The Chicago Blackhawks had a very small chance of moving up the NHL Draft order on Wednesday, and they failed to do so, securing the number 11 pick in the upcoming draft.
The Blackhawks have a large number of potential needs on their roster, and although none of the players they will likely be in a position to draft will be able to help them immediately, they could set themselves up well for the future if they can nail this pick.
Here are some players to keep an eye on now that the Blackhawks know where they will be picking this summer.
Xavier Bourgault, Shawnigan (QMJHL)
Although the center was ranked as the 13th-best North American skater in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings, he did turn some heads offensively in the last two seasons with the Cataractes, with a combined 53 goals and 58 assists in his last 92 regular season games. At 6-feet tall, the center could give the Blackhawks another option up the middle, although there is a glut of potential options there for Chicago.
Nikita Chibrikov, SKA St. Petersburg (Russia)
Ranked the fourth-best skater among European players, Chibrikov could be a fascinating option as a winger. He had four goals and nine assists for Russia during the Under-18 world championships, and had a goal and an assist in his first KHL stint with SKA St. Petersburg this season.
Dylan Guenther, Edmonton (WHL)
If this beefy winger, standing 6-feet 1 and weighing 181 pounds, is still on the board, the Blackhawks would be thrilled to take him. He had 12 goals and 12 assists in 12 games with the Oil Kings this season, and had four goals and three assists in seven games with Canada during the world junior championships.
Chaz Lucius, US NTDP (USHL)
The center, who is committed to Minnesota for next season, had 13 goals in 12 games with the NTDP during the USHL season. He had 13 more goals in 13 games with the Under-18 squad, and has been praised by scouts for his quick release and aggressive skating style. Could be a sneaky center option for the Blackhawks.
Fabian Lysell, Lulea (SHL)
Lysell could be an interesting player if the Blackhawks want to take advantage of their European scouting prowess, or if they want to move back a bit in the draft order. Lysell is a smooth playmaker, with 10 assists in 11 games with Frolunda in the under-20 league, and he had a pair of goals in the Swedish Hockey League in 26 games. He had three goals and six assists in seven games for Sweden in the WJC-18.
Mason McTavish, Olten (SL)
Loaned to the Swiss League this season, McTavish had nine goals in 13 games, and also represented Canada well as the team’s captain in the under-18 worlds, with five goals and six assists to his credit. He is a player that could come off the board earlier than number 11, but there is a possibility he could fall a bit, and if he does, the Blackhawks would certainly be just fine in snagging him.
Cole Sillinger, Sioux Falls (USHL)
Silinger came to the USHL this season rather than waiting for the WHL to resume play, and he delivered in a big way for the Stampede, with 24 goals and 22 assists in 31 games.
Corson Ceulemans, Brooks (AJHL)
If the Blackhawks want to go with a defenseman in this year’s draft, Ceulemans could be an interesting choice. He had four goals in eight games with the Brooks Bandits in the Alberta Junior Hockey League this season, and he also added seven assists for good measure. He was a big-time playmaker for Canada in the WJC-18, with a goal and seven assists in six games.
Brandt Clarke, Barrie (OHL)
A hugely aggressive offensive defenseman, Clarke had a great season in Slovakia, with five goals and 10 assists in 26 games with Nove Zamky. He had two goals and five assists in seven games for Canada in the WJC, and he could be a big-time offensive playmaker for a team looking for punch on the blue line.
Carson Lambos, Winnipeg (WHL)
Loaned out to a Finnish team this season, Lambos had two goals and nine assists in 13 games at the Under-20 level. He is a strong skater and, already weighing over 200 pounds, isn’t afraid to throw his weight around either. He could be a really strong two-way player, and an ideal player to select at number 11.
Jesper Wallstedt, Lulea (Sweden)
While it is highly unlikely that the Blackhawks would spend a top draft pick on a goalie after selecting Drew Commesso last season, Wallstedt would be a fantastic pick if he somehow fell to number 11. He is incredibly athletic in the crease, posted an impressive 2.23 goals against average in the Swedish Hockey League last season, and could be NHL-ready very quickly.
The NHL Draft is set for July 23 and 24. The Buffalo Sabres nabbed the top pick in the draft, with the expansion Seattle Kraken earning the second pick.