With the 30th overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks selected Ryan Hartman on Sunday, a winger who played for Plymouth in the OHL this season.
Hartman, described as a "power forward" by The Hockey News, scored 23 goals and added 37 assists in 56 games this season, and also racked up 120 penalty minutes. The West Dundee native also played for Team USA in the World Junior Championships this year, scoring twice in seven games.
The Hawks also saw several teams in their newly formed conference beef up in key areas. The Colorado Avalanche followed through with their talk over the last week and used the first overall pick in the draft to take Nathan Mackinnon, a forward from Halifax of the QMJHL. He scored 32 goals and had 43 assists last season.
The Nashville Predators had to be as surprised as anyone when Seth Jones, son of NBA star Popeye Jones, fell to them with the fourth selection in the first round. The 6-foot-4 defenseman from the Portland Winterhawks had 56 points (14 G, 42 A) in 61 games last season, and also had a goal and six assists in the World Junior Championships for Team USA.
The Dallas Stars selected Russian forward Valeri Nichushkin with the 10th overall pick. He was widely considered to be a dark horse because of his lack of real track record, but at 6-foot-4 and 196 pounds, Dallas elected to take a flyer on him, and could be rewarded handsomely.
The Winnipeg Jets also went for defensive help in the first round, selecting Joshua Morrissey from Prince Albert of the WHL. He is a Nick Leddy-type player, at only 5-foot-11, but he is a very good skater and is a great puck mover, as evidenced by his 32 assists last season.
The Minnesota Wild, who didn’t have a first round pick, did make a bit of a splash when they acquired prospect Nino Niederreiter from the New York Islanders for forward Cal Clutterbuck. Clutterbuck scored the first goal for the Wild against the Blackhawks in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs back in April.