HOLY COW, it has been a day for Kyle Davidson and the Chicago Blackhawks. Coming into the day, the Blackhawks didn’t have a single first-round pick. By the end of the day, Kyle Davidson carved a path from the Blackhawks draft table to the main stage with THREE first-round picks. July seventh will go down in the history books as one of the most critical days in Blackhawks history. so let’s break it down
The Big One
7th overall pick
39th overall pick
2024 3rd round pick
When the city of Chicago is commenting “L” underneath the Blackhawks post, it says it all.
Davidson had previously said he wouldn’t force a trade if the value wasn’t there, and he proved with the Hagel trade that he wouldn’t budge from the package he wanted, or so we thought. However, Davidson clearly had his mind set on trading Alex DeBrincat and forced this trade to happen, costing the Blackhawks value. Davidson said following the trade, Alex DeBrincat’s contract situation did affect interest in him, but getting a package including a top-10 pick was enough for him to make the trade. According to Ben Pope.
Trading a two-time forty-goal scorer for this package is just not good enough. Davidson should have been able to make Ottawa include one of the plethoras of prospects they have in the system as well.
Davidson let his desire to get into the first round cost him value.
Davidson was still able to move into the top ten of the NHL draft but forced this trade, not capitalizing on the total value of a twenty-four-year-old two-time forty-goal scorer. It’s impossible to know what the market was for Alex DeBrincat but hard to believe this was the “Best” offer. This was Davidson’s first “L” as a GM.
This is not fair to Davidson, but you can now look at the Seth Jones trade as the main reason the Blackhawks felt they had to make the DeBrincat trade, so in a sick diabolical lead-up of events, it now:
7th overall pick (Kevin Korchinski)
Chicago trades away:
6th overall pick (David Jiricek)
That’s not great or ideal when you consider the Blackhawks are rebuilding.
Davidson was not even close to being done just yet.
13th overall pick (Frank Nazar)
66th overall pick
Now I will say before the selection of Frank Nazar, this trade was an average trade, but with Frank falling to the 13th pick, this was a great move by Davidson. With Dach being underwhelming, a top fifteen pick is more than fair value. Dach may turn into a top-six forward in the future, but he needed a change of scenery, and Davidson was able to get max value for Dach while adding a speedy player in Nazar.
And the final trade of the day.
25th overall pick
38th overall pick
This is an excellent use of cap space by Davidson moving up a few spots into the third round. Davidson was able to rebound from a rough start of the day and make a good trade that capitalized on the value of his assets. In this case, it was the cap space.
The Draft Picks
Korchinski could land up being the best offensive defenseman in the draft. At 6’2″, he adds size to the Blackhawk’s defensive pool. Korchinski is an elite puck-mover driving puck possession. Korchinski is able to use his brilliant offensive mind to dish passes out to his teammates for an easy assist. In 67 games, he accumulated 61 assists and 65 points in the WHL last season. Undoubtedly, Korchinski has the offensive abilities to be a top pair defense. The question mark comes in the defensive zone. Korchinski has struggled mightily in his defensive one and has A LOT of work to be done before he’s ready to step on an NHL ice sheet. If the Blackhawks take their time with Korchinski, they could be looking at an elite offensive defenseman, and Shea Theodore is the player Korchinski models his game after. This is the definition of a boom or bust pick, but it’s well worth the risk.
Now, this is a pick that Chicago should be excited about. Nazar is an electric player with high-end speed. Nazar can break down defenders using his edge speed, ability to change direction, and high hockey IQ. Nazar is not your normal one-dimensional player but a true duel threat player. Nazar has a pure, powerful stride paring with his crossovers that generate insane power; Nazar just blows by defenders. Nazar uses his speed not only to get to the outside but will fake out defenders and fly to the center of the ice. His willingness to shoot the puck separates him. His ability to drive puck position in transition is a significant asset to his game. In addition, Nazar is an above-average playmaker, and he uses his speed to shift the defenseman around while dishing the puck to the open player. In 56 games, Nazar had 28 goals and 42 assists. The 5’10” Michigan Native could land up being the STEAL of the draft. Nazar does struggle in the defensive zone and will need to sure that up before joining the Blackhawks in the NHL. Nazar will be going to the University of Michigan next season. If Nazar went at pick seven, it would have been a great pick at pick 13; that’s a robbery. Nazar should have every Blackhawks fan drolling.
This may be Davidson’s first reach, with defensemen like Casey and Hutson on the board still. Rinzel is a project, to say the least, but at 6’4″, Rinzel brings all potential in the world. Rinzel is an offensive defenseman who loves to jump in a rush and drive the play. He’s raw and will take years to develop, but with patients and time, Rinzel could bloom into a threat on the Blackhawk’s blue line. You have to swing for the fence every now and then if you want to hit a home run, and that’s what Davidson did with this pick.
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