For the first time in three years the Chicago Blackhawks are slated to make a first-round draft pick in the NHL draft. The Blackhawks will make their selection with the No. 26 overall pick Friday in their home arena, the United Center.
The draft will be split into two days with the first round happening at 6 p.m. local time Friday and the second through seventh rounds starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The New Jersey Devils won the NHL lottery and are predicted to selected either Swiss forward Nico Hischier of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Halifax Mooseheads or Canadian forward Nolan Patrick of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings. In the SB Nation’s NHL mock draft, the Devils picked Hischier and the Flyers selected Patrick with the No. 2 pick. The Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks round out the top five.
The expansion Vegas Golden Knights will make their first-ever draft pick at No. 6.
The Blackhawks haven’t had a first-round pick since 2014 when they selected Nick Schmaltz 20th overall. Chicago is rumored to be considering trading up in the draft, which they did to select Schmaltz. The Blackhawks have nine picks in this year’s draft, including at least one in every round.
In the SB Nation mock draft, Chicago selected Finnish defenseman Henri Jokiharju of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks with the No. 26 pick. The 18-year-old scored 10 points in his first 23 games then racked up 38 points during his final 48 games with Portland last season. The 6-foot, 170-pound blueliner added three points in 11 postseason games.
Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek has the Hawks selecting American forward Josh Norris of the U.S. National Development Program. Norris, 18, is a 6-1, 192-pound center, who will be a freshman next fall at Michigan, scored 27 goals and 61 points last season.
2017 NHL draft
Time: 7 p.m. CDT Friday; 9 a.m. Saturday
When: Friday, June 23 (Round 1) and Saturday, June 24 (Rounds 2-7)
Where: Chicago, Illinois, United Center