For the first time since 2011, the Chicago Blackhawks have two first-round picks. That year Chicago picked forwards Mark McNeill (No. 18) and Phillip Danault (No. 26). It was only the fourth time in franchise history the Hawks had two first-round picks with the other times coming in 1980, 1997 and 2001.
With the No. 8 overall pick in this year’s SB Nation’s NHL mock draft, Second City Hockey selected right winger Oliver Wahlstrom. After selecting a potential top-six forward, SCH selects, from the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League, defenseman Calen Addison.
Name: Calen Addison
Weight: 180 pounds
Addison, an offensive defenseman, fell one point shy of doubling his point production from the 2016-17 season. He scored 11 goals and assisted on 54 others — a 30 assist increase — in 68 games for Lethbridge. His 65 points led all Hurricanes defenseman and tied for ninth among all WHL blueliners.
The right-handed shooting Addison also won gold with Canada at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament, where he led all defenseman in goals.
Addison is known for his speed and ability to strip the puck. He’s also an incredible passer, especially on the power play. He led all first-year-draft-eligible WHL defenseman in points on the man advantage at 35, with 30 of those points being assists. Four of his 11 goals were also on the power play.
Third party rankings
Corey Pronman (The Athletic): No. 28
Scott Wheeler (The Athletic): No. 21
NHL Central Scouting (NHL): No. 30 among North American skaters
Ryan Kennedy (The Hockey News): No. 45
Draft decision process
Let’s first look at who was selected in the mock draft before the Hawks came up at No. 27:
1. Buffalo - Rasums Dahlin (LHD)
2. Carolina - Andrei Svechnikov (RW)
3. Montreal - Filip Zadina (RW)
4. Ottawa - Quinn Hughes (LHD)
5. Arizona - Brady Tkachuk (LW)
6. Detroit - Adam Boqvist (RHD)
7. Vancouver - Noah Dobson (RHD)
8. Chicago - Oliver Walhstrom (RW)
9. N.Y. Rangers - Evan Bouchard (RHD)
10. Edmonton - Martin Kaut (RW)
11. Washington (via N.Y. Islanders) - Jesperi Kotkaniemi (C)
12. N.Y. Islanders - Ty Smith (LHD)
13. Colorado (via Philadelphia, Dallas) - Joe Veleno (C)
14. Dallas (via Philadelphia) - Joel Farabee (LW)
15. Florida - Bode Wilde (RHD)
16. Philadelphia (via Colorado) - Rasmus Kupari (C)
17. New Jersey - Barrett Hayton (C)
18. Columbus - Isac Lundestrom (C/LW)
19. Philadelphia - Vitaly Kravtsov (RW)
20. Los Angeles - K’Andre Miller (LHD)
21. San Jose - Ryan Merkley (RHD)
22. Ottawa - Jonatan Berggren (C/RW)
23. Anaheim - Grigori Denisenko (LW)
24. Minnesota - Dominik Bokk (RW)
25. Philadelphia (via Toronto) - Nils Lundkvist (RHD)
26. N.Y. Rangers - Akil Thomas (C)
After taking a forward early, I wanted to take a defenseman. It’s an area of need for the Hawks, and based on how the mock draft played out there were three options: Addison, Mattias Samuelsson (6-4, 218) or Rasmus Sandin (5-11, 186). Both Samuelsson and Sandin are left-handed shots.
Chicago drafted two right-handed shots in the first two rounds last year in Henri Jokiharju, who signed a three-year entry-level deal June 12, and Ian Mitchell. The Hawks could easily go with either Samuelsson or Sandin if they’re available, but I don‘t see them falling to the Hawks. Addison exceeds both players in skill and speed, but is on the smaller end. If both players are gone, Addison will be the best defenseman available.
If you want a left-handed defenseman here with my thinking of Samuelsson and Sandin off the board, North Dakota commit Jonny Tychonick (6-0, 173) of the BCHL’s Penticton or Jared McIsaac of QMJHL’s Halifax (6-1, 196) might be two players to watch for.