Chicago Blackhawks 2019 NHL Draft Recap

Kirby Dach Chicago Blackhawks 2019 Draft Chicago Blackhawks Prospects
KELOWNA, BC - DECEMBER 01: Kirby Dach #77 of the Saskatoon Blades skates against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on December 1, 2018 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

The Chicago Blackhawks 2019 NHL Draft Recap will look at the prospects drafted by the Blackhawks in this year’s NHL Draft. The team would be picking at number three overall followed by number 43 in the second round, numbers 105 and 123 in the fourth round, 167 in the sixth round, and finally number 194 in the seventh round. We will have a round-by-round listing and discuss many of the players chosen by the team.

Blackhawks 2019 NHL Draft Recap

The past four seasons have been a disappointment for the team and its fans. The Blackhawks 2019 NHL Draft had high expectations put on it this year. Since their last Stanley Cup in 2015, the Blackhawks have had two first-round losses in the playoffs followed by not making the playoffs the past two seasons. There was much focus on the decline of the Blackhawks defence corps over the last few seasons and how this draft could help improve the defence. The team also had needs up front to consider too.

For weeks the debate has raged over who the Blackhawks would pick at number three overall. In the past, the Blackhawks have drafted four players at number three since 1980. They are Denis Savard in 1980, Ed Olczyk in 1984, Cam Barker in 2004, and Jonathan Toews in 2006. So the pressure was on Stan Bowman who was picking what could be and should be a franchise player for the struggling team. Would he pick the top-rated defence prospect, a forward, or make a trade and move up or down? All eyes were on Bowman in Vancouver as he and his staff strode to the stage.

Blackhawks 2019 NHL Draft Pick – Number Three

In typical Bowman fashion, he chose against the obvious choice of Bowen Byram or Alex Turcotte and went with Kirby Dach at number three. Dach is a center with size at 6’4″ 198 pounds and will improve the team in a year or two. He was ranked at number seven overall by Last Word’s Ben Kerr. Below is a brief profile on Dach but be sure to click on his name for Ben’s full profile and link to video highlights for the prospect.

Kirby Dach  – Center 6’4″ 198 Pounds

“Dach is close to being NHL ready but might be best off with one more year of junior hockey. There are some improvements that can still be made in terms of adding muscle to his frame, cleaning up his first step and acceleration, and continuing to have confidence in his shot. Those flaws are minor though and should easily be fixed as he matures. Dach could grow to become a top-line NHL centre. His game is reminiscent of Ryan Getzlaf but this is a style comparison only and not one based on talent.”

Number Three Fallout

The choice of Dach at number three surprised a lot of people. With the declining state of the Blackhawks defence corps, it was assumed they would take the number one ranked defence prospect available. Bowen Bryam was touted as nearly NHL ready and compared favorably to Duncan Keith. He would also improve the Blackhawks back-end sooner than the current prospects Henri Jokiharju and Adam Boqvist. His upside is huge.

Immediately after Dach was chosen social media was blowing up with disapproval. General manager Stan Bowman was being ridiculed for another poor draft choice that he made while “trying to prove he’s the smartest guy in the NHL.” Based on Bowman’s spotty draft record many people have zero patience with him passing up a “sure thing” in Byram. Add in several years of decline since 2015 with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in their prime, the patience of the fan base is stretched thin.

Kirby Dach is a prospect that will require patience. For more on Dach check out this from Jimmy Greenfield of the Chicago Tribune:

“If you look at the player that (Dach) could become — if everything works out and he reaches his most potential — that’s a really impressive player,” Bowman said. “And that’s the kind of player you can’t get anywhere, that can do a little bit of everything with the size, the strength, the skill set, the instincts, and the play-making and the intensity. I don’t know where you find those players.”

“The future. That’s where you find them.”

Number Three Comparisons

Bowman’s choice of Dach is one that will need time to prove out. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, their playoff-starved fans are getting impatient. They will also get to witness the growth of Byram and Turcotte as they play in the Western Conference. Those two prospects Bowman passed on will be watched closely. The comparisons will be made for years to come. Dach has a tough road ahead for him as a Blackhawk. His potential is tremendous and the sooner he gets to the NHL the better.

Blackhawks 2019 NHL Draft Pick – Number Forty-Three

Day two of the NHL Draft began on Saturday, June 22nd. The Blackhawks were picking at 43rd overall in the second round. The dust was starting to settle after the round one choice of Kirby Dach. The team had five more picks left to go and expectations were high. Here is the Blackhawks second pick in the draft. We have a brief profile but be sure to click on the link to Ben’s full profile and video highlights.

Alex Vlasic – Defence 6’6″ 198 Pounds

“It often takes big defenders a little longer to develop, and Vlasic is likely to follow that trend. He is a bit of a project at this point. However, he has the type of size that scouts salivate over and is a good skater for his size, with some puck skills. This package makes him an intriguing project with the potential to be a top-four defender in time. Vlasic’s game is reminiscent of Brandon Carlo, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.”

Blackhawks 2019 NHL Draft Recap – Round Four and Beyond

The Blackhawks did not have any picks in the third or fifth rounds. Here are their two picks as chosen in the fourth round, and their picks in the sixth and seventh rounds. We have a brief profile as well as links to Ben’s full profile and video highlights. If the prospects did not make Ben’s top 100 prospects list we will have a link to Elite Prospects for you to check out their career stats.

#105 – Michal Teply – Winger 6’3″ 187 Pounds

“Teply has the potential to be a top-six winger but must improve some deficiencies in his game. More muscle could help him to be stronger on the boards and improve his physical game. It could also add to a better wrist shot. However, these are minor fixes. Teply has a lot of high-end playmaking ability. If he is able to improve those areas of his game, he could be a top-six forward at the NHL level in a couple of years. Teply’s game is reminiscent of Blake Wheeler, however, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.”

#123 –  Antti Saarela– Center 5’11” 183 Pounds
#167 – Dominic Basse – Goalie 6’6″ 185 pounds

#194 – Cole Moberg – Defence 6’3″ 198 Pounds

Blackhawks 2019 NHL Draft Recap

The Blackhawks 2019 NHL Draft is complete. Last Word’s own Ben Kerr gave the Blackhawks an A- on their selections in this year’s draft. For Ben’s take on the Blackhawks and others CLICK HERE.

In addition, there was one noticeable difference in this year’s draft picks. It was the size of the prospects chosen. Every player except for one was 6’3″ or taller which is very “un-Bowman” like compared to his past drafts. It’s as if he just noticed that hockey players can have size and skill in the NHL. We are not sure what happened but the added size will be popular in Chicago.

They also made a surprising choice at number three in Kirby Dach. Only time will tell if Bowman hit on a winner by choosing Dach and the other five draft picks. All of them will require patience as they hopefully develop into NHL caliber players. With zero playoff series wins since 2015 patience is one thing that is in short supply in Chicago. There will certainly be comparisons and questions galore as the players Bowman chose not to pick develop. Byram and Turcotte will be watched closely by those wondering if Bowman chose poorly. Only time will tell if Dach can silence Bowman’s critics or put the spotlight yet again on the beleaguered general manager and his draft picks.

Up Next

Now that the 2019 NHL Draft is over, up next we will cover the Blackhawks restricted free agents and unrestricted free agents the team may target on July 1st. It is going to be a busy off-season for the Blackhawks and the Last Word on Hockey will be there to cover it for you.

In case you missed any of our Blackhawks 2019 Draft Outlook Series their links are below.

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