Tuesday is lining up as a potentially significant day for the next generation of Blackhawks.
Under somewhat normal circumstances, that statement would have been focused on the Hawks’ odds of winning the NHL Draft Lottery tonight, but USA Hockey threw us a curveball first thing in the morning.
Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones was named the captain for the United States at the upcoming World Championship.
Nate Schmidt and Austin Watson will wear an “A” in the tournament.
Jones, 27, appeared in the World Championship twice while he was a member of the Nashville Predators (2014 and 2015) and posted 15 points in 18 games over those two tournaments. Former Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman made Jones one of the first three players named to the US roster for this past year’s Winter Olympics (with Patrick Kane) but NHL players ended up not making the trip to the Games.
It’s appropriate that Jones is making news on the day of the draft lottery. The Blackhawks’ first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft will be something we talk about a lot today and in the coming weeks; the Hawks traded it to Columbus to get Jones last summer, but the pick this year is top-two protected. So if the Blackhawks have anything lower than the second overall pick, it goes to the Blue Jackets.