The Chicago Blackhawks are going to make the third overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, so here is everything you need to know going into the big night.
Well, today is the day. The Chicago Blackhawks and the entire NHL are going to get an extreme makeover at the 2019 NHL Draft. They will make the third overall pick behind the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers. The top two selections but the intrigue begins when they get to the podium to pick third.
There are a lot of things to remember when evaluating a draft day. Sometimes you draft a guy who never really lives up to the hype and sometimes you draft a cornerstone franchise player. However, more often than not, you get something in between. The last two times the Blackhawks picked in this range, they got two Hall of Fame, number retired, statue type players. Don’t get me wrong, they had help but when Jonathan Toews went third overall and Patrick Kane went first overall that changed the entire course of the franchise.
Now they have the pick that can earn them a player of a similar caliber if they do it right. They could go a few different ways when the draft begins. They could trade down if they feel the guy they want will be available a few spots down in order to gain yet another asset.
They could see the blue line issues that they have and draft the only guy who is likely going to be a true number one in this draft. Bowen Byram is that guy. Think Duncan Keith when watching highlights of Byram’s junior career. This is a guy who’s ceiling is a Norris Trophy-winning guy and his floor is a solid two-way defenseman. Either way, you cannot go wrong with him. He is clearly the third best player in the draft.
If they do trade down or select one of the top forwards with the third overall pick, they could go after one of Alex Turcotte, Dylan Cozens, Trevor Zegras, or Kirby Dach. That would be the less than ideal situation when a team that had a hard time defending in 2018-19 has the opportunity to grab a future #1 guy there, but it is certainly possible they go this route.
If they trade down to the sixth pick with Detroit, one of those good forwards will be there and they will also get another asset. The reason I bring up the Detroit Red Wings is that they apparently also have interest in Byram and could use him just as much as the Hawks right now. The main thing might be keeping him away from the Colorado Avalanche because they are already basically a Cup contender and only have a pick because of a trade with the Ottawa Senators. If they were to add Byram and Cale Makar to their group next year, that would be bad news for the Blackhawks and the rest of the Central Divison.
There might be some high profile trades that happen during the draft this year as well. It is hard to tell right now if the Blackhawks will be one of those teams to strike, but it is certainly possible. They likely can’t return this same exact team to the ice next year and expect to make the postseason. It is one of the best times of year to be a hockey fan with the draft and free agency right behind it. Enjoy it while it lasts because the summer of inactivity is right around the corner.