The Chicago Blackhawks went into Saturday’s portion of the NHL Entry Draft without a second round pick, but despite that limitation, they still made a bit of noise.
To kick things off, they dealt forward Brandon Bollig to the Calgary Flames in exchange for the 83rd overall pick in the draft. With that selection (which gave Chicago two third round picks), the Hawks drafted Matheson Iacopelli from Muskegon of the USHL. In 58 games last season, Iacopelli scored 41 goals to tie for the league lead, and he also dished out 23 assists. He’s committed to the University of Western Michigan, but at 6-foot-2 and 192 pounds, he could be an interesting player to keep an eye on in future years.
Five picks later, the Blackhawks went with their third straight American-born selection of the draft, taking Beau Sarrett from South Shore in the USPHL. He was nearly a point per game guy last season, with 11 goals and 36 assists in 48 games played, but he’s got some serious grit to his game, standing at 6-foot-5 and racking up 94 penalty minutes last year.
Frederik Olofsson was the Blackhawks’ pick in the fourth round of the draft, and even though he was the first foreign born player taken by the team this year, he does have a Chicago connection, playing for the Chicago Steel of the USHL in the 2013-14 campaign. In 24 games with the Steel, Olofsson had four goals and 11 assists as a left winger.
In the fifth round, the Blackhawks drafted Luc Snuggerud out of Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The 5-foot-11 defenseman, who played at the same high school that current Hawks defenseman Nick Leddy hails from, had 13 goals and 63 assists over his final two high school seasons, and he was one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Mr. Hockey Award in the state of Minnesota. He will attend the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the fall.
With their second pick of the fifth round, the Blackhawks went back to Sweden to grab Andreas Soderberg. The defenseman isn’t much of a scorer, only scoring one goal and five assists in 36 games with Skelleftea Jr. in the Swedish Junior league, but at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, he could be a great physical shutdown defenseman if he were to make his way into the NHL.
In the sixth round, the Blackhawks had back-to-back picks, and they used the first one on forward Dylan Sikura. In 41 games with Aurora of the OJHL, Sikura scored 17 goals and dished out 47 assists. He was joined on the Hawks’ list of prospects by Russian-born Ivan Nalimov, a goaltender who has been a bit up and down in his junior career. He played in 47 games for St. Petersburg in Russia’s junior hockey league in 2012-13, picking up a nice 2.12 GAA and a .931 save percentage. He only played 12 games in the 2013-14 campaign, with his GAA ballooning to 2.84.
With their final pick of the draft in the seventh round, the Blackhawks chose Jack Ramsey, a right winger born in Michigan. In 57 games with Penticon in the BCHL, Ramsey scored nine goals and had 16 assists. His father Mike was a defenseman on the Miracle on Ice team in the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Bowman and company won't get much time to rest after the draft's conclusion, as free agency begins on Tuesday.