The Blackhawks have been forced to rely on the depth of their organization recently with a number of players getting called up from Rockford because of injuries. Now that Patrick Sharp is expected to miss a month, more prospects names are being thrown around in trade rumors.
What’s interesting is that many of the top prospects in the organization share a common bond: they were drafted in 2009. And the impact of that year’s draft class could be the heartbeat of the franchise moving forward.
Here’s are the Blackhawks selections from the 2009 Draft:
- Round One (28): D Dylan Olsen
- Round Two (59): C Brandon Pirri
- Round Three (89): F Daniel Delisle
- Round Four (119): C Byron Froese
- Round Five (149): C Marcus Krüger
- Round Six (177): C David Pacan
- Round Seven (195): D Paul Phillips
- Round Seven (209): C David Gilbert
Obviously Krüger has been on the NHL roster for most of this year, but has been missing recently because of a concussion. But we’ve also seen Pirri and Olsen be effective in brief NHL action this season as well.
But the 2009 Draft class has more players in the Hawks’ organization than just those that were selected by Chicago.
- Round One (16): D Nick Leddy (by Minnesota)
- Round One (27): F Philippe Paradis (by Carolina)
- Round Two (45): D Jeremy Morin (by Atlanta)
Leddy has played in 88 NHL games already. Of the defensemen selected in 2009, only Viktor Hedman (second overall) and Dmitri Kulikov (14th overall) have seen more NHL action than Leddy.
Likewise, Krüger has played in 41 NHL games despite being the 149th player selected. Only three players drafted after the first round that year - Ryan O’Reilly in Colorado, Kyle Clifford in Los Angeles and Craig Smith in Nashville – have played in as many games as Krüger. O’Reilly and Clifford were among the first five picks in the second round.
Pacan is no longer with the organization; he was dealt to Florida in the deal also sending Jack Skille to the Panthers for Alexander Salak and Micheal Frolik.
It’s been a long time, probably since 1980 (Denis Savard, Troy Murray and Steve Larmer), that the Blackhawks had more than a couple players from the same draft class playing a major role in the team on a nightly basis. But there could, conceivably, be as many as five players from the 2009 Draft in the lineup as early as the end of this season, if not next year.