clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Last-place Blackhawks look to the future, stockpiling picks at deadline

Stan Bowman will have two first-round draft picks this June. (Getty Images)

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is used to calling other GMs at this time of year, looking for rentals and major additions for a Stanley Cup run. Being on the other side of those calls was a different experience and one he doesn’t hope to repeat.

‘‘It’s disappointing, for sure, but you can’t feel sorry for yourself,’’ Bowman said after dealing forwards Ryan Hartman and Tommy Wingels for picks and a prospect Monday. ‘‘You’ve got to sit here and try to plan for the future.’’

That was the motive behind both deals the Hawks made, dealing Hartman to the Predators and Wingels to the Bruins. The Hawks now have two first-round picks in the draft in June — their own (likely to be in the lottery) and a late one from the Predators. That offsets the lost second-round pick from the ill-fated Phil Danault trade with the Canadiens two years ago. The Hawks also have two third-rounders.


Blackhawks send Ryan Hartman to Nashville at trade deadline

On The Beat podcast: Where do the Blackhawks go from here?

Bowman has had some success with late first-round picks, including Teuvo Teravainen (18th), Hartman (30th), Nick Schmaltz (20th) and top defensive prospect Henri Jokiharju (29th).

‘‘All you have to do is look back to last year’s draft,’’ Bowman said. ‘‘We ended up taking Henri Jokiharju at 29th overall and [defenseman] Ian Mitchell 57th. Those are two of our best up-and-coming prospects, so you can get really good players in that range.’’

Ejdsell is a go

The Hawks pursued center Victor Ejdsell last spring after his breakout season in Sweden’s second-tier league, but he wound up going undrafted and signing with the Predators. So Bowman was glad to get a second crack at Ejdsell after acquiring him in the deal for Hartman.

In his first season in the Swedish Elite League, Ejdsell has scored 17 goals to go with 13 assists in 44 games.

‘‘He’s not a throw-in,’’ Bowman said. ‘‘He’s a very talented center, a big kid about 6-5, a highly skilled player.

‘‘He’s a bit of a late bloomer. . . . He’s 22, so he’s probably closer to being an NHL player. We have high expectations for him.’’

Ta-ta, Tommy

The Hawks found a taker for Wingels at the last minute. The Bruins gave the Hawks a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft. It will become a fourth-rounder if the Bruins win their first-round playoff series or re-sign Wingels in the summer.

Crawford update

Bowman and coach Joel Quenneville had no update on goalie Corey Crawford, who has been out with a head injury since Christmas. But Bowman said he fully expects Crawford to return to full health and play again and saw no reason why he wouldn’t play this season if he’s medically cleared.

‘‘Athletes want to play,’’ Bowman said. ‘‘If Corey is 100 percent healthy and our doctors say he’s ready to go and he’s saying, ‘I want to play,’ it would be sort of odd to say, ‘You’re not allowed to play.’ ’’

Follow me on Twitter @MarkLazerus.