall. So not sure what to think.

  84. Not that specifically but these media guys overall, makes me think some of them are trying to get teams/fanbase nation to want or like certain players so the team they want/like player is there for them.

  85. As people dig more deep into these players, there are rumors and truth.

    Gut is still saying Cozens more then Podloz/Byram.

    Just would like these three to be Elite so were good no matter what.

    Also makes me believe even more that Our guys will get it right, theres so much of not sure what best guys is for us since the lottery draft picks, to know what to think.

  86. What a time for the blackhawks and us.

    We got the 3rd pick, a top 6 skill pick. Yeaaaah.
    Can trade up 43rd to 25-35 area.
    Have 20/21m in cap space, per say.
    Going to add the style and role positions were weak at.
    New team sysytem will be less green.
    More of the young wave starts to come in, and
    We know we have blue chips coming, and an
    Elite Player in 21.
    We have adjustments to the sweater back to more old school Blackhawks looking, iconic.

    What else do we have in this nitrous tank coming, we do not even know about right now.

  87. ER, know what you mean, its not easy to know whos best to get. Going with my gut and thats Cozens as of now.

    Ian, I like getting 1st line center with size, sure will be 3rd line center for a couple yrs before 1st line. Who cares. Would rather get an established DEF D guy in prime yrs by trade. He needs to be fast enough though.

  88. Ernie don’t you think that Seabrook is a good candidate to end up ltir at some point in next couple of years. It’s not that hard to imagine that somebody mid 30s with over 1000 nhl regular season Nhl games and another 100 playoffs where he gave his all, has a legimate reason or maybe multiple reasons to do so. I think he is playing because he loves too, on his own dime to try to play as long as his body allows him.
    Actually if the league after all those hard miles tried to say he didn’t have a valid reason, I would be very doubtful on their findings.

  89. Lots of/most players that were older like that did the ltir thing or contract traded.

    So we should be able to do that. Only thing would be Seabsy boy wouldnt be playing anymore and he prob likes to play even when not as good because the whole league is faster now and that makes more of a difference to him then it would if the whole league was as fsat as it was 5 yrs and back from there.

    He really wants to play, like that, then he would wave tc.

    Litr is best for team and you have expansion draft details are coming out for that when?

  90. When you think about it, history shows the only pick that will truly matters in this draft for the Hawks is the Number 3 pick.

    In 2006 we got Toews. The rest of the draft = zippo. In 2007, we got Kane. The rest of the draft = zippo. The Bill Sweats and Igor Makarovs of the world amounted to nothing and in the Hawks world over the next decade, it did not matter.

    The Hawks need to get a GREAT player if they stay at number 3.

  91. Ian, you look at LTIR and players that have ended their careers on it. The only player that hasn’t missed time prior to that was Hossa. That was a freak and real thing documented with pictures. The NHL isn’t keen on this form of circumvention. Players have to go through a physical twice a year and be deemed unfit.

    Sheldon Souray had a torn ligament in his wrist along with arthritis in that same wrist.

    Bolland has had back issues going back almost a decade now and also an ankle issue that needed daily rehab that was difficult to do because of the back.

    Horton…well, his contract was doomed from the start. The insurance companies wouldn’t even insure the contract due to existing shoulder issues. But he also has degenerative back issues and was dealing with the prospect of having a 4 level fusion. Which is why the Leafs and Jackets swapped out Horton and Clarkson. Clarkson’s was insured.

    Clarkson has 3 degenerative discs in the L5 region.

    Pronger can barely see out of one eye.

    Lupul hasn’t played since having sports hernia surgery. But has 2 back surgeries to his name. He said since the back surgeries his golf handicap balloned. The 4 seasons prior, he missed significant portions of each.

    With Seabrook you don’t see the missed games of previous years. He hasn’t missed more than 4 games in a season since 05/06 when he played 69. Sure the guy is a warrior. But even Pronger missed a good chunk of time the year before he took a stick to the eye. LTIR could eventually be coming. But it’s too far away for the Hawks to wait on.

  92. Would like to know when they do the details on the expansion draft. NHL and Bergman serious of parity, here’s there second of two opportunities to do it.

  93. That’s a good point for sure Ernie, time will tell I guess. Is playing through debilitating injuries if that was the case a reason to doubt that someone with all those hard miles likely has some.
    Mo expansion draft rules the same as last time. Be in June 21, and everybody under the 50 player contract for 21-22 season plus rfa’s are eligible. 1st and end year players are exempt,which is any rookies next year and year after. Teams protect 7 fwds and 3D plus 1 goalie or 8 skaters total plus one goalie. Players with nmc clauses require protection or have to agree to waive them. Each team is required to leave 1 dman and 1fwd unprotected that meets the minimum amount of Nhl game requirements plus a goalie under contract for 21-22 season or Rfa. Not sure if that’s what you mean, hope it helps.

  94. We could make a trade with teams that have deep rosters and would lose a good player to fixed expansion drafts.

    VEG already got a fixed draft, with established players/thats a joke, now they additionally give them a bie/by for expansion draft. Yea, ok?

    No wonder why they have the Karma come to them, like last yr. All that luck then Karma.

  95. Complient Buyouts have nothing to do with expansion draft, if that’s what you mean. They are negotiated in cba, haven’t heard any talk about that happening yet, no guarantee it will, very well may not. That was to ease the hardship caused by recapture rules, to let a team out out of caphit for a contract signed before 2013 if they wanted to use it that way, that seems to be non issue right now

  96. Blackhawks looking to sign Wedin from SWE. He said no to TOR and COL and has ARI and CHI as top destinations.

  97. Mo deal but up in in summer of 22 but could opt out sept. 1st making 20 it ends.
    No idea what happens but making it easier for owners to buy out players contracts not likely something players union wants.
    Players want lower escrow payments, clawback from players designed to make franchises stabler. If they could tie a compliance buyout into less need to raise the cap and save escrow going up that way, maybe they might but wouldn’t bet on it. Other big issue is betting revenues to become part of the owner players 50 50 split on all hockey revenue. I think thats the big 2.

  98. Players want lower escrow payments.

    The reason escrow is there is because players keep using the escalator. Thus artificially raising the salary cap higher than the % of hockey related revenue the two parties agreed upon. Since the salary cap is a guess from the previous year, the league holds a portion to ensure the owners aren’t paying more than the agreed %. If HRR is more than what they guessed, all of the escrow is returned and then some.

    If players want lower escrow…quit voting for the escalator. It’s screwing players like Duncan Keith.

    I’ve wondered if this is why you’re seeing contracts with crazy yearly signing bonuses. I wonder if that money is not subject to the see escrow?

  99. Yea, front loaded or signing bonus, something to do with that other then down payment on suite/condo.

    Not wishing it Seabs could get hurt once and then its legit.

    Really unless were that desperate for cap space, Seabsy boy, birthday cake dude/Sasquatch, could be 6/7 D guy. Chara can still move a little.

  100. Ernie not using the cscalator would just split the players union. Significantly dropping increases in new contracts and a big step backwards. They say the problem is escrow payments usually equal revenue share and they get nothing back.
    That’s why including betting revenue is important, bringing the cap ceiling and floor closer is an option to decrease escrow too but budget teams probably against that.
    That’s why I said if teams were allowed to get out of a bad contract in lieu of cap increase, and create added space that way, but not sure one time relief is in the picture.

  101. The clause states that escrow is paid on all salary and bonus money owed to the player. Worded more legalese than that but the gist of it. Signing Bonus are paid on July 1st so any work stoppage doesn’affect them, plus just get paid upfront too.

  102. What about cheating like WAS did with their Defensemen. Buyout and trade back for like get Seabs back for a lower caphit. That Orshit guy.

    Trading and having to do 50% retained, might as well do regular buyout.

    Really though unless were adding a higher caphit DEF D guy ufas/trade this summer/summer of 20, then we can eat Seabs caphit until the young blue chips need their 3rd contracts.

  103. Don’t trade the NHL 3rd Leading scorer among defensemen. As for the D-men in the Hawks system, Boqvist had 20 goals and 40 assists in 54 games. Beaudin was a Plus-64. I wouldn’t doubt their potential usefulness as some of these commenters. We will land a goldmine in the Free Agent Market, maybe even Panarin and/or Karlson. All we need is a fighter to protect everybody. Look up on You Tube, Darian Skeoch. The Ducks just cut him. He’s an adequate #7 defenseman and he Never lost a fight – more often than not destroying his opponent. Laugh if you will, but I’m tired of Crawford being mowed over like a blade of grass, by opponents who need not fear reprisal.

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