Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said during Thursday’s media conference call that he’s open to moving up from the No. 8 overall pick in the NHL draft.
Stan Bowman said Blackhawks are open to moving up from No. 8, but said there's not a lot of interest in the top seven teams moving down.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) June 21, 2018
Chicago has two first-round picks in this year’s draft, which begins Friday at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Hawks have the Nos. 8 and 27 picks, the latter comes from the Ryan Hartman—Victor Ejdsell trade in February.
Who would the Hawks want to trade up for?
There are four players the Hawks could see going early that they’d want to move up for: left-handed defenseman Quinn Hughes, left winger Brady Tkachuck, center Jesperi Kotkaniemi and right winger Oliver Wahlstrom.
Hughes is the only left-handed defenseman not named Rasmus Dahlin expected to be selected in the top 10. The Hawks would favor a left-handed shot over a right-handed one since they picked two right handers with their first two picks in last year’s draft.
Tkachuck is a physical power forward with plenty of size at 6-foot-3, 192 pounds. He scored 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 40 games during his freshman season at Boston University. He’ll return to the Terriers’ lineup this winter.
Kotkaniemi would fill a need at center in the prospect system. He’s expected to return to Finland to play for Ässät in Liiga next season, and could possibly make the jump to the NHL for the 2019-20 season.
Wahlstrom is the player that has been linked to the Hawks the most. He’s the player most have predicted Chicago will select at No. 8, including Second City Hockey in SB Nation’s mock draft. The Boston College commit tallied 22 goals and 23 assists with the USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in the USHL last season.
Top 8 draft order