History of the Chicago Blackhawks Roster


I'm not sure if those here have heard, but the Chicago Blackhawks have been pretty good this season. Obviously not as good as the Miami Heat, but good nonetheless. The success and crazy point streak by the Blackhawks, among other things,* has prompted me to dust off my old notebook and Photoshop to create the very first post-lockout roster history chart. WOOOO!

*It's that awkward post-midterm, pre-spring break part of the semester where I have nothing to do.

For those who haven't seen my prior work, I specialize in making roster history charts. And by specialize, I mean I'm a bit obsessive and might make too many of them. They are charts that, going backwards from the current roster, trace all the moves that have been made to acquire the current players. Essentially, the roster is broken down to all the unrestricted free agents, waiver wire pickups, and original draft picks.

It does give a bit of an incomplete picture of how a GM has doe - all trades and draft picks that did not pan out are dropped off the chart - but I think it's still a cool way to see the history of the team.

To read the chart, unless you have crazy good vision, just click on the image and it will take you to the full-size chart. It's large, but optimized so shouldn't be too burdensome on your computer/mobile device/magical internet box.

Any player that has draft information listed under their name was traded or acquired as a draft pick. If the name is italicized, the player was not drafted by the Blackhawks. The lightened names are basically dead ends; players who were acquired in trades with needed players but didn't actually contribute.

Now for the analysis portion, which is what everybody came here for!

The Blackhawks used 20 of their original draft picks to make up the roster. To the surprise of absolutely no one, the round with the most used picks was the first round, with seven of the picks used being first rounders (usually upper first rounders, at that). This isn't a dig on the Blackhawks - in the seven teams that I have done these charts for, first rounders tend to be used the most, because they are first round picks and tend to have more value than other picks.

Second most are second round picks (of course), and tied for third and third rounders and fifth round picks. Two of the three fifth round picks are currently on the roster, whereas only three of the seven first rounders are (give you one guess as to who two of those players are).

While there were 20 original picks used, there were also 16 additional draft picks acquired by the Blackhawks in the making of the roster. In those, they seemed to be targeting second round picks, dealing for five of them over the years.

There were 20 total trades, which is at the lower end of things; the Sharks had 52 trades, and the Kings used 42. Creating those charts was... time-consuming. This also means that there is a smaller number of total players; 65 players were needed to create the 24 man roster. Which, once again, is small compared to the Sharks (152) or Kings (145).

The Blackhawks used 10 unrestricted free agents to create the current roster. Only three of them (Robert Lang, Tomas Kopecky, and Hugh Jessiman) were dealt for other players.

Now that all the number crunching stuff is over, random observation time!

Remember when Jeremy Roenick was crying when you guys won the Cup because he was so happy? Well, it turns out that his trade to the Coyotes contributed to the formation of both the Cup-winning and current roster, so he did technically help the Blackhawks win. I'm sure the ring is in the mail.

Whenever I typed Alexander Karpovtsev, I tried and failed to pronounce his last name each and every time.

The Blackhawks really like ripping off Canadian teams in trades.

I didn't mean to put the one branch that had a trade with the Sharks in teal. Honest.

That's pretty much it. Feel free to ask for my notes, and I'll send you badly photographed pictures of my scribbles in a notebook.

Huge ups to one of my favorite sites in the whole wide world, Pro Sports Transactions, which is totally awesome and not known by enough people.

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