The NHL formally announced the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 6. The Chicago Blackhawks, by virtue of their earning a playoff appearance, own the 17th overall selection in the first round.
So what will the Blackhawks do at 17?
We’ll offer our own breakdown of prospects who might be on the Blackhawks’ radar in the coming weeks and, ultimately, make our prediction. As a reminder, last year we were the only outlet to predict the Blackhawks selecting Kirby Dach third overall.
Making a prediction at third overall is significantly easier than 17. There can (and likely will) be trades that impact the top 16 picks, and there are so many variables heading into the coming offseason that have never been in play before because of the COVID-19 pandemic that we are heading for an offseason unlike any in history.
But in the interim it’s worth looking around to see what the experts think the Blackhawks will do.
With the focus of most of the hockey world still on the Stanley Cup Final, mock drafts haven’t been as frequent as they are in most years within a couple weeks of the actual event. Indeed, TSN and Sportsnet haven’t offered their predictions yet. We have plenty of rankings, but very few notable, complete first round mock drafts.
Here are a few updated mock drafts’ picks for the Blackhawks:
- Draftsite.com – Dylan Holloway, LW, Wisconsin
- MyNHLDraft.com – Dylan Holloway, LW, Wisconsin
- TheSportsBank.net – Yaroslav Askarov, G, MHL
Corey Pronman – The Athletic (Aug. 10)
Dawson Mercer, C, Chicoutimi-QMJHL
DOB: Oct. 27, 2001
“Chicago tends to target skill and hockey sense in its draft picks, attributes that Mercer has in bunches. I think fellow Canadian centers Connor Zary or Seth Jarvis, if he gets to No. 17, also make sense for those reasons. Russian winger Rodion Amirov had a strong summer tournament for Russia’s U20 team and some scouts think he moved his way into the mix in the teens, which would also make sense for Chicago and the kind of player they like.”
Scott Powers comments (Sept. 21):
“Rodion Amirov may have the highest ceiling of the remaining players, but I’m not sure the Blackhawks are willing to be that patient for this draft pick’s NHL arrival. There’s a lot to like about Mercer anyway. He has elite hands and vision. He’s going to carry the puck into the zone and create offensive opportunities. He’s also solid enough defensively and possesses enough size. He can be ready in a few years to be in the Blackhawks’ lineup, likely as a winger, and complement the skilled forwards they already have in place.”
Chris Peters – ESPN (Aug. 31)
Lukas Reichel, LW, Eisbaren Berlin (Germany)
DOB: May 17, 2002
“The Blackhawks have needs throughout their system, though they look pretty loaded on the blue line at the moment. In this range, there remains a number of quality skill players, and Reichel provides a particularly high reward. He has raw skill, and as he tacks on some muscle, he has legitimate top-six upside. There are safer picks, but based on how our board has shaken out so far, among the available prospects, ceilings aren’t much higher than Reichel’s. He shows great hands and offensive sense.”