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REPORT: Blackhawks Leaning Towards A Center In The Draft

(Jay Zawaski)–While Byram is certainly on the Hawks’ radar, they may be leaning toward drafting a center instead, I’m told. Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley has an affinity for American-born players, a source said. If you read the tea leaves, they would point directly at Chicago native Alex Turcotte as the pick for the Hawks

We are officially just TWO weeks away from the NHL Draft and I am starting to freak the fuck out. That’s where we are. Every rumor. Every pre-draft ranking. Every little tidbit getting floated out to the interwebs…I am on them all and beginning to react irrationally. You fear what you don’t know and there are two things I don’t know as it pertains to this draft…

1) I don’t know anything about any of the prospects. I have seen the USA kids play like a handful of times and some of those games were against shitty countries like Belarus or Germany etc. Not exactly a great way to judge talent. I don’t know how people on twitter form such strong opinions about various players at this point. I was against drafting Boqvist because I deemed him as a specialist. An offensive wizard, but a guy who was widely reported to be lacking in every other facet of the game and I think if you’re drafting in the top 10 you really shouldn’t be selecting a potentially one-dimensional player. It’s broad strokes. I can’t sit here and tell you that Turcotte is better than Cozens, definitively. We can debate forward vs dman, but beyond that I don’t know

2) I don’t know if Stan and company will do a good job at navigating the most important two week stretch of their careers. The Blackhawks haven’t drafted and developed a top 4 NHL defenseman since Nik Hjalmarsson in 2005. Maybe Jokiharju, Boqvist, Mitchell, Krys, Beaudin, etc will become that type of guy, but to date the organization has been 0-for-13 drafts. And…other than Debrincat, none of their young forwards have become core members of the top 6. They’ve drafted “successfully” up front with Teravainen, Hinostroza, Hartman, Danault, Brandon Saad, Nordstrom, and Shaw, but perhaps they haven’t managed that talent well enough because, well only Saad is still here (and the trade to bring him back has been a disaster).

So yeah, every day as we inch closer towards the draft and July 1 I can feel my heart rate accelerating when I think about this summer. I need the Blackhawks back on top and I have zero faith that even with the lottery balls, assets, and salary cap on our side we can see the team get back to where it should be with Toews and Kane at the helm. When the team releases a trailer for their draft web series it only intesifies. So while I’ve been saying

byram turcotte

I really have no idea. When Craig Button has Turcotte ranked 10th and the tea leaves have the Hawks taking him at #3 it makes me uneasy. Meanwhile, the Blues are game away from winning the Stanley Cup. The entire world is upside down.