2019 NHL Draft Profile: Dylan Cozens

The Blackhawks now own the third overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. Over the coming weeks we’ll look ahead at some of the prospects they will consider with their selection.

The first player we’ll look at is Dylan Cozens.

Center
Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
6-3, 181 pounds

Ranked #8 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM
Ranked #5 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS
Ranked #5 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #6 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #3 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #5 by TSN/McKenzie

The reigning WHL Rookie of the year was looking to build off a terrific U18 Hlinka performance. He jumped out to a blistering start with Lethbridge in year two by putting up 10 points in his first four games. Since that time though, he’s produced 12 points in 13 contests. Those numbers are fine but not top-of-the-class quality. Cozens remains a top-end prospect and will battle all season long for the right to be the second centre off of the board behind Jack Hughes. The Yukon-native brings good size, speed, awareness and a complete offensive toolkit. He’s a budding fantasy asset that poolies should be well aware of.

A high-octane power forward who can play both center and wing, Cozens is the reigning WHL Rookie of the Year after leading all freshman with 22 goals and finishing second in points with 53. He combines all aspects of skating — quickness, acceleration, balance and agility — into one dynamic package that allows him to dictate things rather than play reactionary. Cozens is a capable stickhandler who can control the puck at high speeds before making proper decisions more times than not, and he’s very good at setting up give-and-go’s that position him for one-timers or tap-ins. He owns an excellent shot, both for its velocity and accuracy, plus he can score on his backhand from in close.

Cozens is very physical and always finishes his checks; at times to a fault, as his desire to mash people into the boards can make him the last forward back on an opposing counterattack. He’s quick enough, however, to eventually catch up and place himself in the right position to ensure there aren’t gaps in coverage. Cozens always keeps his feet moving and keeps his stick active, and his quick turns and pivots allow him to stay with his man, especially while he’s killing penalties. Overall, he’s an excellent 200-foot forward who is very good on draws, can anchor a penalty-killing unit, run a power play and assume top-line duties.

Skating

Cozens is a very good skater, especially given his size. His first step is well above average and his acceleration is very good. He also has very good top-end speed. He is able to keep up with the play and this allows him to play a 200-foot game. Cozens agility and edgework are outstanding. He is able to make quick cuts and change directions quickly. This makes him especially difficult to defend off the rush. Cozens balance and power is good at the junior level. It will only get better as he continues to add muscle to his frame. This allows him to be effective controlling the puck down low.

Offensive Game

Cozens is a pure goal scorer. He has an excellent wrist shot and a quick release as well as the soft hands to finish in close. Cozens also has a good snapshot and slap shot. He is not afraid to get to the dirty areas of the ice, establishing position at the top of the slot, where he can fire in one-timers or provide the “high-screen” that many teams are using to great effect in recent years. With the puck on his stick, he is not afraid to take it to the front of the net.

Dylan Cozens also sees the ice very well. He controls the puck in the cycle game before dishing to an open teammate. His hockey IQ is excellent, as he anticipates where his teammates are headed and is able to set them up for good scoring chances. He can control the puck and has the patience to slow down the play and the instinct to speed it up in order to create openings depending on the situation. His vision and skill allow him to quarterback the power play on the half boards. Without the puck, Cozens finds soft spots in the defence and gets himself open to make a play. He is also effective at battling for loose pucks in the corners and along the boards.

Defensive Game

Cozens will need to add muscle to what is currently a lanky frame. This will help him to be more physical on the forecheck, as well as to better support his defence down low. Cozens is willing to play a physical game and not afraid to throw his weight around in all three zones. He works hard in his own end, and he tends to be in the right position and make the right reads. His positioning and smarts are outstanding though. He is already a very smart defensive player and a good penalty killer. His ability to anticipate plays, as well as his quick stick, create turnovers. Once a turnover is created, he can transition the puck up the ice quickly.

Projection and Comparison

Cozens may never challenge for a scoring title, but he will still be able to score enough to be a first line centre. Add in his strong defensive game, and the potential to grow into a Selke calibre centre and he could be a franchise-changing force up the middle. While he has also played the wing in junior (mainly his rookie year), his skating, vision and hockey IQ all suggest his future is at centre. In terms of playing style, he is reminiscent of Ryan Kesler, though this is not a skill-level comparison.

114 thoughts on “2019 NHL Draft Profile: Dylan Cozens

  1. I still like the big tenacious Russian Vadili Podilkon. Sorry for not being able to spell the last name. He reminds me of Ovechkin.
    The Hawks need size, speed, not afraid to go to the blue paint, win board battles, has a wicked one timer like OV, and can set up a teammate with highlight reel passes.

  2. If we knew for sure Podkolzin will come over to North America and be available to make the Hawks 2019/20 roster – I would be OK with taking him with #3. The problem is we don’t know for sure if or when he will come to N.A. He is signed for 2 more seasons with SKA in the KHL and although NHL teams can sometimes convince the KHL team with cash payments to release the player from their contract, the team Podkolzin is signed with (SKA) is one of the few teams in the KHL that doesn’t have financial problems so paying them “under the table” to release Podkolzin isn’t a slam dunk. Also – if Podkolzin shows he is a star player over these next 2 years – SKA has the money to pay him more than he can get in the NHL.

    In other words, unless Podkolzin wants to come over immediately and the SKA contract situation can be resolved – it is a HUGE risk that he may not come over until the 2021/22 season and then maybe not even then.

  3. This kid could immediately start on the 3rd line. Center would be deep. Toews, Strome, Cozens, Johnson/Highmore.
    Cozens would have Saad on the LW and RW to be named. Not Sikura. I’d love to have Brandon Lemieux. I would LOVE this pick.

  4. Stick to the North American kids. This kid is the pick that they should make. I couldn’t believe that the 3rd pick in the draft fell to the Hawks.

  5. It would be cool to have Jonny mentor this guy with the goal of him becoming the heir apparent. Whether it’s this guy or the Russian (or even Kappo if Rangers for some reason pass on him) we are in line to draft a top line forward for the first time since we got Kane. So cool. I just hope Stan doesn’t overthink it and go off the board for anyone else.

  6. I like this kid for the Hawks Size/Speed/Skill. He sounds like someone the Hawks could use in a lot of situations. I could see him starting as a third line center and working his way up to the top line in a few years as a potential Toews Replacement. Looking forward to seeing the other prospects in this group to see how they compare to Cozens.

  7. I do not think it’s a given the Rangers take Kappo.

    Also, if the Hawks take Podkolzin, there is no way they trade Anisimov. Podkolzin would need a mentor to teach him the culture and take him around.

    The fabulous news is the same as last night, the Hawks will get a great prospect.

  8. Podkolzin will not be in the NHL until 2020-21. So, the Hawks cannot wait that long. They need this pick to start the next season. Cozens is a good player but his speed is not elite. Kirby Dach is 6’3″ and has great speed, skill and is a tenacious two way player who also gets his nose dirty. Big play guy and as I mentioned before; think Forsberg from Nashville!

    And listening to Bowman with Eric talking about watching tournaments in Europe in a couple of weeks to get a peak at Kappo and Podkolzin is puzzling when he knows Kappo is going to the Rangers. Colorado can afford to wait for the Russian but not Bowman. Therefore he needs to travel to Canada and watch the intense CHL playoffs, that is the real deal! And admire Kirby Dach.

  9. Thanks, Tab. Am surprised most of the scouts listed above do not rank him a little higher. We know who they rank 1-3. Looks like they rank one or more of the following higher: Dach, Turcotte, Byram, or Zegras.

    Tony, have been also thinking about the comparison of Podkolzin to Ovi from what I have read about him today, If the Blackhawks get an iron-clad commitment after one more year in the KHL, I would take him.

  10. Hull65 is right that the Hawks do not have the luxury of time. It is more important that Pod gets experience with the Hogs next season and learn N. American-style hockey with the smaller rink, along with our culture and language. Will be easier for him to transition to the NHL. I know, Panarin had no trouble, but it may not be as easy for others.

    As other at this site have pointed out on this site, the scouts say Cozens has more speed than Dach. They are both elite players, just different types.

  11. I guess Graham Knott NHL career as a 2nd round pick is done. Only 7 Hawks drafted players in the lineup with Rockford last night. Not very good.

  12. Continue to watch Knights and Boqvist and it’s amazing the spots he gets in to score, especially on the power play. He has a special knack at least at the amateur level.
    But if you think Gus was kind of a rover at times, get ready for Adam B! it will be interesting to see how he does with the big boys-another year in junior wouldn’t be a bad thing, as long as they work with him on both ends. He’s young.

  13. It’s nice to dream Cozens taking over for Toews. Has all the skills, but does he have the heart and leadership skills of a Toews. That’s where the interview process is of importance. How do you know and measure a heart.

  14. Frank Servalli who works a lot of the CHL games and has seen both Cozens and Dach seems to favour Dach. Obviously, both have upside. Watching Dzingel and Foligno play playoff hockey last night against the smallish Bolts forwards is what Bowman needs to reflect on for the Hawks moving forward. We all remember how hard it was to play against Hossa, Buff, Ladd, Bickel, Shaw, Bolland, Frolic, Brouwer, even Stalberg!!!

  15. I am partial to Cozens and Dach. I’m not sure which one is the quicker/faster skater. They seem to be 1A & 1B. You can’t lose either way. Either one could immediately be plugged in at the 3C and ease into the eventual 1C role as Toews gets older. It’s a fantastic place to be. The Center positions would be Toews, Strome, Cozens/Dach, and Highmore/Johnson.
    The Blackhawks really only need to revamp that whole 4th line.
    Defensively? EVERYTHING hinges on Seabrook. If he retires, the team is in business. Keith can slide down to 4-5-6 position. A FA acquisition at 1-2 is ideal. Then, in my opinion, we can let Dahlstrom, Koekkoek, fight it out for those other spots. I think Murphy and Jokiharju, Keith, and Gustafsson are safe.
    I look forward to seeing what SB does. This is his time to really make this his team. The future core is his to mold. Thoughts?

  16. @Noonan: spot on re Boqvist getting into scoring positions. He seems to have a unique instinct for gliding around and finding seams/soft spots that no one else sees (and he is not the least bit bothered by being the farthest guy up the ice or the last guy to get back). The closest parallel I can think of is an attacking midfielder in footy, but I’ve never seen any one play hockey quite like him. It will be interesting to see how both he and Quinton Hughes do. They both seem like they are playing a game that mostly exists in the future.

  17. Bowen Byram (consensus top D and having a dominant playoff run) needs to be considered I think. He’s a LHD considered NHL ready next year so him plus Joki plus an Edler/Chariot would be big bump for D next year and he’d take over Keith’s 1 LHD role. We are light on lefties in prospect pool so only way that makes sense to me. Him and Boq would lock down top D pair for next decade. Then could look to package another D prospect for a forward. Avalanche are supposed to be big on him as well so also could look to trade with other D desperate teams right behind CO to get a D or F player/prospect that’s ready to contribute next year plus a still very high pick. Tons of fun scenarios to kill time until June for sure!

  18. Edman unless Bowmam finds something that works with Seattle or another team, i think the most likely scenario with Seabrook is that he, legitimately fails his pre camp physical in next couple of years and goes on ltir. Then his cap hit can be moved without any loss of money on his part. Can a blueline realistically be Keith, Gus and Beaudin on left side and Boqvist, Jokiharju and Mitchell on the right. There has to be size, not just skill somewhere in there does there not.

  19. What I love it just when you think we have to get stuck with a samll center and we need centers with size. Bingo bango. We get our selection of the big centers.

    This is the turning point (as well as game 30)(to 80) where we turn the corner and do not look back.

  20. I do not want to trade down. You only get opportunitys to draft elite players every so often. Unless the trade gets us two top 5-10 draft players, aint going to do it.

    We can add what we would get in a trade other ways. You can only get top 3 elite players every once in a really good while.

  21. Not sure if people saw this post on recent thread.

    HAWKSRUS
    April 11, 2019 at 9:43 am
    Not sure if mentioned already but Asst Coach Barry Smith is a former coach of SKA (Podz current team). If any team will be able to get a firm read on his situation with coming over it should be us.

  22. Hawks61, Theys say bounces even out. We did not get the bounces the last yr or so back from the terrible bounces we got in 18 season.

    This evens out the bounces. Were clean slate from here on.

  23. Craig, whoever said game-changer was on the money. This gives us the opportunity to use 15 caphit on the top 4 Defensemen and a guy like Nelson. Being that we would have to trade to get a top 4 D guy otherwise just add top 4 D guy ufa style.

    Jordy, yea we want the Elite Player nothing else.

    Noonan, reminds me of 19 and 88 coming in at same time. One guy played a yr in college and then Bingo bango 19 and 88. Not comparing all time 100 players list or anything. Now we have BoQ and top 3 pick coming in at same time. Deep in 2 yrs.

  24. Hawksrus, Byram is more physical and a better all-around player than our D prospects. Easily would have gone before Boq (and Hughes) if both were in the same draft class. If they draft him, they need to trade one or two of the four horsemen for one or two good FW/C prospects or veterans.

    If management is targeting any of Byram, Podkolzin, Cozens, and Dach, they should consider trading down a few spots. Would BUF trade their #7 and #26, as I mentioned in the previous string? The risk would be that all of them are gone by the 7th pick. Zegras and Turcotte are excellent but committed to colleges.

    Moving up nine spots in the draft gives one some nice leverage.

  25. I would rather trade a Four Horsemen for a FW or prime yrs top 3 D guy then trade down. I do not think it would be good enough to trade down.

    What do DET LA have to offer high end prospects wise. Adding another 1st is good and that is were we got Beau from. Why trade Beau to get another Beau, a yr later development.

    If the top 7 players are as good as Podloz/Cozens, then ok. I thought we preferred an Elite center with size over anything else. That only comes at 3rd pick.

    I understand the better D guy part of it. I would rather get the Elite Player, a center with size, then use the 3rd pick to upgrade a Four Horsemen, which we can do with a trade and then trade 15 caphit and get someone like Nelson/some FW.

  26. That way we get the same thing anyways.

    You trade with DET or LA some of thpse guys are there. You trade with BUF and one of them will be tehre but we cant choose which one we want. So why would you do that.

    We need to be able to pick which one we want. That way we get a center with size not just a really good player to be able to add another Beau.

    Top 3 quality and the selection of which one we want is more important and comes around far to not often to not use pick instead of maximize pick for thing we prob can get other ways.

  27. I believe the hockey Gods gave us this 3rd pick to get another Hoss kind of player because of the bullshit that Hoss had to go through.

    Hoss Karma.

  28. If its LA pick you could do it and would have 3rd choice on the 4 or 5 players we would be ok with. 7th is prob to far.

  29. Then it would come down to what COL wants Cozens or the D guy and we would get who they donot pick.

  30. I like what is said about Cozens’ defensive game. Regardless of just who it is, if the Blackhawks can get a forward/center (preferably center) who can score and has the speed and will to backcheck, etc., then that is what I want to see them get. Interesting to read that Cozens’ game is as physical as it is, and that he delivers the hit sometimes to his detriment. But, that he has the speed to make up the difference after taking himself almost out of the play. Colliton has stated that in his system the defensive responsibilities actually start with the forwards. I’m wondering what he specifically would like out of this fortunate pick.

    It is indeed fantastic for Chicago to have the options they have in this upcoming draft. I’d a never have thunk it. Come on Stan and gang. Pick a winner!

  31. Like Noonan said, we can sleep soooo good again because we know were getting an Elite Player no matter what. We get a Marner instead of a Schmatlz for free. We need to use that.

    Was already excited for the coming yrs, seeing the two transitions yr are over/with the 2nd 40 games this season, 30-80 after roster adjustments, and knowing we have the Four Horsemen coming and adding good ufas this summer/20 summer. Now we have that and a free top 3 pick quality player.

    We just got back what we lost from the dynasty/Cup/windows. Going to be a top team again, and that was before getting this top 3 pick.

    We now have a chance to be stacked again.

  32. Original no disrespect, but missing playoffs and lucking out to get 3rd overall pick was huge one time opportunity in getting a core part for the future, why get rid of it again move down for a riskier picks.
    Bryam is 17 years old and won’t be 18 until a few days before the draft, hard to imagine he plays in Nhl at all next season let alone ready for top pair role. Maybe a year and a half or 2 years away if he doesn’t develop best case. Same with Turcotte and Zegras committed to Ncaa. Even Hughes was questioned for not following Matthews lead and playing in Europe league with bigger, faster and stronger players to be Nhl ready. No guarantees of either being ready or signing after 1 year. If waiting a couple of years, why not take the better player Podkolzin and get a solid committment from him.

  33. Dach is the player i want least but i think hes lower picked anyways.

    For me its Kakko, then Cozens. If Podkolzin wasnt signed to SKA it would be different.

    I have no probs with drafting Bowen.

    Man Boqvist has 9 goals now. Thats pretty anazing.

    I know Tab is high on Ian Mitchell and Im getting there myself as his Pioneers have shut down previous opponents.

  34. I would be leaning to Bowen Byram. He looks like he has a great chance to be a top tier d-man in just a few years.

    I think a top tier d-man playing 25 minutes a game is more valuable than anything other than perhaps a true superstar forward. So if Podkolzin, Dach and Cozens aren’t projected as superstars, I would pick Bowen. How often do you get to pick the top d-man in the draft?

  35. Sounds like Podz is higher risk for higher reward-to me either him or Cozen’s is a great pick. Not to directly compare because that’s silly, and not fair, but Kane or Toews type pick.
    Cozen’s safer and will help with many of the intangibles. And usually I would like the safer North American pick, and the Hawks need the size-but this other guy has been compared (in skill) to a cross between Malkin and Datsyuk.

  36. Ian, I agree with your assessment. Defensively, we have Keith, Jokiharju, Gustafsson, Murphy, Mitchell, then either Koekkoek or Dahlstrom. Seabrook? I dunno. A trade? Likely. A top 1-2 FA? Hopefully. Do want Brandon Lemieux? Yep. A 3rd line of Saad, Cozens/Dach, Lemieux. 4th line? I think Highmore and Johnson are there. Kampf? Hayden? Kahun? Of course, Lemieux is just my fantasy pick. That he has the same pedigree as Claude and Jocelyn is what I look at.
    This is just too much fun.

  37. The Hawks have a good track record with European prospects as a good place to go and maybe since Panarin came to CHI and was very successful they have some capital that way with Russians

    it wouldn’t surprise if the Hawks were able to convince Pod (and SKA) to come over next year – if not the risk that he’s even more than 2 years away is not worth it IMO and Cozens may be the right choice

    Don’t forget Barry Smith has Russian connections and that may play out in the Hawks favour as well

    Also agree that it’s no slam dunk that the Rangers take Kakko – they also have what seems like strong Russian scouting and could be prepared to wait on Pod especially if they’re thinking they’re gonna suck next year as well and will get another high pick for their re-build

  38. Is being a right handed shooting center a good thing? I ask because one of the reasons I like Cozens for the Hawks is that he is a right handed shot and some of the rankings I have read mentioned the rarity of a right handed shooting center. They seemed to indicate that they are coveted.

    Is there any advantage to a center being a right handed shot when the majority of centers in the NHL are left handed shots?

  39. Scratch that, I meant Dach being a right shot center, not Cozens. I wondered if that is a good thing to distinguish one from the other.

  40. To capture the beauty of the whole thing.

    How huge is getting the 3rd pick. It means we can add a top 3 D guy in summer through trade & draft an Elite Player, a center with size. or Draft the top pair D guy and get a 1st line center the trade way. What ever way we do it, we now can do both.

    Talk about not being able to do it half assed that way or that way. We now can do it both ways full.

  41. Miro a center taking a faceoff usually wants to move the puck to their forehand side. Toward middle of ice in offensive zone and toward corner in defensive zone. Good ones like Toews get it done on either side but a strong faceoff guy who shoots right would be a advantage in some situations. Neither of these 2 were particularly strong faceoffs this season. Not uncommon for younger star type players not to work on that part of their game until they get to the pros.

  42. This is the break we have been waiting for and deserve. I am breaking out the bollinger 61 and beluga this wknd.

  43. Hull 65; Marian Hossa was one of the greatest of all time 2 way player, he can not ever be ever replaced. Period , again. This is the main reason the Hawks are in trouble, They figured they would have at least 3 more years of the Greatest forward of all time.

  44. Miro Cozens is also right handed. If the Hawks can confirm Pod will be in the NHL after his Russian contract there’s no reason to pass on him. The gap between Kakko and Podkolzin is substantially smaller than the gap from Podkolzin to Cozens/Dach/Byram according to most scouts. Barry Smiths connection to the KHL may come in super clutch if they were to pursue Podkolzin at the draft.

    Also completely agree with everyone saying that Kakko might not be for sure going to the rangers. They love their Russian players and everyone was saying Kravtsov was a reach at 9 and he may be the pest drafted prospect in the world right now. We are going to end up with an elite talent anyways.

  45. True Kevin, but when you lose Hossa or Sharp or Shaw or Teuvo, you can’t count on Sikura or Kahun or Hayden. We simply need a better upgrade from the latter 2. Unfortunately, Rockford is empty so we need to draft a player ready to step in next season on the wing or centre and hopefully Bowman clears AA and Murphy to sign a few real good free agents.
    Let’s see what happens.

  46. I agree Ian, our 4 dmen drafted by Bowman are skilled but lack serious size. Watching Pens vs Isles last night, I cannot imagine how Mitchell, Joki, Beaudin and Boqvist could survive the intense forecheck and agressive hitting. Playoff hockey is not Junior or NCAA hockey.

  47. Totally agree Hull. They need to mix in two solid physical dmen if they wanna play all four of those guys in the future. Mitchell probably has the best chance of playing a semi physical game in the future despite his size because of NCAA, i dont know exactly what the comparebale is maybe Charlie McAvoy in Boston? Ive also seen Boqvist throw a few big hits in Juniors on good sized opponents, but that’s Junior hockey, but he could be able to throw a few hits being 6 feet and maybe he grows to 6’1”.

    Adding 2 big young dman should definitely be done though. Anyone know and FA’s that could be good to add on the back end in the future or this offseason?

  48. What’s the issue with a right-shooting C? Hello Mikita and Savard.

    Good posts by Wrap and 200Foot on taking Pod. However, he is signed through 20/21. Management should be willing to wait one year, but not two. As I posted earlier, he needs time to adjust to our smaller rink and N. American culture. He is rated above Cozens, Dach, and the rest by nearly all of the scouts. May be a future Ovi Jr. Wrap, thanks for the info on Barry Smith’s Russian connections. Would not be happy to watch his high-end skill in another team’s sweater.

    A number of you think the Rangers may pass on Kakko and take Pod. Doesn’t this tell you that Pod may have more upside potential? If he will come over this year or next, grab him! If the Rangers take him, we will take Kakko. In that case, we need to keep KooKoo so Pat and John can say “KooKoo passes to Kakko” (they will need throat lozenges).

    Hull65, you are deluding yourself if you think a pick will be ready to play next season. The goal should be 20/21.

    Forget my posts about the idea of swapping picks with BUF. Our consolation prize should be Cozens and he won’t last until #7.

  49. HAWKSRUS also posted about Barry Smith connections.

    Got to be the normal one yr, 2 is too long. NHL ready doesnt matter.

    Still adding a Defensive Defensemen this summer/trade seems to be top priority.

    The question now is with getting an Elite Player, do we still add Nelson.

  50. I say its payback time!

    How many times was SB bent over the Salary Cap Barrel and forced to give up a good player in order to make a trade to get under the cap?

    Well now HE should do that to other cap-troubled teams and steal some talent.

    This may not relate to having the 3rd pick but as I see it, the tables are now turned and we, with some cap flexibility, are seemingly in position to capitalize on another team’s cap woes.

    SHAFT SOMEBODY, STAN.

  51. Just to reiterate what Craig Button said about Pod – that he (Button) has no doubt – I stress ‘no doubt’ that Podkolzin is ready to play in the NHL next year

    The if of course is can he/will he come over next year but if he does it looks like he can play right away – Button generally is right on with this sort of thing

  52. Button also said the gap between Pod and Kakko for 2nd in his mind is razor thin and is considering moving Pod up to #2

    I think he also projects Cozens to be a really good 2C so the drop off from the top 3 to Cozens (at least according to Button) is significant although Button also loves Cozens as a player

    That’s why if the Rangers talk Kakko the Hawks should have done everything possible to get Pod to come over – he could be a real difference maker – you don’t want to pass him by if that’s the case but you also can’t afford to waste a #3 on a player who may not ever come to the NHL

    It’ll be interesting

  53. It breaks my heart that Dallas stole one on the road from the Predators last night.

    Felt good to type that.

  54. Only 2 of the #3 picks from the last 10 drafts played in the NHL the following season (D+1) – Duchene in 2009/10 and Kotkaniemi in 2018/19. A #3 pick being ready to play in the NHL immediately is the exception – not the rule. Maybe this year will be the exception with Hughes, Kakko and Podkozin if he comes over, but most likely Cozens, Dach, Turcotte and the rest of the guys in the conversation won’t be ready to play in the NHL until 2020/21 at the earliest.

  55. Denver loses in OT. Had a good comeback though. Didn’t watch the whole game but Mitchell looked very solid against a really good UMass team with Cale Makar who is an absolute beast. Gonna be scary in the future if Colorado takes Byram at 4 to play with Makar.

  56. Be scared if they got Hughes and top 3 pick a yr ago. We ll have to contend with them. They could have a really good team, like LA and BOS did. We were 2-1 against LA and BOS with really good teams. Both teams won Cup. I am fine with COL winning a Cup and Blackhawks winning another Cup or two.

  57. Wraparound-some really good posts. Reading and listening to Craig Button is very smart. He only comments or ranks prospects he has seen in person 4 times or more. He has an NHL level keen eye for talent.

    Secondly, it’s great that Cozens and Dach are from out west. The Hawks main scout out there is Darrell May. His opinion means a ton to Mark Kelley and Stan. He was the scout who was sold on Jokihariju after seeing him in Portland. Notice the Mitchell pick as well from out west in 2017. Brandon Hagel and Reece Johnson from Red Deer are likely in his territory.

    I’m confident the Hawks will get a great prospect at number 3. It would be foolish to trade back from there. Get the guy the organization truly is enamored with.

  58. I think many people are deluding themselves thinking that it would be easy to convince Pod to leave Russia. He’s SKA’s player for the next two years and they are backed by Putin himself. Putin takes a huge interest in hockey and actively encourages the KHL to do everything possible to keep good Russians in KHL. If Pod is as good as he’s predicted to be, he won’t leave Russian after two seasons with SKA. NHL wouldn’t be able to pay him as much as Putin does. It would be a pick wasted.

  59. EB, Akex Galchenyuk played all 48 games during lockout season in his rookie year and Draisatil got Joki treatment after 37 games in his rookie year. Yzerman had a bit of a hate on for Drouin so hard to know how that might of affected him, small size too. CBJ pick of Du bois 3rd overall was considered a big risk taking someone that high at his stage of development, seems to be working out in that case but many others didn’t, its a gamble when you do that.

    If there is good conversation between Blackhawks Podkolzin, which i’m sure there will be, taking him shouldn’t be that big a risk. After all no guarantees on someone going Ncaa route either they will sign, but you don’t paint everyone with same brush there either, you deal with it individually.

  60. ER has an important cautionary note about next year and how this pick will help-draft and develop is important and not to rush things.

    I to want players, thru trade, free agency, and the draft to mesh with the remaining core-but the management’s job is to look at now and the future. That get’s tricky when the GM’s job is on the line, but Bowman etc. are professional enough to look at the long term health of the franchise–and there is life after the Hall of Fame core.
    Again 2, 88, 19 and 50 need to compliment and push the young core, not the other way around. Hopefully it means a relevant team in the next 2 years, but not at all cost. Still lots to do/improve.
    Translation-if Podz is the smartest pick they will get him.

  61. Podkolzin has attitude problems. He’s undisciplined and short-tempered. He also doesn’t want to go to America anytime soon. I actually speak Russian and I’ve seen him interviews. He was very own about not wanting to go to NHL anytime soon. He said that he would lose more than he would gain, that he doesn’t know language at all and would be completely lost. That he *might* consider going to NHL only when he’s grown as a complete hockey player and a man.
    Doesn’t exactly sound like a player eager to play in NHL. Hawks shouldn’t waste a pick on him if they’ll have to wait 4-5 years at the very least.

  62. Not to mention that Pod is nowhere near in the same league as Ovechkin was at his age (I’ve seen people here compare them). Even in Russia people don’t rate Pod as high as they rated Ovechkin at his age (he was already a special talent).

  63. Don’t get me wrong: he’s clearly talented, but is he talented enough to risk drafting him over, say, Cozens? I don’t think so.

  64. @Sven, awesome G2. Podkolzin has been my preferred pick at #3, though see value sliding back into pick 4-7, with the right partner and value. Obviously, a ton more discussion needed and will happen with Podkolzin’s representation before the draft. If the draft were tomorrow, though, I think I’d go in a different direction, probably Cozens.

  65. @Wrap, I’m trying to understand why Podkolzin is rated so highly in some circles but his club stats in Russia are anemic at best. It concerns me that perhaps his international tournament is being weighed more heavily than it should in his player evaluation and determination of NHL readiness. If he is NHL ready today and is considered an elite scorer, why is that not translating to production in the MHL,VHL and KHL today?

    The more I hear about a player the less certain I am of him. The Hawks are lucky I am not their GM, I’m so conflicted about who to pick at #3…

  66. Podkolzin moved around a lot all season long. Not being able to settle in on one team with certain players could be why his scoring numbers dont look very elite. In the 2 games he played in the KHL he averaged 11 minutes of ice. Seems like the kid didn’t really get the chance to play much when he got up there. His international tournaments have been great. He doesnt seem to undisciplined in his league numbers with only 6 pims all season but internationally he has a ton of pims. I guess that’s the risk when taking a Russian.

  67. Miro, thats why the good Lord gave us 2 mths to research these prospects for in addition to what the scouts already know.

    What I am 100% is were getting an Elite Player, and that is half of what we need to most and prob the hardest of what the teams needs to get.

    We just got it, with a top 3 pick.

    I am too not sure who is best for us right now and there must be more then one that would be is best for us.

  68. Speaking of Russian beluga, how far is Shalumnov away.

    Can someone post what season they think out closest prospect are ready/coffee or more. Just to get an idea of when these guys could be playing. It seems like we have lots and lots of good players coming and about the same time.

    Gilbert- 20?
    Shalunov- 20?
    Entwhistle- 20
    Highmore- 20
    Johnson- 20
    Kurashev- 20?
    Buckaroo- 20
    Boqvist- 21
    top 3 pick- 21
    Mitchell- 21
    Beau- 21 or 22
    Barratt- 21 or 22

    Thats lots of good players that could be good, at once, around 21 season. Reminds of 2009, on the verge.

  69. Byram seems to be catching a lot of attention and whose stock may be on the rise. We need to come out of this with a stud and it could be at center, wing, or defence (as good as Boqvist’s offence is he may not become an all situations player) so Byram is in the mix. The sands will shift over the next couple of months. I just hope we don’t trade down (which I can’t see happening) or go off the board. This is a gift; let’s not blow it.

    As for Russians, I know it’s crazy but I still get bad vibes over the picks wasted on Vorobiev and Yakubov. Just saying.

  70. @Sven – thanks for the info on Pod’s interviews – awesome that you speak Russian

    It doesn’t sound promising obviously from what he’s currently saying – his mind could change and I’m sure the Hawks will make an effort to change it

    If he sticks with what he has already said I agree best to stay away from him at #3

  71. Cozens will at U18 Worlds starting this weekend – I think Hughes will be there not sure about Kakko or Pod

    Byram I think is still in playoffs so don’t think he’ll be there

  72. Ian, how about Tarasenko, Kucherov (will win Hart), and Kuznetsov?

    Don’t get caught up in all of Sven’s negativity about Podkolzin. Unless you feel he knows more than the consensus among professional scouts. And does anyone think Blackhawk management (or any team management) is that stupid to be willing to wait at least 4-5 years after picking him?

  73. Bowman said that night now we have a guy who can follow in Toews footsteps. Thats an Elite center with size.

    We could draft this top pair two way Defensemen and get a center for 1st line of future the same way we got Strome. Would require a top young player like 8, so one of the Four Horsemen since we would be adding a top pair Defensemen.

    You do that and we add a prime yrs top 3 Defensemen this summer, top 3 pick top pair Defensemen and the Four Horsemen. Thats a lot of stacking right there. Which would mean we have to trade on of those Defensemen at some point.

  74. The beauty is now we know were going to be that deep again. We know were adding another Elite Player. We know were adding this summer and some in summer of 20.

    Its just a matter of time. This July 1 has that summer of 09 feel to it, where were going to add some key players to the group and already know the good young wave of draft players we have coming.

  75. @ORIGINAL6HAWKEY I’m not claiming to know more than professional scouts. I’m not belittling Pod’s talent, though unlike you, I’ve actually seen him quite a bit on the TV, as I currently live in a Russian-speaking country and watch a lot of Russian channels. I’m merely saying that as someone who actually saw that kid talk about his lack of desire to play in America, he’s definitely not coming back anytime soon. He literally said: “It’s one thing to go to play for another town, but completely another to go to an overseas country without knowing their language. I don’t want to live in America, maybe when I’m a complete player and have a family.” Does it sound to you like the kid wants to move to America anytime soon?

  76. Original right on, nobody is suggesting do anything stupid but with all their connections, theres probably zero chance they waste this pick on a blind gamble, they will know what his intentions are, 1 or 2 years, not interested or terminating his contract to come early and if he is still there at no. 3 act accordingly.

  77. Good info by everybody. From now to draft to July 1, we can smile a mile wide.

    Walk with Swagger Bayybayyyyy.

  78. Before Stan decides what to do with the #3 pick, he should have a plan in mind and the decision he makes regarding the #3 pick should fit within that plan. When Stan was interviewed a month ago he indicated “the plan” was to try to win another Cup while the “old core” was still playing at a high level – what we termed “the T&K window”. That plan clearly prioritizes the next 3 to 4 years above what could be deemed “long term” – 5+ years. The rationale being that it’s realistic to assume T&K will still be playing at a high level for the next 3 to 4 years, but unrealistic to make that assumption out past 4 years.

    Therefore, if that is still the plan, then the best use of the #3 pick is to address making the Hawks better in the short term by addressing current needs rather than going with the rule of thumb “best player available” rationale used for making raft selections. Current need and “BPA” don’t have to be mutually exclusive – but current need should be the primary objective.

    Drafting a player projected to be the best player 4 or 5 years down the line but isn’t ready to contribute to the Hawks in the next couple years is counter to “the plan”. Unless Stan is 100% certain Podkolzin will come to N.A. in 2019/20 so that he has a year or two to settle in to his new surroundings and language and all the rest he and be ready to significantly contribute on the ice by 2020/21. If Stan does not have that guarantee – he should not select Podkolzin even if he believes he is the best long term BPA.

    Develop a plan and see it through.

  79. That makes sense. I do think 19 88 are still very good at 35-40, just not as good these 5 yrs now when they are 30-35. Thing to is the young wave of good players will get better and start prime of prime yrs when 19 88 are that 35-40. Team might be better then when 19 88 arnt as good these 4 coming yrs. Cant say for another 5 yrs from now on 19 88.

    Only difference we know is when 19 88 are 35-40 2 and 7 wont be here.

    Now I would start trading high picks/assets for certain players/summer or draft or deadline to load the roster again in a couple yrs when were deep again and not worry about saving every pick for future. That plan I like.

  80. That makes sense. I do think 19 88 are still very good at 35-40, just not as good these 5 yrs now when they are 30-35. Thing to is the young wave of good players will get better and start prime of prime yrs when 19 88 are that 35-40. Team might be better then when 19 88 arnt as good these 4 coming yrs. Cant say for another 5 yrs from now on 19 88.

    Only difference we know is when 19 88 are 35-40 2 and 7 wont be here.

  81. Now I would start trading high picks/assets for certain players/summer or draft or deadline to load the roster again in a couple yrs when were deep again and not worry about saving every pick for future. That plan I like.

  82. ER, well the Four Horsemen have to be part of the plan. They should be ready for 21 season and the top 3 pick Elite Player will be to. Thats why I was wondering are most of the better prospects ready for 21 season and on. I mean we are going to load up fast in quality depth, even with a lot of green. This green is blue chip and should get good/established fast.

    With that big and good of a wave its going to be sweet. Cant wait to watch stacked hockey again.

  83. The goal with pick 3 should be to find the player with the most talent and the biggest upside regardless of position.
    The so called T&K window should have absolutely nothing to do with who Chicago drafts.
    If anyone watched the videos with the Blackhawks scouts the goal was to project what the prospects would look like in 3-4 years and not who would just make the NHL first.
    That was the Hawks philosophy last draft and I have no reason to believe that this draft will be any different.

  84. ER: great post. The window is 3-4 years tops, which means if Stan keeps the pick, it is with the expectation the player will make the team for the 20/21 season. If Craig Button and others are correct that Pod will come over right away, I think he will be the pick. Otherwise, most likely:

    1. Cozens: Toews-like qualities of a complete 200 foot player with excellent speed.
    2. Dach: Getzlaf-qualities. Strong and fast for his size. Complete player, but a little slower than Cozens, which may cause management to pass on him because of Strome.

    Both being right-shooting C are a plus.

    If Hawks weren’t stacked with good D prospects, they would probably pick Byram. He won’t last past #5. Sorry Detroit.

    Of course, things can change in the next two months.

  85. I think you have to consider the needs and timeline of T&K. These aren’t ordinary, transitory players. They are franchise defining historic players in their prime, not Joe Montana with little tread left. I would say it’s all about maximizing their remaining prime years, for fans and the players. That’s why I like Pods, seems like he can play early, or trading back for assets now.

  86. ER, I was agreeing with your posts. Just think that 19 88 will still be very good longer then most people think and to go along with the large group of good young players wave we have coming, they will get better over those yrs. So to me the window is more like 8/9 yrs for 19 88, with these 5 coming yrs maybe team is better then when 19 88 are 35-40.

  87. So based on most posts here, people are saying

    NJ- Hughes
    NY- Kakko
    CHI- Podkolzin or Cozens
    COL- Dach
    LA- Byram

    So, basically if we know he will play NA in 21 we pick Podloz otherwise we pick Cozens. Most here want Those two before Dach or Byram

  88. EB exactly when the 3rd picks comes the Blackhawks will have the situation well cased and draft accordingly to who fits their thoughts.
    Stape thats what makes a good scout, not what you see today but seeing what the player can become. When taking a high pick the advantage often is someone who is closer to Nhl ready and involves less guesswork and risk, is the popular thought, not exact science either but still better odds for success.

  89. @Stape – regarding the Hawks draft strategy being taking the player who is the best 3-4 years out, I think you’re right thats’ their usual MO – the difference with Pod though is that there could be serious enough suspicions about him not coming over even after 2 years or 3 or 4 years to pass him by – maybe he doesn’t ever come over

    Obviously in this latter case it doesn’t matter if he’s got highest upside – he doesn’t help the Hawks playing in the KHL

    So there will be more than talent and projected abilities at play in Pod’s case

  90. Going to see Boqvist and Entwistle face off in game 6 tomorrow in the London-Guelph OHL series

    I’m excited – will report back my 2.05 cents

  91. After watching the Jets and Blues play-it’s brutal on the ice-could the Hawks stand up to that type of physical intensity for 4 rounds? Is that realistic as the team is comprised/or will be comprised next year?

  92. Not now but in 21 season we should have filled out the roster with those kind of players. Thats another reason it is this huge that we got a top 3 pick. So we now have the selection of which center with size we want, not just being able to get a center with size. Before we got the top 3 pick we prob had to get another high end prospect without size.

    Thats why this top 3 pick is so huge.

    Not every team will be big like those teams, but your right we do need to add the right style of players to fill out the roster for what your saying. That is very important.

  93. Who did we have for players with size or toughness in 13 14 16 when we went 1-1 against LA and STL, teams with size or play that style. We need to get somewhat like that, enough of those kind of players.

    Its harder to get the skilled or Elite Players and we have done that. Now get some 65.

  94. We did good 2nd 40 games, really since roster adjustments/game 30. But we do not even have a full roster and we do not have enough of the tuff and guys with size. So we would get pushed around to much. Thats why I am glad we did what we did, I was routing to win, when we were going good. Then got rewarded with top 3 pick. It couldnt have worked out any better.

    Now we ll be able to get good players in summer and have more of a full roster, still not deep, but full enough and some tuff and guys with size to have for the team to play in playoffs in the 20 season. That will be good experience for the younger players. So were really ready for the 21 season when were are deep again.

    From the 21 season and on we should get better each yr for yrs.

  95. Noonan, we simply do not have a full roster. Not even close. We can play and beat most teams but its not a legitimate fair chance to play when were playing short handed. The top teams are better then us, now. When we have a full roster were right there with those teams.

    I think we be back to top 5 team, but we have to get what were missing right now. Getting top 3 pick is massive in doing that. I still want to add what everyone here been saying to add this summer. Then when the younger wave is ready, 21 season and on, were on of the top teams.

    Right now its just not fair to play with a 5/8 full of a roster against these top teams that are 8/8 full. We need to add what we need, then we will.

  96. Mo-how Columbus is handling Tampa is a lesson for all teams-style, grit and team speed.
    Wow both the Jets and Lightning in real trouble.

  97. What Jets and Lightning really lack is leadership and mental toughness

    I’m not worried about the Hawks in those departments once they get to the playoffs – they could use some more size and physical toughness though agreed

  98. Yea what you guys said is the thing. We do not even have a full roster let alone enough of that kind of style players. Bowman and crew know this so they must get those kind of players to fill out 23man. CLB already had 4 good lines then added some good deadline player so they were ready in that way. Its like when NAS got deep and had 4 lines and we had to beat them in 15, what TAM is going through now.

    I want us to have the flexibility to play against any teams different styles of play. We need a full 8/8 roster & quality deepness. I think we could that coming with the blue chip draft players and very interested in who we get ufas/trade this summer and the summer of 20. Thats where were getting those kind of players.

  99. Thinking about the potential of next year’s Blackhawks.
    If Cozens is the pick. After trades, FA’s, and minor league call ups.
    Offense:
    Caggiula, Toews, and Kane.
    Perlini, Strome, and DeBrincat.
    Saad, Cozens, B. Lemieux.
    Highmore, Johnson, Hayden/Entwhistle.
    Defense:
    Karlsson-Jokiharju
    Keith-Gustafsson
    Murphy-Koekkoek/Mitchell
    Goalies:
    Crawford and Ward

    Gone is Dahlstrom, Kahun, and Kampf. Ward may retire but I don’t feel confident withat Delia, just yet. Crawford is such a health risk.
    Hayden may well be gone. Not sure who, in Rockford or FA, would take his place. I threw Entwhistle in there because I think he could fill that role.
    Really, the only acquisitions, for me, would be B. Lemieux & Karlsson. What about Seabrook? That’s the biggest issue. No one is going to take him. So, would he retire and take a coaching roll in Rockford? His decisions could really make or break the defense.
    I’m sure another FA D-man is also a good fit. I look at Karlsson as the best signing, if SB could swing it. Also, if Mitchell would benefit more from being in Rockford, either a veteran FA or a different Rockford D-man.
    Just my thoughts.

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