Chicago Blackhawks: Bowen Byram a strong pick at no. 3

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks are lucky to be sitting with the third overall pick and now they look to make sure they take the right player.

The Chicago Blackhawks are in need of an impact defenseman. They still have Duncan Keith who is a reliable top 4 guy but is no longer a Norris Trophy-caliber player. This is a team that can score lots of goals but cannot keep the puck out of their own net. An all situation guy is someone they might need and through the draft is the best way to make sure you get on that will be with you for a long time.

You see what a young star defenseman can do for a franchise if you look at what Charlie McAvoy is doing for the Boston Bruins or Seth Jones for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Those guys will be elite players for their teams as they look to contend for the next half-decade or more.

There might only be one defenseman taken in the top ten of the 2019 NHL Draft unless someone takes one ahead of projection for team needs. The only one who is a lock to go in the top ten is Bowen Byram of the Vancouver Giants of the WHL. Most project he will end up being the best defenseman in this draft and that is just what the Blackhawks need.

He is scouted as a great two-way defenseman that can be a game changer offensively and is very good defensively. A defenseman like this isn’t easy to find and if he reaches that potential in the NHL his team will be thrilled. He has shown the ability to take away upcoming opportunities for the opponent’s attack and shut down lanes. A player with that two-way capability usually finds success in the NHL because they are hard to find.

His junior offensive numbers are very impressive and you don’t see numbers like this from a defenseman in any league very often. In 67 games played for the Giants, he had 26 goals and 45 assists for 71 points. He might thrive on an NHL power play if he got to play with some of the offensive weapons the Blackhawks would be able to supply him with.

It is rare for a defenseman to make it to the NHL in the same season he was drafted and it isn’t guaranteed that Byram will be one of those guys, but he still might be able to come in and make an impact at some point while Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are still in their prime.

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And once Kane and Toews are considered secondary scoring in 5-6 years, a core of Byram with Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome amongst others could form a very nice core. This defenseman could be the play for the Blackhawks. We know Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko are going first and second so Byram makes perfect sense for a team that needs a player just like him. The draft is always a guess for the most part, but this could turn out to be a great guess.