It’s that time of year in the National Hockey League. The day that could change the vertical plane of your favorite hockey franchise. Whether changing the axis towards a path of a championship, or a vestibule to a comprehensive rebuild, every NHL team’s draft-day will surely be very different.
Chicago’s Draft Options
The Chicago Blackhawks will be picking 17th in the opening round of the NHL Draft. The Blackhawks are in an interesting predicament. Their clear objective is to add depth, which is evident by what they have done with their AHL and ECHL clubs.
I also believe that GM Stan Bowman is feeling a ton of pressure. Pressure to get the Blackhawks to the promised land, so the 2020 draft is crucial. The Blackhawks definitely have some holes to fill in their roster, meaning that the hockey club has a lot of different directions that they could be going in.
This prospect would be a valuable pick for the Chicago Blackhawks. According to Mark Lazerus, Dawson Mercer is Chicago’s pick at number 17. He is a six-foot forward who fits well at centre and on the wing. Mercer can do the dirty work along the boards and strong on the puck.
Elite prospects describes Mercer as someone who picks apart on-the-puck defenders in much the same way an elite NFL quarterback breaks down defensive coverages — one read, one component at a time. Mercer deploys a wide array of false signals to trick defenders out of space, to pivot one direction with every intention of quickly transferring his weight in the opposite zone.
Connor Zary is another prospect that could land at number 17. Zary is another favourite by many NHL scouts and it’s his shot that leads the way. According to EliteProspects, Zary’s a deceptive triggerman, one with excellent shot placement, a deceptive release and the ability to fire two-touch missiles on a moment’s notice. His ability to collect difficult passes is a real difference-maker. He doesn’t often break stride to receive passes either, maintaining the pace of his team’s attack.
The last draft prospect who I will discuss is centreman Dylan Holloway. Holloway is a six-foot-one prospect who originally hails from Calgary, Alberta. Dylan currently plays for the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA.
As per EliteProspects, Holloway consistently applies pressure on the backcheck, pickpockets puck-carriers, makes timely hits, wields a disruptive stick — you name it. He never flees the zone early and is a capable east-west attacker who shields the puck from opposing defenders really well.
In conclusion, the Blackhawks wouldn’t go wrong with any of the above choices. All three guys are talented offensive players, but can also play some sound defence as well. Two crucial aspects that the Blackhawks really need.