The Chicago Blackhawks’ First-Round Picks: Where Are They Now?

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Kirby Dach reacts after being selected third overall by the Chicago Blackhawks during the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Kirby Dach reacts after being selected third overall by the Chicago Blackhawks during the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The Traded 2015/16 First-Round Picks

In a push to win more Stanley Cups during the dynasty era, the Blackhawks traded their 2015 and 2016 first-round picks away to receive players to contribute to cup runs. On February 28th, 2015, the Blackhawks traded their 2015 first-round pick and Klas Dahlbeck to the Arizona Coyotes for Antoine Vermette. Vermette managed to put up only seven points in the 20 playoff games he was a part of, but he walked away from the 2014-15 season as a Stanley Cup champion. However, his tenure in Chicago was short-lived, as he returned to the Coyotes the following season in free agency.

Despite all of the success the Blackhawks saw during the 2010s, the one thing they had never managed to pull off was a back-to-back Stanley Cup win. In 2016, this was their only goal. In typical Bowman fashion, there was no better way to win a back-to-back Stanley Cup than with the return of a familiar face. On February 25th, 2016, the Blackhawks traded their 2016 first-round pick and Marko Dano to the Winnipeg Jets for Jay Harrison, Matt Fraser, and Andrew Ladd. Ladd had already won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010, and unfortunately for their fans, that would be his only championship with Chicago. He scored two points in seven games before the St. Louis Blues eliminated the Hawks in the first round.

Luckily for management, neither of the Blackhawks traded away first-round picks became superstar-caliber players. The 2015 first-round pick became Nick Merkely, who currently plays in the San Jose Sharks system. The 2016 first-round pick became German Rubtsov, a forward in the Philadelphia Flyers organization. Not to mention that the Blackhawks more than made up for their lack of a first-round selection by selecting Alex DeBrincat in the second round of the 2016 draft. So while they may not have pulled off a back-to-back Stanley Cup victory, they did not lose anything massive in these trades either.