Usually when teams are picking last in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, it’s because they won the Stanley Cup. That was not the case this year.
In addition to acquiring Seth Jones from the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks also received the 32nd overall selection in this year’s NHL Entry Draft, the final pick of the night in the first round.
And with the 32nd pick, the Blackhawks selected defenseman Nolan Allan from the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL.
We’ve selected defenseman Nolan Allan from the @PARaidersHockey!
Welcome to Chicago 🌆 pic.twitter.com/QdzJg8hzGu
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) July 24, 2021
Allan, by all accounts, would have likely been available to the Blackhawks with their late-second round pick. So, yes, you can take that for what it’s worth. He’s a near-no offense defenseman, who hits like a truck and has decent skating ability for his size, according to multiple scouting reports. In other words, the Blackhawks must see something in Allan that most other scouts do not.
— Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) July 24, 2021
Allan has three goals and 11 points in 81 WHL games in his Junior career and was part of the U18 World Junior Championships Gold Medal team with Canada this past Spring. He’s 6’2″ and near-200 pounds, skates well for his size, and is physical.
Bowman says Nolan Allan impressed the Blackhawks with Canada during the U18 WCs.
"Nolan was fantastic during that tournament. I got to go watch him in person… He was a really big workhorse for that Canadian team that won the Gold Medal. He caught my eye watching that game."
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) July 24, 2021
With the talent that was left on the board in the first round (including Sasha Pastujov, Aatu Raty, Colton Dach, Logan Stankoven, and Daniil Chayka), this pick by the Blackhawks is certainly puzzling.
They touted their confidence in the depth of the defense in the organization when making the trade for Jones, sending Adam Boqvist to Columbus in the process, and then spend their precious remaining first-round pick on another defenseman. One that plays a more “bottom-pair”-style of play, to boot. Very odd.
Stan Bowman truths:
-will give too much money
-will give NMC every time
-will reach on a draft pick https://t.co/fdOwi5SeYN
— Jay Zawaski (@JayZawaski670) July 24, 2021
We shall see how things play out for Allan in his young career. And we’ll have more on him soon.
What a wild night. Cannot wait for tomorrow.