Blackhawks Moving Up In The Draft: Part II — Potential Partners

As we continue thinking about the Blackhawks’ approach to the 2023 NHL Draft after selecting Connor Bedard first overall, the thought they might move up is impossible to ignore. Yesterday, we discussed the cost of moving up. Today, let’s consider a few teams that might make sense for a move.

In our conversation about the cost of moving up, we saw three likely scenarios in which that has taken place in the past: moving a star player (not happening here right now), picks for picks and bringing back a contract the other team doesn’t want/can’t afford any longer. As we think about teams that might be potential trade partners for the Blackhawks if they wanted to make an aggressive move, those will be factors we look at. I’m also going to consider where the potential partner is in the life cycle of the franchise and their existing draft assets; those, too, can contribute to the desire to move back.

Here are a few deals that might make sense for the Blackhawks as we get closer to June.

Blackhawks Move To No. 8

Yeah, I’m going all the way into the top ten to start. The Washington Capitals are a fascinating team to think about right now. They missed the playoffs, let their head coach go, and have an aging roster with some serious injury concerns. And they have three more years of Alexander Ovechkin at $9.5 million per season.

According to CapFriendly, the Caps have roughly $7.3 million of cap space available with 17 players on their NHL roster. Could they use some money moving out? Possibly. Anthony Mantha (one more year at $5.7 million) and TJ Oshie (two more years at $5.75 million with a modified no-trade clause) are two players who might make sense for them to move out.

In January when Scott Wheeler of The Athletic updated his organizational prospect rankings, he had the Caps at No. 25 in the league. That isn’t great for a team that is nearing the end of its life cycle with their Ovechkin-led group of veterans.

Washington only has five picks in the 2023 NHL Draft; they do not have picks in the third or sixth rounds. They also do not have a second-round pick in 2024, but have three in the third round next year. So the Capitals have somewhat limited draft… capital to work with as they try to spark the next wave.

Would the Caps want to move down? It likely depends on which prospects are off the board when No. 8 arrives. Will Matvei Michkov slide that far? If so, it might make perfect sense for Washington to take him. There are certainly other players who might be interesting for the Caps to consider.

  • The Offer: Chicago sends forwards Colin Blackwell and prospect Michael Teplý and picks No. 19 and 44 this year to Washington for pick No. 8 overall and center Nic Dowd.
  • Dowd has two more years at a $1.3 million cap hit, which makes this essentially a break-even deal financially for the Caps this coming season but saves than $1.3M in 2024-25. The Blackhawks can afford to add a fourth-line center at that number. And Dowd is a physical (136 hits in 65 games) player who also won 50 percent of his faceoffs, so he makes sense in that regard. Teplý as sweetener makes sense in that he has one year left on his contract ($820k cap hit) but doesn’t appear to be in the plans for Chicago moving forward. Two players for $2 million (a net $700k increase) and add a pick in the middle of the second round? I think Washington might bite if the guy(s) they want are gone at No. 8.

    Blackhawks Move To No. 11

    The Blackhawks have done business with Vancouver before, and the time might be right to get that number back in speed dial if you’re Kyle Davidson. The Canucks have been a hot mess for two years; they’re on their third head coach in two seasons and have had a number of players moved out of town already.

    Here’s the rub: Vancouver is already projected to be over the cap next year; CapFriendly indicates they have a little more than $84 million committed to 17 players on their NHL roster right now. So they desperately need to create cap space quickly. Oh, and they don’t have a second-round pick this year or next year (2024 because Chicago owns it with Jason Dickinson).

    Desperate, you say? Love to see it. Let’s go to work.

  • The Offer: Chicago sends pick No. 19 to Vancouver for pick No. 11 and forwards Brock Boeser and Tanner Pearson.
  • Boeser is 26 still and scored 18 goals last year. But his name is going to be out there in most trade rumors because of his contract; he has two years remaining at $6.65 million. Pearson has one more year left on his deal that carries a $3.25 million cap hit; he might never play hockey again, unfortunately, after a hand injury suffered in November ended his season and subsequent procedures made it into a mess that got the NHLPA involved.

    If Pearson is indeed headed back to season-long LTIR, that’s another asset the Blackhawks could move to a team with cap headaches (see: Tampa, Boston, Washington) in a subsequent deal before the draft. Boeser has value to the Blackhawks’ roster in the coming two seasons, either as a top-six wing and/or as a future trade asset as well. One might argue helping the Canucks clear that much cap space is worth more than moving up eight spots, but getting the 11th pick in this year’s draft is worth a top-ten most years.

    Blackhawks Move To No. 14

    This one feels pretty cut and dry, right? The Penguins are getting old, as evidenced by their missing the playoffs for the first time in almost two decades. But looking at their draft board, they don’t own a second-round pick this year and their only pick in the third round was originally New Jersey’s meaning it will come late in that round. Waiting from the middle of the first round until the end of the third is no way to inject youth into a system that desperately needs it.

    Wheeler ranked Pittsburgh’s prospect pool 29th in the league back in January, which is far from a ringing endorsement. And with the ages of their core players being in their mid-30s, ringing them one more time is their primary concern. But it isn’t likely to happen without additional assets. And that’s going to require their new front office to be creative.

    Further complicating matters for the Pens is their cap situation. CapFriendly shows them having roughly $20 million in cap space with only 15 players on their NHL roster. That number does not include Tristan Jarry, who is a UFA this summer. So they need some help there as well.

  • The Offer: Chicago sends picks No. 19 and 55* (from NYR) in this year’s draft, forward Boris Katchouk and the rights to goaltender Dominic Basse to Pittsburgh for pick No. 14 overall.
  • Note: as I mentioned earlier, this pick is shown as No. 55 by Tankathon, but might be No. 56 if the Flyers indeed get a compensatory pick for not signing Jay O’Brien.

    Basse had a really nice season this year for St. Cloud State but isn’t likely to sign with the Blackhawks; Pittsburgh might have to elevate Taylor Gauthier to their NHL back-up position next season, so Basse working with Joel Blomqvist in the AHL would give them better depth overall. Katchouk is an affordable depth forward; the Penguins need a few of those.

    In adding a forward and a goaltending prospect to the package, the Blackhawks now slide back to including the fourth of their four second-round picks in the deal. This moves Pittsburgh back five slots, adds a pick to the gap between their first and the end of the third round, and helps them fill their roster for the 2023-24 season.


    written by

    Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

    more blackhawks news

    Panthers Take Stanley Cup Final Game 3 in Edmonton, Put Oilers on the Brink

    I thought the last seconds of this game were a pretty perfect summation of this series. The Oilers were making a furious comeback, they trailed 4-1 in the 3rd period but fought back to make it 4-3. The puck was...

    Florida Hangs On, Comparing Drafts, Chuck & Wayne, Utah’s In, Ottawa Selling, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

    Let's start our Friday with an interesting conversation that I always love to read and discuss. How does this year's draft class compare to last year's? When we had this debate before and after the 2023 NHL Draft, the hype...

    Stanley Cup Final: Game Three – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

    The Stanley Cup Final continues tonight after a couple days off. Broadcast Info Puck Drop: 7:00 PM CTTV: ABC / ESPN+Radio: NHL Network Radio (Sirius/XM) Stanley Cup Final Game 3 Expected Lineups Florida Panthers Carter Verhaeghe - Aleksander Barkov - Sam ReinhartMatthew Tkachuk...

    NHL Mock Draft Roundup: Four New Post-Combine Blackhawks Projections To Consider

    The 2024 NHL Scouting Combine is in the rearview mirror, which means we're now kinda-sorta transitioning our non-playoff eyes to the 2024 NHL Draft. I say kinda-sorta because Russian prospects who weren't able to attend the Combine will work out...

    Fresh Nečas Rumors, GMKD Shopping, Laine Moving? Cooper Coaching Canada, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

    Let's talk about Martin Nečas for a moment, shall we? It's been a few days since his name came up, but the Blackhawks were mentioned in direct tie to him by Pierre LeBrun at The Athletic on Wednesday, so it's...

    BN Blackhawks’ 2024 NHL Draft Big Board

    We haven't watched the Blackhawks play in two months, but we have just six short weeks remaining until the 2024 NHL Draft begins. So we've been mostly focused on that -- and will continue to be. I've had a number...

    Colliton’s New Gig, Cup Keepers, Cap Numbers, Connor’s (Former) Teammate, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

    It's a relatively quiet week for the 30 teams not participating in the Stanley Cup Final, a list that includes the Blackhawks. But whenever we have a notable Old Friend Alert it's fun. And we got one on Tuesday when...

    Dirty Draisaitl, Demidov Concerns, RFA Talk (Offer Sheet?), Barkley’s a Fan, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

    We now have two Stanley Cup Final games in the books and, hoo boy did the Oilers even embarrass themselves last night. Edmonton got out-skated early and Warren Foegele took the first dirty penalty of the night for Edmonton. He...

    Stanley Cup Final Game 2 Takeaways: Panthers Suffocate Oilers In 4-1 Win

    A few Saturdays ago, I watched a really fun UFC Saturday night event between Islam Makhachev (defending his lightweight title) and Dustin Poirier. And that fight felt a lot like Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Poirier (the Oilers)...

    2024 NHL Mock Draft: Post-Scouting Combine Two-Round Update

    On the travel day in the middle of the Stanley Cup Final, it's a good time for us to take a second to reflect on some of the takeaways from the Scouting Combine this past weekend in Buffalo and update...

    Latest News

    Mariners vs. Rangers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Friday, June 14, 2024

    The Seattle Mariners (40-31) are -143 favorites for their Friday meeting with the Texas Rangers (33-35). The matchup between the first- and second-place teams in the AL West begins at 10:10 PM ET on Apple TV+.Seattle's Luis Castillo gets the...

    Dodgers vs. Royals Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Friday, June 14, 2024

    Mookie Betts, batting .308 this season, leads the Los Angeles Dodgers (42-28) into a matchup with one of the league's other top hitters, Bobby Witt Jr. (.330 AVG) and the Kansas City Royals (40-30). Betts and the Dodgers are -161...

    Diamondbacks vs. White Sox Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Friday, June 14, 2024

    The Arizona Diamondbacks (33-36) and Christian Walker (2 HR in his last game) are favored (-193) on the moneyline for their matchup with the Chicago White Sox (18-52) on Friday at 9:40 PM ET on NBCS-CHI.Ryne Nelson takes the mound...

    Giants vs. Angels Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Friday, June 14, 2024

    The San Francisco Giants will take the field against the Los Angeles Angels (26-42) on Friday. The game begins at 10:15 PM ET on Apple TV+, with the Giants listed as -150 favorites on the moneyline.Los Angeles is projected to...

    Ben Brown Has a “Stress Reaction” in His Neck

    [ankin_law] The Chicago Cubs today released a little more information the injury that put pitcher Ben Brown on the Injured List, and it's not good. It's also not entirely clear. From Craig Counsell: Without playing pretend doctor too...

    Friday’s WNBA Picks and Predictions – June 14

    In a Friday WNBA slate that includes two compelling contests, the Los Angeles Sparks versus the Minnesota Lynx is a game to see.Looking for the best bets for today's WNBA games? This article features computer picks for every matchup, so...

    Mariners vs. Rangers Probable Starting Pitchers – June 14

    The Seattle Mariners (40-31) and the Texas Rangers (33-35) square off at T-Mobile Park on Friday at 10:10 PM ET, starting a three-game series.This contest's pitching matchup is set, as the Mariners will send Luis Castillo (5-7) to the mound,...

    Dodgers vs. Royals Probable Starting Pitchers – June 14

    The Kansas City Royals (40-30) start a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers (42-28) on Friday at Dodger Stadium. First pitch is at 10:10 PM.The Dodgers will give the nod to Gavin Stone (7-2) versus the Royals and Cole...

    Diamondbacks vs. White Sox Probable Starting Pitchers – June 14

    The Chicago White Sox (18-52) kick off a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks (33-36) with a Friday matchup at Chase Field. First pitch is at 9:40 PM ET.The Diamondbacks will look to Ryne Nelson (3-5) against the White Sox...

    Giants vs. Angels Probable Starting Pitchers – June 14

    The Los Angeles Angels (26-42) open a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants (34-35) with a Friday meeting at Oracle Park. First pitch is at 10:15 PM ET.The Angels will hand the ball to Tyler Anderson (5-6, 5.43), while...

    more blackhawks news