In the second episode of this year’s “On The Clock” episode, Blackhawks general manager and vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley discuss how they’ll approach the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft.
Kelley identified the first 11 spots in the draft as landing spots for Russian goaltender Yaroslav Askarov. Bowman then says if Askarov slides past that spot they “might be able to jump up and get him.” Kelley also makes a point to say once the second goalie in the draft is selected then more will follow quickly.
Bowman and Kelley then point to left-handed defenseman Kaiden Guhle and forward Lukas Reichel as options at No. 17.
In the draft room at Fifth Third Arena, the first 10 picks are shown and then Bowman relays a text exchange between him and another GM about moving up in the first round. The other GM says if it’s Askarov then Bowman will have to sweeten the deal, but a trade isn’t made. The Predators selected Askarov at No. 11.
Bowman and Kelley are then focused on three forwards being selected before Montreal goes at No. 16. Three forwards did come off the board and the Canadiens picked Guhle to leave the Blackhawks with Reichel.
“We got him,” Kelley said to Bowman. “We just played it right out. Yesterday we said if we got him, we’d be really happy.”