The NHL Central scouting’s final rankings were released April 8, giving NHL analysts time to look them over and mock up some 2020 draft predictions. The draft was originally slated for June 26-27, but due to COVID-19 it has been postponed with a new date still to be announced.
The mock draft's order is based off of data from up until March 12, when the league was suspended in response to the pandemic.
With their 32-30-8 record at the time of the March 12 NHL pause, the Blackhawks will likely have a top 10 pick for the third year in a row. Here’s how the Blackhawks fared in this mock up.
While all three NHL analysts sent No. 1 pick Alexis Lafreniere to the Detroit Red Wings, the three analysts were split on how the Blackhawks would use their top 10 pick.
Adam Kimelman predicts the Hawks will draft right winger Jack Quinn of Canada. The 18-year-old is ranked seventh by NHL Central Scouting, 11th by hockeyprospect.com, and 28th by eliteprospects.com. Kimelman defends his pick, saying:
His skating got better as the season progressed, which allowed Quinn to further grow his offensive game. That's likely to continue as he gets better off-ice training in pro hockey. He's already strong enough to win most battles along the walls and is tough to knock off the puck.
Mike G. Morreale went in a different direction, arguing the Blackhawks would go for Alexander Holtz for his in-game intelligence and innate scoring ability. Morreale described the Swedish right winger as:
A pure goal scorer with a great shot selection, Holtz plays a tough, intelligent game. He had 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) and 55 shots on goal while averaging 12:53 of ice time in 35 games in the Swedish Hockey League.
Holtz is currently ranked ninth by hockeyprospect.com, second by NHL Central Scouting, and ninth by eliteprospects.com
Guillaume Lepage predicts the Blackhawks will pursue Finnish forward Anton Lundell due his performance in the Finnish pro league and his ability to complement last year’s draft pick, Kirby Dach. He is ranked third by NHL Central Scouting, 13th by hockeyprospect.com, and seventh by eliteprospect.com.
The forward (6-1, 185) had 28 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in 44 games in Liiga, Finland's top pro league, and has developed into one of the most complete centers available in this draft. The Blackhawks already have begun to prepare for life after Jonathan Toews by selecting Kirby Dach with the No. 3 pick of the 2019 NHL Draft and could opt for a player with a similar skill set this year.
All seem like solid options for the Blackhawks next season, but only time will tell how the 2020 draft will play out this summer.