The Chicago Blackhawks had nine picks in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, and used the first to select defenseman Henri Jokiharju at No. 29 overall. In the end, they added a bunch of intriguing talents to the organization by the end of the seventh round on Saturday afternoon.
The Jokiharju pick came after the Hawks traded down from No. 26, which netted them the No. 70 overall pick. The team also traded up Saturday to No. 112, which allowed it to net young Swedish forward Tim Soderlund.
GM Stan Bowman had a busy day on Friday, trading Artemi Panarin and Niklas Hjalmarsson to remake the Hawks’ roster on the fly. Brandon Saad is back with the Blackhawks, Connor Murphy replaces Hjalmarsson on the blue line, and Anton Forsberg looks to be Corey Crawford’s new backup next season.
Bowman continued at the draft, adding a bunch of intriguing prospects to the organization, led by Jokiharju, a sweet-skating defenseman who projects to rack up numbers in the NHL. They also had nine picks in rounds 2-7, which saw them nab Soderlund, Ian Mitchell, Evan Barratt, Andrei Altybarmakyan, and others.
Here’s a complete list of all the Blackhawks’ draft picks in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft from the United Center, as well as some brief thoughts from yours truly.
First round, No. 29 overall*: Defenseman Henri Jokiharju, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
This is a win for the Blackhawks. Not only did they land a high-level prospect in Jokiharju, whose impressive skating ability projects well in the NHL, but they managed to acquire the No. 70 overall pick while trading down.
Second round, No. 57 overall: Defenseman Ian Mitchell, Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
Solid value for another intriguing defenseman. TSN ranked Mitchell No. 52 among all prospects, while ESPN had him No. 48. He’s set to attend the University of Denver as a freshman next season.
An example of Ian Mitchell's (CHI) skill pic.twitter.com/ouHvdntni1— (((Corey Pronman))) (@coreypronman) June 24, 2017
Third round, No. 70 overall: Forward Andrei Altybarmakyan, Serebryanye Lvy St. Petersburg (MHL)
The Blackhawks went off the board a bit with this pick. Altybarmakyan wasn’t ranked in the top 100 by TSN or ESPN. The Central Scouting rankings had him just No. 28 among all European skaters. Chicago must be high on him because this feels like a bit of a reach.
Third round, No. 90 overall: Forward Evan Barratt, U.S. Development Program
Not the most impressive athlete given he’s not particularly big or fast, but Barratt showed a real two-way game during his time with the U.S. Development Program. He’s set to attend Penn State next fall.
Fourth round, No. 112 overall**: Forward Tim Soderlund, Skellefteå AIK (SHL)
We’re getting to the point where it’s harder to evaluate these moves. Soderland is just 5’9, but he can play a good skill game. ESPN rated him No. 84 among all prospects, so you can see why they traded up to get him.
Fourth round, No. 119 overall: Defenseman Roope Laavainen, HPK (Liiga)
Amazing name. Joining the top Finnish hockey league next season. Glad the Blackhawks could Roope him in.
Fifth round, No. 144 overall: Forward Parker Foo, Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
Another amazing name! What a roll to be on. Foo is coming off a 66-point season in the AJHL and will join Union College next season. His older brother, Spencer, also played at Union, and is now a coveted undrafted free agent.
Fifth round, No. 150 overall: Defenseman Jakub Galvas, HC Olomouc (Czech league)
Galvas played in the senior Czech league as an 18-year-old, which is pretty impressive. He also ranked No. 26 among European skaters by the Central Scouting service, so they actually rated him higher than Altybarmakyan, who the Blackhawks took No. 70 overall.
Seventh round, No. 215 overall: Forward Josh Ess, Lakeville South High School (USHS)
Another defenseman project for the Hawks. Ess is set to attend the University of Wisconsin next season.
*The Blackhawks acquired the No. 29 and No. 70 picks from the Stars for the No. 26 pick
**The Blackhawks acquired the No. 112 pick from the Canucks for the No. 135 and No. 181 picks