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NHL Mock Draft 2019: Chicago Blackhawks select Alex Turcotte with No. 3 pick

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The center will play for his hometown team.

Alex Turcotte

The Blackhawks are heading to Vancouver for the NHL draft with the No. 3 overall pick for the second time in 13 years.

In 2006, they selected center Jonathan Toews, who helped revitalize the organization and captained them to three Stanley Cup championships. This year, the Blackhawks hope to find a game-changing, franchise player like Toews.

With the No. 3 pick in SB Nation’s NHL mock draft, Second City Hockey selects, from the United States National Development Program, center Alex Turcotte.

Basics

Position: Center
Age: 18 (Feb. 26, 2001)
Hometown: Island Lake, Illinois
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 185 pounds
Shoots: Left
College commitment: Wisconsin
NHL comparison: Patrice Bergeron/Ryan O’Reilly

2018-19 season review

Turcotte scored 12 goals and 34 points in only 12 USHL games for the United States National Development Program. That’s a 2.15 point per game average for the team’s second-line center. In the other portion of the schedule, Turcotte racked up 27 goals and 62 points in 37 games. Turcotte’s promising numbers could’ve been even better if he didn’t miss time due to a hip injury early on and from having mononucleosis in March.

Turcotte, who was not 100 percent yet, tallied four goals and nine points in seven games for the United States as they fell to Finland in the gold-medal game at the under-18 World Championship in Sweden.

Draft rankings

NHL Central Scouting (NHL): No. 4 North American skater
Corey Pronman (The Athletic): No. 3
Scott Wheeler (The Athletic): No. 3
Craig Button (TSN): No. 8
Bob McKenzie (TSN): No. 7

Draft decision process

1. Devils — Jack Hughes (C)
2. Rangers — Kaapo Kakko (RW)

The mock draft went as expected with the Devils (All About The Jersey) and Rangers (Blueshirt Banter) selecting American forward Jack Hughes and Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko with the first two picks, respectively. This leaves the draft in the hands of the Blackhawks. Whatever they do here will impact the rest the top 10.

The Blackhawks’ options look to be narrowed down to five players:

  • Left-handed defenseman Bowen Byram of WHL Vancouver (No. 2 NA)
  • Center Kirby Dach of WHL Saskatoon (No. 3 NA)
  • Center Alex Turcotte of USNTDP/Wisconsin commit (No. 4 NA)
  • Center/Right wing Dylan Cozens of WHL Lethbridge (No. 5 NA)
  • Center/Left wing Trevor Zegras of USNTDP/Boston University commit (No. 6 NA)

All five players would be valuable additions, but the Blackhawks selecting four defensemen — including three first-rounders — in the past two years and the risk involved in taking yet another blue liner points toward Chicago selecting a forward. And Turcotte has the most complete 200-foot game among them.

Turcotte, the son of former NHLer Alfie Turcotte, is a powerful center that has top speed with great hands, play-making abilities and can play in all three zones. Look at any breakdown of the Wisconsin commit’s play and one thing sticks out the most — his compete level. Turcotte played for the Chicago Mission during the 2016-17 season, and their director Gino Cavallini described him as “rabid wolf” that “loved to dominate” in a recent Chicago Tribune article.

Turcotte will play next season with former USNTDP teammate Cole Caufield (2019 NHL Draft) and current Blackhawks prospect Joshua Ess (2017 seventh-rounder) at nearby Wisconsin. Badgers head coach Tony Granato and associate head coach Mark Osiecki have ties to the Blackhawks as well. Granato, a Downers Grove native, is the brother of former Blackhawks assistant coach Don Granto, who parted ways in a mutual agreement in April. Osiecki had the same role for the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate from 2013-16 before returning to his alma mater.

Chicago would probably want Turcotte to play one college season after being drafted like Toews did before suiting up in the NHL.

Poll

Which player do you want the Blackhawks to draft with the No. 3 overall pick?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Bowen Byram, D
    (571 votes)
  • 17%
    Dylan Cozens, C/RW
    (250 votes)
  • 5%
    Kirby Dach, C
    (81 votes)
  • 35%
    Alex Turcotte, C
    (510 votes)
  • 2%
    Trevor Zegras, C/LW
    (31 votes)
1443 votes total Vote Now