History is on Blackhawks’ side as they pick No. 8 overall
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Blackhawks have only drafted eighth overall three times in their history, but they have a pretty good track record. In 1987, they picked current goaltending coach Jimmy Waite, whose NHL career didn’t amount to much. But the following season, they took eventual superstar Jeremy Roenick at No. 8, and in 1998, they took two-time 20-goal-scorer Mark Bell in that spot.
It has been more than a decade since the Hawks last had a top-10 pick — Patrick Kane in 2007, of course — but recent history suggests they should get a solid player at No. 8. They won’t get Rasmus Dahlin — “a franchise-altering” defenseman, according to director of scouting Mark Kelley, but they’ll have some good options when it’s their turn in Dallas on June 21. Here’s a look at who has gone eighth overall in recent seasons, along with a few hits and misses from each of those drafts.
2017: Casey Mittelstadt, C, Buffalo
Stats: 6 GP, 1G, 4A
Noteworthy: One of just 10 players drafted last June who played in the NHL this past season.
Hits: D Sebastian Aho (139th overall) played 22 games with the Islanders.
Misses: Too early to tell
2016: Alexander Nylander, RW, Buffalo
Stats: 7 GP, 1G, 1A
Noteworthy: Called up for the last three games of the season after a middling 27-point campaign in the AHL.
Hits: Coyotes star Clayton Keller went one pick before Nylander, and Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev went one pick after (to Montreal).
Misses: Defenseman Olli Juolevi (Vancouver) is the only player in the top 11 who has yet to reach the NHL, and spent last season back in Finland after two OHL campaigns.
2015: Zach Werenski, D, Columbus
Stats: 155 GP, 27G, 57A
Noteworthy: Left Michigan after sophomore season and immediately became a standout on the blue line in 2016-17.
Hits: C Mathew Barzal (No. 16, Islanders); RW Sebastian Aho (No. 35, Carolina)
Misses: Only two of the top 21 picks have yet to crack the NHL, and both (Jakub Zboril at 13 and Zachary Senyshyn at 15) were taken by the Bruins.
2014: William Nylander, C, Toronto
Stats: 185 GP, 48G, 87A
Noteworthy: Part of a young, dynamic Leafs forward core, he had 61 points in each of his last two seasons.
Hits: RW David Pastrnak (No. 25, Boston), C Brayden Point (79, Tampa Bay), LW Viktor Arvidsson (112, Nashville).
Misses: LW Michael Dal Colle (No. 5, Islanders) has played just four NHL games.
2013: Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Buffalo
Stats: 346 GP, 31G, 120A)
Noteworthy: Cracked lineup midway through 2013-14 season to become a workhorse for Sabres
Hits: C Jake Guentzel (No. 77, Pittsburgh), LW Anthony Duclair (No. 80, Rangers), LW Ryan Hartman (No. 30, Hawks)
Misses: D Samuel Morin (No. 11, Philadelphia) has played just three NHL games. Everyone else in the top 14 has played at least 164.
2012: Derrick Pouliot, D, Pittsburgh
Stats: 138 GP, 5G, 31A
Noteworthy: Played a small role on last two Cup-winning teams before finding a permanent job in Vancouver this season.
Hits: LW Filip Forsberg (No. 11, Washington), G Andrei Vasilevskiy (No. 19, Tampa Bay), D Shayne Gostisbehere (No. 78, Philadelphia), D Colton Parayko (No. 86, St. Louis), D Jaccob Slavin (No. 120, Carolina)
Misses: D Griffin Reinhart (No. 4, Islanders) was quickly shipped to Edmonton and has played just 37 NHL games in the past four seasons; none this past season.
2011: Sean Couturier, C, Philadelphia
Stats: 498 GP, 101G, 166A
Noteworthy: Two-way standout is a finalist for the Selke Trophy after a breakout 31-goal season.
Hits: LW Brandon Saad (No. 43, Chicago), RW Nikita Kucherov (No. 58, Tampa Bay), C Andrew Shaw (No. 139, Hawks), LW Ondrej Palat (No. 208, Tampa Bay)
Misses: D Duncan Siemens (No. 11, Colorado) took nearly six seasons to get a decent look with the Avs, playing 16 games this past season. C Mark McNeill (No. 18, Hawks) played just one game for the Hawks, and two overall.
2010: Alexander Burmistrov, C, Atlanta
Stats: 348 GP, 37G, 64A
Noteworthy: Retired from the NHL and went to the KHL last December after mediocre six-year career.
Hits: RW Vladimir Tarasenko (No. 16, St. Louis), C Evgeny Kuznetsov (No. 26, Washington), D John Klingberg (No. 131, Dallas), RW Mark Stone (No. 178, Ottawa)
Misses: The top nine picks have all played at least 346 NHL games. No. 10, D Dylan McIlrath (Rangers), has played just 43, with 34 of them coming in 2015-16.
2009: Scott Glennie, C, Dallas
Stats: 1 GP, 0G, 0A
Noteworthy: The last true bust in the No. 8 slot. Everyone else in the top 16 has played at least 249 NHL games.
Hits: C Ryan O’Reilly (No. 33, Colorado), D Tyson Barrie (No. 64, Colorado), RW Craig Smith (No. 98, Nashville), LW Mike Hoffman (No. 130, Ottawa), C Marcus Kruger (No. 149, Hawks)
Misses: D David Rundblad (No. 17, St. Louis)