The Experts Speak: How Will the Blackhawks Use the 11th Overall Pick in the Draft?
After securing the 11th overall pick in this summer’s NHL Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks are going to have plenty of talent available to them to address a number of needs in their system. A future starting goaltender, an impact forward, a future No. 1 defenseman, it’s all on the table for Chicago at 11th overall.
I’ve had my say a number of times and still feel like players like Cole Sillinger, Mason McTavish, or Carson Lambos make the most sense for Chicago at the 11th pick, but how do other writers see the Blackhawks’ needs in this year’s first round?
Here’s how six North American Hockey writers see the Blackhawks using their 11th overall pick:
• Sam Cosentino, SportsNet: Fabian Lysell, Left Wing
• Chris Peters, Hockey Sense: Chaz Lucius, Center
• Josh Bell, Future Considerations: Sebastian Cossa, Goalie
• Adam Kimelman, NHL.com: Chaz Lucius, Center
• Mike Morale, NHL.com: Carson Lambos, Defenseman
• Scott Powers, The Athletic: Matthew Coronato, Right Wing
A few names should be a bit familiar on this list if you’ve been reading our prospect and NHL Draft coverage here on BN Blackhawks. Just yesterday we profiled how a player like Chaz Lucius would fit into the Chicago system. We’ve also mentioned Fabian Lysell and Carson Lambos as a possible targets, as well.
One interesting player named by Josh Bell of Future Considerations is goaltending prospect Sebastian Cossa from the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL.
Cossa is the top North American Goalie prospect by NHL Central Scouting and is the second-overall goaltending prospect in the draft behind Sweden’s Jesper Wallstedt. With the Oil Kings over the past two WHL seasons, Cossa has appeared in 52 games with a 38-7-4 record with a 1.98 GAA and a .928 save-percentage. In the shortened 2021 season, he made 19 appearances with Edmonton and had an incredible 17-1-1 record with a 1.57 GAA, .941 save-percentage and four shutouts on his way to being named the WHL Goaltender of the Year.
🎥 WHL Highlights – May 6, 2021
🏒 @EdmOilKings (3) at @tigershockey (0)
29 saves from 2021 #NHLDraft prospect Sebastian Cossa help the Oil Kings win their season finale.
STATS 📝 | https://t.co/59a8fopQTn pic.twitter.com/OvQhKNNn8Q
— The WHL (@TheWHL) May 7, 2021
Chicago has two promising NCAA prospects in their pipeline at the goaltender position in Dominic Basse (Colorado College) and Drew Commesso (Boston University), and the franchise would love for one of the two of them to become the next top goaltender for the Blackhawks at the NHL level. Commesso was named to the Hockey Easy All-Rookie team this season and was a late addition to Team USA at this year’s IIHF World Championships as a third goalie. It’s possible he could develop into a quality starter in the NHL, but far from a sure thing. Cossa’s stock has risen this season after his performance in the WHL in 2021 and it could never hurt to have more than one option in your prospect pipeline in net to become your future No. 1 starter.
As I said before, there’s a lot on the table for the Blackhawks and this year’s draft class is being evaluated 32 different ways by all 32 NHL teams. The 2020-21 season was altered for every prospect this year and a player might be in the top-ten of one team’s draft board, yet may be a second-round pick on another team’s draft board. Chicago may trade the 11th overall pick and add more draft picks or even a top-end prospect they feel fits better than any player they could pick at 11th overall.
All I know is that I am open to anything this summer, just get back to contending for the Stanley Cup, please.