On June 27 and 28, the NHL will hold their annual Entry Draft. The event will be held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa. The Florida Panthers hold the No. 1 pick this season and are expected to take Aaron Ekblad from the OHL. The Chicago Blackhawks have the No. 27 overall pick this year, and mock drafts have been swirling since the end of the season. One reason the Blackhakws have been a top team in the NHL is because of their ability to draft well and use their farm system wisely. These players could all be targets for Chicago in this year’s draft.
Nick Schmaltz (C) – This kid is a local Chicago-native prospect out of the USHL and the Green Bay Gamblers. Schmaltz has been with the Gamblers for three years now and has progressed into a leader on the team. This season he registered 63 points in 55 games. Schmoltz is a quick athlete and can see the ice well. He not only is an offensive minded player; he is a solid player in the defensive zone.
Robert Fabbri (C/LW) – In his second season with the Guelph Storm, Fabbri broke out with a total of 87 points, 45 goals and 42 assists. He also helped the Storm in the Memorial Cup, adding six points in four games. While he may be small at only 5-foot-10 and 166-pounds, Fabbri is a bright prospect who can help the Hawks in a few years after being seasoned in the farm system.
Thatcher Demko (G) – The top American-born goalie prospect played for Boston College last season. Demko is a butterfly goaltender with good post to post quickness. He can be aggressive at times but relies heavily on positioning. Last season in 24 games with the Eagles, Demko posted a 2.24 goals against average and .919 save percentage. Demko is a goaltender to look at who could blossom into a fantastic player for the Hawks.
There is a lot of talent in this draft. Maybe not the star potential like there has been in the past with Nathan McKinnon and Seth Jones, but there are a lot of pieces that can be filled in this upcoming draft. The Blackhawks’ backbone has been their ability to acquire young talent, and a lot of that begins with the draft.