UA-59049186-1 Blackhawks Off-Season Update: Draft and Trades - Good if it Goes

Blackhawks Off-Season Update: Draft and Trades

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This past weekend, the Blackhawks made nine selections at the NHL Draft, which I was watching from the 300 level because Qwan didn’t get me media credentials. The new Hawks are:

Round 1, pick 29: D Henri Jokiharju

Round 2, pick 26 (#57 overall): D Ian Mitchell

Round 3, pick 8 (#70): F Andrei Altybarmakyan

Round 3, pick 28 (#90): C Evan Barratt

Round 4, pick 19 (#112): F Tim Soderlund

Round 4, pick 26 (#119): D Roope Laavainen

Round 5, pick 20 (#144): F Parker Foo

Round 5, pick 26 (#150): D Jakub Galvas

Round 7, pick 29 (#215): D Joshua Ess

The Blackhawks official site talks about Jokiharju here and everyone else here. I don’t have a ton to add, having not seen much of these guys outside of international juniors play, but Jokiharju’s an intriguing prospect; a great skater who can move the puck. The same can be said about Ian Mitchell, though he’s not at Jokiharju’s level now and will need to develop significantly physically to play in the NHL. He’s going to be coached by Jim Montgomery at Denver, so I think there’s a good chance he can develop and get close to his ceiling. Don’t sleep on him. Don’t sleep on Evan Barratt, either. Skilled on both ends of the ice, Barratt could be a very nice player if he can improve his skating. As it is, his floor is probably “poor man’s Tanner Kero.” Tim Soderlund is undersized, but a very good skater and played well in world juniors play, but apparently was significantly less good in the SHL. He’s still only 19, so there’s plenty of time, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Jakub Galvas is a solid player on both ends of the ice and has some upside. Check back later.

Just before the draft, the Hawks made a couple big trades. The team sent Niklas Hjalmarsson to Arizona for defensemen Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin. I don’t like losing Hjalmarsson, but he just turned 30 and is only under contract for two more years. After that, it’s likely the Hawks either wouldn’t have been able to afford him and/or his game would be on the decline. Murphy is only 24 and is under contract for the next 5 years at $3.85M/yr.  Murphy brings some size, some bite, and the ability to move the puck. If he’s seemed underwhelming to this point in his career, remember that the Coyotes roster last year consisted of various jabronis and the contracts of Pavel Datsyuk, who was in Russia, and Chris Pronger, who hasn’t played since 2011. Radim Vrbata led the team in scoring with 55 points. For reference, if Patrick Kane didn’t score any goals last year, he would have tied in points with the Coyotes’ points leader. Second was Oliver Ekman-Larsson with 39, the same total as Brent Seabrook, who was 8th on the Hawks and who folks are saying is on the decline. Murphy’s ceiling is very high and I like his chances of reaching it on a team that’s not a dumpster fire.

The Hawks also dealt Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte to Columbus for Brandon Saad and goalie Anton Forsberg. Losing Panarin’s scoring hurts, but one can make the case that Saad’s a better overall player (I would absolutely make that case) and at the very least, he’s a more complete player. For two years now in this space, I’ve lamented that the Hawks had yet to replace Saad at 1LW. Well, know they finally have, with Brandon Saad. Losing Tyler Motte is also not fun, as he would have been my pick to play opposite of Kaner at 2LW, especially if the Hawks are going to keep Kane and Anisimov together. Motte’s a sniper with a knack for finding the right spot to score. Without him in the fold, I’d go 20-19-14 / 38-8-88 and not just because I have a great name for that second line, “The Aces in Eights.” If that catches on, remember – you heard it here first. You could also put Schmaltz at 2LW, with Anisimov at 2C, or maybe even flip those guys and give Anisimov a look on the wing. Anton Forsberg will back up Corey Crawford. His career has been rather meh thus far, but he’s only played in 10 games, so ask again later.

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

E-mail: schroeder.giig@gmail.com

One Comment

  1. ten

    October 14, 2017 at 2:02 am

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