Blackhawks Moving Up In The Draft: Part III -- Prospect Targets

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Blackhawks Moving Up In The Draft: Part III — Prospect Targets

Chicago Blackhawks

Over the past couple days we’ve been looking at the idea of the Blackhawks moving up with their second pick in the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft. On Monday, I broke down what a deal might cost. Yesterday, we considered three potential trade partners with whom a move up trade might work.

Today, let’s consider some of the prospects the Blackhawks might want, driving them to make a move up from their current position at No. 19 overall.

The Blackhawks are looking to build a roster around Connor Bedard that can compete for a Stanley Cup championship sooner than later, but also one that can sustain a high level of competing for years to come. They can probably find another blue-chip piece in the 10-14 pick range of this coming draft; I had them moving up as high as No. 8 with the Caps yesterday.

Here are a few prospects who might be on the Blackhawks’ radar enough that they want to move up and get them. I have included their rankings from NHL Central Scouting, a comparison made by Corey Pronman at The Athletic, comments from either Pronman or Scott Wheeler (also The Athletic) and stats for each player.

Ryan Leonard, RW

6-0, 192
Shoots: Right
No. 5 North American Skater
Pronman Comp: Artturi Lehkonen

From Corey Pronman (No. 13 overall): “Leonard is a versatile winger with a lot of elements to his game that an NHL coach will covet. He’s a strong skater who competes well, with a direct style of play and despite an average-sized frame he shows no fear of engaging in physical play. He combines that with excellent hands and an ability to make highly skilled plays with the puck at full speed. His playmaking isn’t great but there’s vision and finishing ability in his game to score at higher levels. Leonard may never truly stand out at either end of the ice, but he will never give a coach a reason to sit him and projects as a quality top-six wing.” — May 3 Update

Nate Danielson, C

6-2, 185
Shoots: Right
No. 7 North American Skater
Pronman Comp: Elias Lindholm

From Corey Pronman (No. 6 overall): “Danielson is a well-rounded center who has a lot of NHL traits. He’s a big body who skates and competes well, which when combined with his offensive touch, allows him to be effective in a lot of situations. He has an excellent stick, and is able to beat defenders with skill at NHL speeds often. He makes a lot of plays with pace but also shows the vision and shot threat to run a power play off the edge. Danielson is a competitive two-way center who wins a good share of puck battles and can kill penalties. He looks like a potential high-in-the-lineup all-situations center in the NHL.” — May 3 Update

Oliver Moore, C

5-11, 188
Shoots: Left
No. 8 North American Skater
Pronman Comp: Jean-Gabriel Pageau

From Corey Pronman (No. 19 overall): “Moore has often been the second-line center for the U.S. NTDP this season. He runs Team USA’s second power-play unit and is their top penalty killer. He is committed to the University of Minnesota. … Moore is the best skater in the draft. He has very good speed and his edgework is NHL-elite caliber. He evades pressure so well and is able to go from a stop to a fast gear very quickly. He has very good hands to go with those feet and projects to get a ton of controlled zone entries in the NHL.” — May 3 Update

From Scott Wheeler (No. 7 overall): “Moore’s game is defined by his singular skating ability (both in straight lines, where he turns defenders with ease out wide, and in quick bursts from explosive stops and starts) and presence on the ice. He’s got gallops, cutbacks, crossovers, all of it. I’ve seen him create breakaways with ease, win races he shouldn’t, and send defenders sliding when he stops up on them with a head of steam. He also hunts pucks and applies pressure with the best of them, and his motor doesn’t stop, bouncing from one won battle to the next.” — May 1 Update

Dalibor Dvorsky, C

6-1, 201
Shoots: Left
No. 3 European Skater
Pronman Comp: William Karlsson

From Corey Pronman (No. 8 overall): “Dvorsky is quite dangerous inside the offensive zone. He has excellent puck skills in small areas and can make checkers miss routinely in open ice. He can make tough plays and find seams. He excels as a goal scorer, though, with a wrist shot and one-timer that he can often finish from range. Dvorsky’s compete is good, he wins puck battles and he isn’t shy from using his body.” — May 3 Update

Matthew Wood, RW

6-4, 195
Shoots: Right
No. 4 North American Skater
Pronman Comp: Drake Batherson

From Scott Wheeler (No. 10 overall): “Wood is a rangy, goal-scoring forward who has silky hands for his size (considering the long stick he uses, he’s got superb control on the toe of his blade out wide and the heel in tight to his feet), a marksman’s shot inside the offensive zone (both through a natural shooting motion and his one-timer), and a sixth sense for arriving around the net/slot at the right time. He protects the puck so, so well and does a good job holding onto pucks for that extra second required to walk into his spots.” — May 1 Update

Colby Barlow, LW

6-0, 190
Shoots: Left
No. 12 North American Skater
Pronman Comp: Jason Zucker

From Corey Pronman (No. 20 overall): “He is a strong skater who can transport pucks through the neutral zone. He’s a hard-working forward who has some physicality, can kill penalties, and is quite physically advanced for his age. Offensively he has excellent stick skills and a great shot. He’s a threat to score off the rush and from a standstill with his one-timer. Barlow’s playmaking isn’t his selling point, but it’s good enough, especially with how skilled he is at creating scoring opportunities for himself. He projects as a high-in-the-lineup wing who can play on both special teams in the NHL.” — May 3 Update


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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