Round by round Predictions of Blackhawk picks.

By Bill Placzek

This Saturday and Sunday’s NHL entry draft allows all us non professionals to speculate on who are hometown teams will scoop up this weekend. Out of the locking gun cabinet, I will take out a shotgun and will try to shoot a couple NHL prospects out of the large barrel know as the amateur world hockey community.

Probably the toughest part about the NHL draft is simply trying to figure out exactly where my team will draft. The press secretary and assistants yearly tell me they will not have the final list prior to draft morning, so I have to scour the old deals, additional picks and try and piece the close to exact place the Blackhawks will draft BEFORE G.M. Mike Smith trades up or down out of them during the event. This year was a little easier, as Dan Flodin lead me to the NHL official list surprisingly out a couple days prior to this year’s event.
Barring the possibility of trades (although the hopes of a Philly like climb would be candy to any a Hawk fans mouth), I would like to predict a player at each of the present Blackhawk estimated picking positions, 21,54,86,156,188,219,251,282.
Although I want a forward at #21, I think the Blackhawks will reach and go defense, if the right defenseman is there. Not having the luxury of a chance at the four defenseman(Bouwmeester,Pitkanen,Whitney,Eminger),the Hawks will hope that Babchuk, Grebeshkov,or Vagner fall in their laps. If they are gone,along with forwards Jakub Koreis, and Daniel Paille, the Blackhawks select a winger at #21.
At #54, kneecapped Swedish defensemen Daniel Fernholn would be their pick unless someone grabs him up earlier, injury/bad season showing or not. There are also too many good second tier goalies left to ignore Josh Harding, Todd Ford, Cam Ward, and Maxine Daigneault at this point. And lets not forget the possibility of taking sleeper Finn defenseman Jarno Virkki here either.
At pick #84, I predict Finn centre Jarkko Immonen is a no brainer if still there in the late in the third. Or they could reach and go giant with the 6’ 6” Karri Akkanen a centre who needs time. If not rugged Western League’s Brandon Segal, or Kamloops defensemen Nikita Korovin will be considered.
At #156 I am taking Boston College’s John Adams and leaving it at that!
With #188 you have to consider Oshawa’s defensemen Paul Ranger or New Hamphire junior giant goaler Joe Pearce.
At # 219, I go back to Europe and hope centre Dusan Tomek develops for me.
At # 252 I take Steve Jacobs of Cushing Academy as he takes the college route, and finally at # 282, I will select Nate Guerin from Green Bay of the USHL.
Maybe he can play alongside the guy who has the same name and will be in a Blackhawk uniform. Oh, right, to get him,they would have to pay a major league salary, so that isn’t gonna happen, because God forbid the Wirtz family would try and actually buy Lord Stanley’s Cup!