Jake Oettinger Thought He Was Coming to Chicago on Draft Day

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Jake Oettinger Thought He Was Coming to Chicago on Draft Day

Chicago Blackhawks

The Stars begin their second-round playoff series against the Seattle Kraken tonight in Dallas. And a good case can be made that goaltender Jake Oettinger was their best player in the first round; he was magnificent against the Minnesota Wild.

But he almost wasn’t headed to Dallas. In fact, he thought his future would be in Chicago.

The Blackhawks owned the 26th pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, and the Philadelphia Flyers were right on their heels. Most analysts thought there was no way Oettinger made it past Philly at 27 that year. Dallas wanted him, so they flipped picks with the Blackhawks to take him at 26. The trade moved Chicago back to 29, where they took defenseman Henri Jokiharju. The Blackhawks also received a third round pick they used on forward Andrei Altybarmakyan.

In an interview with Jeff Marek of SportsNet during the first round of the playoffs, Oettinger said he really thought the Blackhawks would take him at 26.

“I thought it was going to be Chicago honestly before they traded it,” he said. “I had a great relationship with their minor league goalie coach and he was saying ‘I’m going to do everything I can to have us pick you.’ But when Dallas traded up for me I mean it was the perfect spot.”

Ouch, babe.

Oettinger spend three years at Boston University before turning pro. Now 24, Oettinger has spend three years in the rotation in Dallas, taking over the top spot last season. He appeared in 62 games this year with a .919 save percentage and a 2.34 goals against average.

He has a career .917 save percentage in 145 appearances. Oettinger is an elite, top-tier NHL netminder and the Stars are benefitting from the trade every time he takes the ice.

You can watch the full interview here:

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab