The Chicago Blackhawks have had some pretty crazy NHL Drafts in recent memory. From trading Alex DeBrincat last year to even trading Artemi Panarin a handful of years ago, the draft has been a big spot for the Blackhawks. Being patient has to be a goal for the Hawks at the upcoming 2023 NHL Draft.
The Blackhawks have their fair share of draft capital at the 2023 NHL Draft. They have their first overall pick, another first from the Tampa Bay Lightning, four seconds, two thirds and their own fourth, fifth and seventh round picks.
The team has a chance to land a handful of prospects, and potentially take on a few bad contracts from teams looking to clear up some cap space ahead of free agency. While the draft has been a big day to get major moves done in the past, the Hawks need to be patient this time around.
Patience is key to success for Blackhawks entering the 2023 NHL Draft
The Blackhawks are not going to rebuild their team in one day. While June 28, 2023 is going to be a fun day, the team is not going to solve every problem at the draft. Last year, it felt like Kyle Davidson and the Blackhawks were in the business of making moves simply to make some big noise at the draft and add something. Trading a guy like DeBrincat made sense, but the return could have been a bit bigger in my opinion.
Chicago has the cap space to take on bad contracts, but they should only do so if the return is worth it. That is why patience is the key here. The Hawks need to be patient when it comes to making any trades this draft. There is no reason to rush and make a few big moves. Let teams get more and more desperate to clear up cap space or sweeten the deal, even if that means not making any moves at the draft.
Additionally the Hawks need to be patient in regards to the players they are drafting. Under Stan Bowman, the Blackhawks drafted Kirby Dach third overall in 2019. Looking back on it, it seems as though Bowman was drafting the most NHL ready player at that moment to try and put in the lineup that upcoming season. I mean, the team passed on Bowen Byran, Dylan Cozens, Matthew Boldy and Moritz Seider just to name a few.
For every pick, the Hawks need to make sure they are drafting players based on their projected skill to help out the team in the future, not this upcoming season or even two years from now. The draft is a big investment and with eight picks in the first three rounds the Blackhawks have a big opportunity to add a ton of talent to their farm system.
I would love to see the Hawks make some big moves this summer. Whether that means packaging a few picks to move up higher in the first round with their second pick or looking to add a few decent prospects with a second round pick or two. Two or three years from now they won’t need to be drafting as much as they are this upcoming summer and then they should try and trade some picks for NHL ready players. But at the end of the day, this team is still in a mode where they need to add prospects to their organization.
There is a good chance the Rockford IceHogs are going to be one of the best teams in the AHL for the foreseeable future.