Three reports now have the Chicago Blackhawks considering a move up in the first round, a move that would certainly delight the crowd in attendance. Scott Powers of The Athletic and Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune both have been told that it’s being discussed, with Kuc’s source even going so far as saying it would be because of the hometown crowd. Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times has also heard it, and points out that’s how the team acquired Nick Schmaltz in the 2014 draft.
Using a later round asset to move up in the first round just to appease your crowd seems like a mistake, but it’s not like there isn’t value to be had in the middle of round 1. The Blackhawks currently hold the 26th pick but could get a very interesting pick between 15-20 depending on how the first half of the round shakes out. Defensemen like Timothy Liljegren and Erik Brannstrom could fall to those spots, while the center depth will last the entire first round.
Interestingly, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports some chatter that the deal could potentially be between Chicago and Arizona, moving the Blackhawks all the way up to #7. That would certainly be an exciting move for the fans there, but would cost a lot more than a few late round picks.
It’s sure to be a wild night in Chicago, as the draft board is still wide open and as Chris Johnston of Sportsnet writes there are sure to be trade highlights as well. Vegas is holding several bullets in their chamber (or aces up their sleeve, depending on your level of tolerance for that sort of thing) and could still make a big move to draft higher than #6. The first round starts at 6pm CDT.