Blackhawks 2020 NHL Draft class: Analysis, scouting reports on Chicago’s 8 newest prospects
Here’s a roundup of the new additions to the organization.
Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley selected eight players at the 2020 NHL draft.
We’ll use an expected pick range model from Colin Cudmore of SB Nation’s Silver Seven to determine if each pick was either a steal or a reach.
Lukas Reichel, LW, DEL Berlin — First round, No. 17
Size: 6 foot, 172 pounds
Steal or reach?: Lower 18, Upper 35 — Reach
NHL Central Scouting: No. 11 (EU Skaters)
Social media: @lukas__44 (Twitter), @lukasreichel44 (Instagram)
Reichel, who turned 18 years old on May 17, scored 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 42 games for Eisbaren Berlin in the DEL. Those numbers don’t really jump off the page, but then you consider he was a 17-year-old playing against men.
What Reichel said: “My game style is maybe like Elias Pettersson, because I’m not the biggest guy, not the strongest guy on the ice, but I’m a smart guy,” he said. “I’m a good skater and I like to shoot.”
What Kelley said: “The thing that stands out in his game is the hockey IQ [and] his ability to make plays. Because of the IQ [and] his ability to play with skilled players, I think he has the potential to be an impact player and play in the top-six.”
“He gets lots of ice time. The development he’s getting right now [with] Eisbaren... we like that. That was one of the attractions to him. He’s in a really good situation. Probably if he’s looked at the situation development wise it’s a perfect fit.”
2020 NHL Draft: Why Blackhawks drafted Lukas Reichel at No. 17, his NHL comparable and timeline
Drew Commesso, G, USNTDP — Second round, No. 46
Size: 6-foot-2, 181 pounds
Steal or reach?: Lower 53, Upper 94 — Reach
NHL Central Scouting: No. 2 (NA Goaltenders)
Social media: @commesso29 (Twitter), @drewcommesso (Instagram)
Commesso, 18, went 18-7-1 with a 2.05 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and three shutouts last season for the U.S. National Under 18 Team. The left-handed catching goalie is now a freshman at Boston University, where he’ll be teammates with Blackhawks prospects Alex Vlasic, sophomore defenseman, and Jake Wise, junior center.
What Commesso said: “I’m a very calm and efficient goalie. You won’t really find me scrambling or making those crazy highlight-reel saves too much. I’d rather just make the simple save in my chest. I try to simplify the game as much as possible and be very efficient. I think that helps my team a lot, too, just in the hectic moments of the game knowing that I have everything under control.
“There’s a lot of things I want to work on as well. As I go into college, the game’s going to get faster and I want to work on my rebound control and skating. Those are two big areas.”
What Kelley said: “Athletic goaltender, really good size. He’s a bright kid, he’s a student of the game. A lot of times we don’t talk about goaltenders and the goaltenders’ hockey sense, but with Drew, I think it’s obvious. His IQ, he understands how the play develops. So I think that bodes well for him.”
Landon Slaggert, LW, USNTDP — Third round, No. 79
Size: 6 foot, 183 pounds
Steal or reach?: Lower 85, Upper 153 — Reach
NHL Central Scouting: No. 88 (NA Skaters)
Social media: @slaggs_9 (Twitter), @slaggs19 (Instagram)
Slaggert, also 18, scored 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists) in 47 games last season with the USNDTP U18 team. He also had 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 19 games for the USNDTP junior team. He’s a Chicago Mission alum and a freshman at Notre Dame, where his father, Andy, is a longtime associate coach.
What Slaggert said: “I see my game as a 200-foot game. I think I bring a lot of energy on the ice and I’m a tough player to play against and I think I can continue that at Notre Dame and continue it in Chicago with the Blackhawks.”
What Kelley said: “What we liked about Landon’s game is it’s 200 foot, compete, very responsible, he has a very good skill set, a good skater. We know he’s a really good teammate, the coach likes him, he’s a guy that you want on his team.”
Wyatt Kaiser, LH-D, Andover, MN (HS) — Third round, No. 81
Size: 6 foot, 172 pounds
Steal or reach?: Lower 44, Upper 111 — Even
NHL Central Scouting: No. 37 (NA Skaters)
Social media: @wyatt_kaiser5 (Twitter), @wyatt.kaiser5 (Instagram)
The 18-year-old Kaiser scored 34 points (nine goals, 25 assists) in 25 games last season as captain for Andover (Minnesota) High School and was named the top senior defenseman in Minnesota high school hockey. He also had nine points (two goals, seven assists) in six playoff contests. He’s a freshman at University of Minnesota-Duluth, which plays in the NCHC conference and won back-to-back NCAA championships in 2018 and 2019.
What Kaiser said: “I think my skating is a big thing. Skating and moving the puck fast. I think some of my weakness is the offensive side of the game, just figuring out to be more offensive.”
What Kelley said: “A little bit maybe behind the curve a little bit, but he’s a true freshman at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. We’ve been in contact there with their coaches, they’re very, very high on him. We expect him to go in and have a pretty prominent role right from the start. Very good skater, moves the puck well. Very competitive kid.”
Michael Krutil, RH-D Czech U20 HC Sparta — Fourth round, No. 110
Size: 6-foot-3, 203 pounds
Steal or reach?: Lower 118, Upper 187 — Reach
NHL Central Scouting: No. 27 (EU Skaters)
Social media: @KrutilMichael (Twitter), @michaelkrutil (Instagram)
The 18-year-old Krutil scored five points (three goals, two assists) in 19 games last season for HC Sparta Praha under-20 team, and made his Czech Extraliga debut. He’s been plagued by injuries (knee, broken wrist) during the last couple seasons, but said he’s “100 percent” healthy now. He was selected in the first round (No. 24 overall) by the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League in this year’s Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.
What Krutil said: “I think my strongest part of the game is my strong ability, my physical play, my skating also and also my passing. I think that I’m really good in (the) defense zone and also I’m good at making offensive plays — make a quick pass and go to the offensive zone. What about my weaknesses? Hmm, I think I should make quicker decision in game. I think that it’s going to be important to play in the NHL.”
What Kelley said: “Michael is a little bit behind the curve, very good skater, moves the puck well. Very good chance that he will be on the Czech Under-20 team. Right now he is playing with a Division I team in the Czech Republic, eventually he’ll be moving on to Kelowna in the WHL.”
Isaak Phillips, LH-D, OHL Sudbury — Fifth round, No. 141
Size: 6-foot-3, 194 pounds
Steal or reach?: Lower 97, Upper 156 — Even
NHL Central Scouting: No. 114 (NA Skaters)
Social media: @isaakphillips7 (Twitter), @isaakphillips (Instagram)
The 19-year-old Phillips scored 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 63 games last season for the Sudbury Wolves in the Ontario Hockey League.
What Phillips said: “I’m a two-way defenseman that has good skating and good size. I’m a guy that likes to jump up into the play and likes to use my feet to add to that second wave. But I’m also a guy who can defend in his own end, big reach, big body. I think I’m just coming into my own. I think I’m going to really show my defensive size this year while being able to add some offense as well.”
“I think for me the biggest thing is realizing my size and really having that physical presence out there, and when I’m on the ice that other teams know that I’m out there, and they don’t want to dump it into my corner. I think the biggest thing for me is just using my body, using my size, adding that mean, physical, grit element to my game.”
What Kelley said: “The interesting thing about Isaak, we would go up to watch [Quinton] Byfield, Jack Thompson, and in watching them, it’s like, ‘Who’s this guy?’ He always caught our eye. Athletic, very good skater. Very, very competitive. He just has a great presence on the ice.”
Chad Yetman, C/RW, OHL Erie — Sixth round, No. 172
Size: 5-foot-11, 179 pounds
Steal or reach?: Unranked — Reach
NHL Central Scouting: Unranked
Social media: @YetmanChad (Twitter), @chadyetman21 (Instagram)
The 20-year-old Yetman scored 74 points (43 goals, 31 assists) in 61 games last season for the Erie Otters of the OHL. He joined Erie one season after current Blackhawks forwards Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome won the OHL championship in 2017. He’s not only an offensive player as he led the OHL with 24 shorthanded shots on goal on the penalty kill.
What Yetman said: “I’m a 200-foot centerman. I can play wing, I have played wing, but I prefer center. I have some offensive ability. I can put the puck into the net when I need to, and I’m responsible in my own end.”
“My wrist shot is more my strength. I think I have a deceptive release and can trick goalies. It’s something I’ve worked on a lot in my whole junior career. Just finding ways to deceive goalies and trick them. I had a lot of goals on the power play, too.”
What Kelley said: “Best way to describe him is it took two years for him to grow on us, but every year we’ve seen improvement. Another one, we’d go in to see Jamie Drysdale play and it’s, ‘Who’s this guy?’ Every game you went to see Erie play, you noticed him.”
Louis Crevier, RH-D, QMJHL Chicoutimi — Seventh round, No. 188
Size: 6-foot-7, 216 pounds
Steal or reach?: Lower 92, Upper 191 — Even
NHL Central Scouting: Unranked
Social media: @louis_crevier (Twitter), @crevier_lewis (Instagram)
Crevier, 19, scored 10 goals and 21 points in 59 games this past season before the QMJHL season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 6-foot-8 and 216-pound Crevier has played two games this season, his third in the QMJHL.
What Crevier said: “I’m more of a shutdown defenseman. I have a pretty good shot too so I can make some goals and make some offensive opportunities, but I’m more focused on my defensive aspect of the game and shutting down the other team’s best players.”
What Kelley said: “Very, very responsible, competitive. What you notice about him, when the other team’s best player was on the ice, Louis was on the ice to defend.”