Who The Blackhawks Might Target In The 2018 NHL Draft

The Blackhawks were bumped down a spot in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft when Buffalo won the lottery (thanks, Carolina).

With that in mind, who are some of the prospects the Hawks might target? Here’s a preliminary list of some names to consider as we look to the end of June.

Forwards

Oliver Wahlstrom, C, USA NTDP
6-1, 183
Ranked #6 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #5 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #8 by Future Considerations
Ranked #7 by McKeen’s Hockey
Ranked #7 by Bob McKenzie
Ranked #6 by SportsNet
Ranked #7 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, Assat (SM Liiga)
6-2, 188
Ranked #10 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #18 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #17 by Future Considerations
Ranked #14 by McKeen’s Hockey
Ranked #10 by Bob McKenzie
Ranked #19 by SportsNet
Ranked #6 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)

A smart forward with a dangerous shot, Kotkaniemi possesses a high hockey IQ and determination with the skills to back it up. Positions himself well and often seems to be a step ahead of plays. Stickhandling and creativity allow him to split professional defences as a teenager. Decent size and frame, yet a very capable skater.” – Matias Strozyk

Joe Veleno, C, Drummondville (QMJHL)
6-1, 195
Ranked #23 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #10 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #12 by Future Considerations
Ranked #9 by McKeen’s Hockey
Ranked #11 by Bob McKenzie
Ranked #13 by SportsNet
Ranked #8 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

There is so much to like about Joe Veleno. He’s a hard-nosed workhorse that makes the players around him better. The fleet-footed center is unselfish and will primarily look to make a play at top speed; however, when the chance arises to put it in the pot himself, he will capitalize. He sees the ice well and is rarely caught out of position. His defensive game is refined and he actively pursues puck control. Transitioning to offence is natural, smooth, and quick. All-in-all, a well-rounded two-way forward that skates well and can be the catalyst a team needs to turn a game in its favor. If he can find the consistency in refusing to let himself get taken out of plays, especially if he doesn’t start them, he will thrive and exceed expectations.” – EliteProspects

Barrett Hayton, C, S.S. Marie (OHL)
6-1, 180
Ranked #27 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #12 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #27 by Future Considerations
Ranked #13 by McKeen’s Hockey
Ranked #12 by Bob McKenzie
Ranked #10 by SportsNet
Ranked #9 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

Continues to improve on a daily basis, he has undercover skill and is world-class when it comes to character. He’s a top-15 pick all day, but is helped by a weaker centre crop.” – SportsNet

Joel Farabee, LW, USNTDP
5-11, 164
Ranked #8 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #16 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #16 by Future Considerations
Ranked #12 by McKeen’s Hockey
Ranked #14 by Bob McKenzie
Ranked #11 by SportsNet
Ranked #12 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

Ryan McLeod, C, Mississauga (OHL)
6-2, 203
Ranked #24 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #15 by Future Considerations
Ranked #23 by McKeen’s Hockey
Ranked #29 by SportsNet
Ranked #16 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

One of the most fascinating players in this draft class. At this point, the parts are greater than the sum. If and when it all comes together, you have a player who should impact the game at the next level.” – SportsNet

Defensemen

Evan Bouchard, D, London (OHL)
6-2, 193
Ranked #15 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #6 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #10 by Future Considerations
Ranked #6 by McKeen’s Hockey
Ranked #5 by Bob McKenzie
Ranked #8 by SportsNet
Ranked #4 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

A highly intelligent all-around defenceman that plays with poise and can shift the pace of play in a multitude of ways. Showcases smooth four-way skating ability and loves to get involved in all situations – especially when that situation happens to be an up-ice rush. Has a polished offensive skill-set which includes well-timed passes and a sneaky, erratic shot. Goes with the high percentage play and makes smart decisions. Could work on strength behind his shot. Defensively active, cutting off lanes and always staying in excellent positioning. Reads cues well in all three zones and seems to stay a step ahead. All-in-all, a well-rounded defender with great hockey sense and work ethic.” – EliteProspects

Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
6-3, 180
Ranked #9 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #8 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #9 by Future Considerations
Ranked #10 by McKeen’s Hockey
Ranked #8 by Bob McKenzie
Ranked #7 by SportsNet
Ranked #5 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

A talented two-way defenceman that can play in all situations and stay productive. Uses his edges well and is, for the most part, a very smooth skater; however, as he gets stronger and adjusts to a more up-tempo style of hockey, he will need to work on his speed in gap-closing. Offensively, he utilizes his keen sense of awareness to be in the right spot at the right time, every time. Soft hands and a deadly shot accentuate his ability to get creative, on occasion. Rock solid defensively, his strong positioning severely limits time and space for the opposition. All-in-all, a well-rounded, reliable, and consistent defenceman that can log a lot of ice time and provide his team with a stable presence on the back end.” – EliteProspects

Quinn Hughes, D, University of Michigan (NCAA – B1G)
5-10, 170
Ranked #7 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #7 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #6 by Future Considerations
Ranked #4 by McKeen’s Hockey
Ranked #9 by Bob McKenzie
Ranked #9 by SportsNet
Ranked #6 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

An elite defensive talent that has mastered the elements of speed and decision-making. He is calculated in his handling of the puck and well-versed in his ability to limit time and space for the opposition without the puck. It’s almost taken for granted, now, that he is a highly skilled offensive player, simply due to his individual ability to carry plays and outfox the opposition in their own end. His creativity and vision is what sets him apart from many other defenders, and he plays that exciting style of hockey that punishes opponents’ mistakes with immediacy. It’s his proactivity through the neutral zone, not just limiting the time and space for the opposition but limiting their options to move the puck up-ice every time he’s on a shift, that makes him so potent. All-in-all, a complete defenceman that understands how to open up a game and take it over.” – EliteProspects

Ty Smith, D, Spokane (WHL)
5-10, 175
Ranked #14 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #11 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #7 by Future Considerations
Ranked #16 by McKeen’s Hockey
Ranked #13 by Bob McKenzie
Ranked #12 by SportsNet
Ranked #14 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

55 thoughts on “Who The Blackhawks Might Target In The 2018 NHL Draft

  1. Ryan MacLeod not likely to go in top 10 but could be a real star, some scouts and hockey people really high on him. Be worth trying to package Preds pick and move up to top mid 1st round or so to get for sure. Ty Smiths sub par performance at under 18s probably has him dropping.

  2. This is an easy choice. The Hawks up the middle suck to below average the last two years, especially last season. Stanley Cup winning teams were strong up the middle; Bolland 4th line in ’13 Cup run. Kruger pre-wrist injury. Madden, Handzus, Richards & Vermette all made a difference on their respective teams.

    Joe Veleno, w/ the meat sauce on the side please. Thank you.

  3. Here’s how I think it will shake out on draft day;

    1.Dahlin-Buf
    2.Andrei Svechnikov-Canes
    3.Filip Zadina-Habs
    4.Adam Boqvist-Sens
    5.Brady Tkachuk-Yotes
    6. Quinn Hughes
    7. ???
    8. Evan Bouchard if he is there

    I think Hughes goes off the board locally to the Wings, which sucks because he is exactly the PP QB that the Hawks could really use. Hughes reminds me of Nick Leddy and Zach Werenski. His small frame is a concern though.

    Wahlstrom might be the best player left( if Vancouver doesn’t select him) and it’s going to be hard for SB to pass on him if Vancouver does but,… the Hawks need defense. Sure the Hawks have “guys” in their system but none like these kids. I think the Hawks will likely be looking at Noah Dobson, Evan Bouchard or Wahlstrom and one of 2 D-men. If Evan Bouchard is there I’d take him.

    After that 9th and 10th picks this draft tends to thin out. Joe Veleno is a nice prospect just because he has elite skills but his overall game hasn’t been elite.

  4. Great article Tab. SSHM pretty much same thoughts except with Wings losing Green to fa and Kromwall and Daley getting long on the tooth a shot of youth to right defence probably more in their needs. Also if Ottawa looking to replace Karlsson may go for Bouchard as an OHL star fans know or Boqvist. Arizona either pick Tkachuk then or trade so somebody else can pick him.Canucks may go for a forward but agree if Wahlstrom still around at 8 be hard to pass, he could be in the picture along with Hughes and which one of either Dobson or Bouchard not picked.
    Lots of caution out there about over rating centers because a talent thin draft there.

  5. Crud…we didn’t move up in the draft lottery. Carolina with a huge move from 11 to 2, they won big time. But no one won more than Buffalo, who got 1st overall after having the worst record. Buffalo got themselves a franchise-type defenseman. I guess they needed it, and it is a great hockey market, so there’s that. Their big problem is they paid Jack Eichel something like 8 or 10 million on a max year deal before he showed he was worth that kind of money…….But I was really hoping we’d move up to top 3. I would have loved Tkachuk, or Svechnikov.

    So at 8 I think we will take whatever defenseman comes to us. And it will be a good one. These guys will be gone:

    Dahlin
    Svechnikov
    Tkachuk
    Zadina

    I’m thinking those guys are the first 4 picks.

    Then we are sitting at 8 with 4 defensemen left that I would take with that 8th pick:

    Bouchard
    Hughes
    Dobson
    Boqvist

    I would say it seems a lock we will get one of those guys. Of course at that point if they fall in love with a center like Veleno or Hayton, or if they want Walstrom, they could go that route too. But to me those defense prospects are too good to pass up, unless they know something about one of the centers that makes rank them higher.

    Both Veleno and Hayton have huge upsides for different reasons, and you can’t argue with our need for another center, with Toews’ decline and Schmaltz inconsistencies. But for me give me one of those four defenseman all day long. It was huge we did not move back by more than one spot, because it guarantees us one of those BIG FOUR.

    Dahlin could have put us back in Cup contention next year with the right moves, but any of these other guys will instantly become our top rated prospect in our system with the hopes of maybe playing with us after a year or two in the developmental leagues. High ceiling guys, which we don’t really have.

    Good to see Jokiharju made Finland’s national championship team. He might see ice time against Team USA with Kane and Dcat.

  6. Hopefully with the Preds pick Serron Noel is still available. At 6’5″ he has the skill to be an impact top 6 power forward but needs to be devloped before he is NHL ready.

  7. I think Quinn Hughes is going to World Championships for USA

    I’m thinking that his play there will interest a team drafting ahead of the Hawks to take him if that weren’t already interested enough

    If the choice is say Dobson or Wahlstrom I think you go for Wahlstrom even though we need D – we also need a big bodied skilled forward and the more I read about Wahlstrom the more I like him

    Dobson seems like the 9th best prospect in that group – I think the Hawks will end up with one of the other D or Wahlstrom

  8. Just throwing it out there does anybody think Canes 2nd overall pick worth the Blackhaeks 2 1sts as the main parts in a package.

  9. Several scouting reports including the one above have indicated Dobson struggles defending the up tempo game due to lack of quickness and closing speed. I would steer clear of him and pick Wahlstrom or Bouchard if they are available.

  10. That would be a tempting trade Ian but since the Hawks do not have a second round pick I do not think it will happen.

  11. After watching some video on Boqvist, I think he is the 2nd best d-man and a natural for Ottawa to select knowing they are losing Karlsson. Who knows if Boqvist will come close to Karlsson, but he is the nearest thing (after Dahlin) with the speed and skill he has. Therefore I doubt Ottawa would trade the #4 pick but if they would – I would explore what it would take to get Boqvist.

    It’s probably goinf to come down to one of Bouchard, Hughes or Dobson and I would take any one of those over Wahlstrom because the Hawks need a top-4 d-man sooner than later. Plus Wahlstrom is going to spend at least one or two years playing for Harvard.

  12. I’ve seen Boqvist ranked everywhere from the 2nd to 5th best d-prospect, I’ve also seen Bouchard in that same range. I’ve also seen some saying Dobson was the 2nd best all-around prospect because he does everything very good but nothing great. I’d say the consensus is Boqvist is the 2nd ranked prospect with the other 3 slotting somewhere behind them but take it for what its worth. Bouchard and Hughes are the 2 that have come on strong recently while Boqvist and Dobson have “slipped”.

  13. Any of thoses 4 defenseman would become the Hawks number one prospect. Plus, it is not worth the chance Walstrom goes to Harvard for 4 years and then hits free agency.

    The Hawks need and upper end talent regardless of position in their system, but can’t risk going through that crap season and not have anything to show for it. Drafting college guys is great if you want to wait 3-4 years to decide whether or not they are worth signing. That’s a great approach for a deep team without a lot of job openings. But that’s not us anymore.

    I’d rather get someone from juniors who can either jump to the AHL in a year or to the big club. It helps the team much sooner.

    If Dobson is the only defenseman left, maybe one of the centers would grade out ahead of him, but if not, I’d take him.

  14. re: Hereismike’s comment – I don’t think anyone the Hawks get at 8 is their number one prospect. I like Jokiharju & Mitchell more than anyone on this list. That being said, having organizational depth is a good thing, so I’m not against the idea of them taking another defensemen.

    I also think the idea that you don’t draft a kid because he might go to college is ridiculous. The lack of logic there is amazing.

  15. Just make a sound pick — no reaches. In the top 10 of a deep year you should get it all; speed, size, skill, heart — the whole enchilada. No smurfs either.

  16. Tab – do you think Jokiharju or Mitchell is good enough to be on the Hawk’s roster next year?

  17. 1961 from what I have seen of Dobson he does not struggle defensively and his lack of quickness might seem that way as he is a tall kid who will get bigger. He is well rounded and maybe not elite skills but I have seen him jump up into the play offensively very well and still get back. He is good on the PP. He and Bouchard are a different direction from the PMD like Boquist/Hughes. Seems like a lot of great choices for the Hawks. Not sure I would want Tzachuk ( although he brings toughness/grit)and hear that Walstrom is a bit lazy when it comes to back check. Not sure how that sits with Q. I can’t wait to see who they get.

  18. I heard Jokiharju got cut from Team Finland… and Pokka made it!!!…

    Like I said before– Jokiharju– I am just NOT seeing it…. Hope I am very wrong…
    I thought he was an average skater at Prospect camp!!!

  19. re: The Wrap re: Jokiharju & Mitchell – the Hawks have already said Henri will get a long look in camp. Apparently the organization isn’t as pessimistic about the kid as our resident scout, Wall.

    Mitchell is going back to DU so him making the roster is out of the question. That being said, I love his long-term upside and think he’ll be a strong contributor in Chicago soon.

  20. Iceman I think I could be talked into a Joe Veleno pick….especially if all the big dmen are gone by 8 other than Dobson. Would love to see a center with offensive upside in our system, because there isn’t one now.

  21. Just take the best player on their board. Regardless of position or where they play and will play.

  22. Goldenbladz- picking in the 8th spot we would hope to get a guy with some elite skills. That is what bothers me about the Dobson pick. Everything I have read indicates what you have said that the guy is a jack of all trades but master of none.

  23. 1961 I have those same concerns and not just Dobson, Walstrom and Tzachuk I’m not sold on either. Hughes is an interesting pick but will probably go to Detroit and the more I read about Jesperi Kotkaniemi I like this kid and the Hawks do need a centre like him.

  24. Wall Debrincat didn’t make the US junior team he sucks too. Don’t start the he sucks record until he gets his chance.

  25. Debrincat didn’t make it-and Strome did, albeit a different country. Things change, coaches look for different things or their own guys they like-trust. I wish Pokka could skate nearly as well as Jokiharju.

    (Strome may eventually be quite good-not yet)

  26. Noonan the coaches in this case gave preference to players with previous experience in this tournament and forgo talent.

  27. 61 if you look at the scouting reports the newer ones say Dobson has already improved in those areas and even the ones that don’t update regularly say there is nothing of concern or causes a red flag if you read through it.

  28. I wouldn’t read anything into Jokiharju getting cut. Juolevi, who TSN has at 24 on its top 50 didn’t either. The Finns have lots of solid defenders and this is a tournament for the big boys. They are both good prospects.

    And as for HJ’s skating, I watched him all I could in WJC and I thought he skated well. Where he needs to develop is as a defender. I see him as top 4 material and ideally paired with someone who can have his back (maybe if he spent some time in Rockford paired with Tuulola it might turn into something).

    Veleno and Kotkaniemi both sound intriguing. I like Schmaltz but I am not entirely sold on him as 2C. A combative studly prospect at centre sounds good to me.

  29. Like most I can only go by what I read, having not watched these players but the consensus FWIW is that there is a significant drop off after the top 9 and after Dahlin as top choice and picks #2 and 3 there is a lot of debate on #4 – 9

    So picking 8th the Hawks could conceivably get the 4th best prospect

    Dobson is in the top 9 – Veleno and Kotkaniemi aren’t although they are in the next tier

    Picking at #8 there will still be two of the top 9 available for the Hawks so picking someone else outside the top 9 would fly in the face of conventional wisdom

    Not saying it’s not possible but you better be pretty damn sure about who you’re picking if you do that

  30. Agreed this is where the scouts have to really earn their money…and the GM. There will be good players available but it is harder to pick them at the back of the top tier than at the front.

  31. Very true WRAPAROUND this pick has to be someone who will be a star for years. The scouts, coaches and front office need to get it right.

  32. Potentially an unpopular opinion, but could be an interesting discussion: what if they traded the pick? I believe I read somewhere that Calgary is desperate to get into the first round (dont have a pick until the third). EK (Ottawa) obviously has been heavily rumored (please forego the need to remind me what his salary could be a year from now). Any other teams or players that have come up on anyone’s radar over the last year that make for interesting discussion?

  33. What about #14 and #19 from the flyers for #8? Talking licks here, not jersey numbers..

  34. Agree with MRFENN92 – take the best on the board. Especially when the Hawks have so many needs.

  35. Veleno is a young, healthy (no bad back, ala Fred Sanford) and more offensive upside version of Bolland. The Hawks cut bait on Bolland at the exact correct time; they haven’t had anyone like him since. Vermette/Richards combo in ’15 was a band aid.

    I’ll take the Veleno Special please, light on the olive oil & parm cheese please. Thank you.

  36. How about you trade #8 and the Nash pick with a player or 2 to Carolina for #2 and Hanifin. They can throw in Darling if they pick up half. Carolina is going to have 3 dmen averaging 4.72 mil plus Hanifan.

  37. Based on the reviews, and if he’s still there at #8, I’m in agreement with picking Bouchard. A smart D-man that makes good decisions and is not out of position, AND has noted upside offensively? I will take that for the Blackhawks going forward. There is a log jam in terms of signed guys at the D position but that’s got to be taken care of regardless of who is picked. Build the blue line.

  38. And by the way, is anyone else surprised at the level of “across the line” behavior, penalties, and injuries due to hits in these playoffs?
    That hit by Tom Wilson in the Caps/Pens game was vicious but borderline and a tough call to make on the ice, sure, but it resulted in a broken jaw that needs surgery and a concussion. Teams are not staying out of the box and the special teams are having a bigger role this year. It’s getting meaner with each game.
    It seems like as the team game has transitioned somewhat quickly into a speed game, the collisions are getting more intense. Also, there are just a lot of stupid, blatant slashing plays that sometimes don’t even get called. It’s interesting to watch.

  39. Carolina just fired their GM Ron Francis. If they took that deal they would have to burn their corporate headquarters to the ground.

  40. The Hawks might be about to win the lottery at the back of the draft. If Winnipeg pulls off this series against Nashville, the Hawks would leap to number 27, most mock drafts have them at 31.

  41. @ Hereismike

    I’m not sure the Canes want to pay Hanifin. He is going to be looking for probably 6+ million dollars a year, Perhaps they might be looking at trading Justin Faulk who is already making 6 million and just swapping that cost. These are not bad contracts but Carolina is a budget team and 2 guys making 6 million plus might be over their budget. Plus they have another 10 million for their 2nd pair guys. They are fools to fire Ron Francis anyways he has done a good job with a limited budget they are about a year or two from being good IF they can find a goalie.

    As for Jokiharju, I’m with @Wall. Anyone outside of the Org has NOT be impressed with him at all. The Hawks like most good clubs in all sports do a good job of “selling” their guys. They’ve sold Jokiharju just like last year they sold Forsling.

    As for trading the 8th pick, it depends on which outlook you prescribe to, is there a quick fix on the blue line or is this a 2 yr plus reload. Personally, I look Winnipeg and Nashville’s and see their top 6 isn’t going away any time soon, so why look at a short-term fix of the Hawks blueline when teams in your division are going to throttle you if you can luck into the playoffs. Build through the draft like Winnipeg and Boston.

    Last thought; WTF is up with the Lighting, yes they won game 2 but this series zero pts for Kuch (-3), and Stammer (-1) & 2 playoff pts for Hedman? They need to play MUCH better Those 3 are WAY to talented to play so poorly to start the series.

  42. That would be great to move up, go Winnipeg.

    The downside is Nashville swept us last year, and we hardly had a sniff of their net, and that was with Panarin on the team for Saad. And yet it looks like Winnipeg may be even better than Nashville, with plenty of upside youth on the roster and in the system to boot. They were down 3-0, scored 3 goals in short order, and won 7-4. I don’t think the Hawks scored 7 goals all series against them last year.

    Looks like a long road ahead for Chicago, but this draft presents an opportunity to make up some of the talent gap with the rest of the division.

  43. Watched our boy Kempny last night, he held his own and didn’t look out of place with Karlsson as his partner. Makes you wonder, was it kempny, a lack of a strong partner, or something else here in Chicago. I might argue that we lack top end players on the blue line and top 6 that is making it near impossible for any of these other guys to look good.

  44. SSHM– my WTF thoughts w/ you on Tampa…

    everyone knows Bergeron/March/Pastrnak line…

    But what line- is Pulling the “Kruger-line” on Kucherov/Stamkos??? I have not watch enough of that series… Hats off to whoever that line is

    been watching Jets/Preds… great… and Caps/Pens… Vegas baby

    I luv Jets size versus Preds D

    Vegas- attacks in waves… and supports all over ice… like they have 6 skaters… that is one great coach!!!

  45. @ CINCOD1

    Kempny is and always has been a 3rd or 4th defender. Most 3rd or 4th defenders need to be put in a position to be successful either by assignments or zone starts. The fact that he couldn’t be one here is surprising. The fact that Stan decided that Rutta was a better long-term fit was equalling as surprising as was the fact Stan paid Rutta an over-market contract. All of which contribute to the job that Stan has been doing since his father is less involved with the team. How less involved is Scotty you say? Well, he was again taking in playoff hockey from Steve Yzerman’s box which he has been doing all season long while on the Hawks payroll.

    https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-bruins/2018/04/30/scotty-bowman-russians-bruins-comparison-2018

  46. Iceman- Re: Veleno… never seen him… But Luv me some Bolland-type players

    How does Veleno- compare to Danault???

    Still luv Kotkaniemi- at # 8
    But- IF- Veleno is Bolland-like… that sounds pretty good too

    Ehlers from jets… always knew he could motor… but- didn’t know how much Moxy that kid had!!! impressive- same about Guentzl… both guys have a lot of MOXY for smallish players… lot’s of heart

  47. The only guarantee with this draft, as with any draft, is that the rankings three years from now will be quite different than they are right now. These kids are eighteen and a lot can change between 18 and 21. If it was as simple as just going with the consensus then there would be a lot less need for pro scouts.

  48. Danault is more of a forechecker/digger and plays good defensively and a hard worker. Veleno much more offensive kind of reminds me of schmaltz carrying and protecting the puck, has great vision and makes great passes. He also has very good hands but doesn’t have a great shot and wouldn’t have the speed of schmaltz.

  49. Q. Hughes played pretty well today in the USA win over Canada. Blashill must like him a lot to select a draft eligible player for the team so my guess is Hughes doesn’t slip to #8 in the draft because he doesn’t get past Detroit.

  50. I’m all over the map. I was singing the praises of Bouchard in early April and then switched to Boqvist in late April. I watched Dobson in the CHL final and liked what I saw and likewise with Hughes at the World’s. If I had to rank the 2-5 d-men today I would go: Hughes, Dobson, Bouchard, Boqvist. One of more of those guys will be there at #8 and whoever it is will be the best prospect the Hawks have drafted since Kane in 2007.

    If they draft a forward – same deal. There are at least 4-5 guys worthy of #8 so the Hawks really can’t go wrong.

    This is so exciting having a top-10 pick and still have a pick in the 20’s where we’ve gotten used to drafting.

  51. There couldn’t have been a better yr, draft wise, for us to suck the way we did/not play…. after the Crow got hurt, and the long lost of things that went against us (things that happen, just not ever on the same yr/rare) to have our record be the absolute worst it could ever be, 7th worst overall/hardest division helpedthat eecord as well.

    We play in the east TB or Campbell LA divisions, were picking is 19th.

    Blessing. Thank you, come again, we deserve it.

    Going to be exciting with the new ufa/trade adds as well.

  52. “Natural” (or “Pure”) goal scorers are rare – I’d like to see them take Wahlstrom.

    Also, as Tab pointed out, they have (at least) two pretty good dmen prospects coming, and many dmen signed thru next year.

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