Blackhawks

CSNChicago.com's NBA award ballot: Defensive Player of the Year

CSNChicago.com's NBA award ballot: Defensive Player of the Year

The NBA has started to reveal its award winners as the postseason has begun, so I will reveal my ballot (if I voted on said award) with an explanation of the vote.

Defensive Player of the Year

Winner: Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs

Second Place: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

Third Place: Hasaan Whiteside, Miami Heat

Vince Goodwill’s Ballot:

First place: Leonard. Quite possibly the most dangerous and disciplined defender on the perimeter in today’s game, and he had just as great a season this year in his second-straight award-winning campaign. As evidenced by Memphis’ Lance Stephenson throwing a near temper-tantrum over the weekend when he couldn’t shake free of Leonard’s perfect positioning and fundamentals, Leonard is the head of the best defensive team in the league and, with apologies to Paul George and Jimmy Butler, the best two-way player in the game.

Second place: Green. It wasn’t easy to put Green second on the list. For Golden State’s ever-shifting lineups, he can defend any position from center to catching opposing point guards on switches. His versatility made Golden State the 73-win bunch it was, along with Stephen Curry’s uniqueness. Being able to defend from the perimeter to the post, rebounding amongst the true trees and being one of the league’s premier help defenders, in most years he’d be a winner.

Third place: Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks. Miami’s Hassan Whiteside finished third on most ballots but Millsap’s versatility ranks right up there with Green and Leonard. Atlanta’s aggressive, trapping defense wouldn’t be what it was if not for Millsap being able to keep guards in front of him and stay solid on the block. A defensive rating of 96 points per 100 possessions along with averaging nearly two blocks and two steals made him an easy choice to round out the top 3.

2019 NHL Draft Profile: C Trevor Zegras

2019 NHL Draft Profile: C Trevor Zegras

From June 10-20, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile one top prospect per day — 11 total — leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft as the Blackhawks prepare to pick third overall.

Trevor Zegras

Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-0
Weight: 169 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report from Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley:

"Trevor is a high skilled centerman, very good skater, very, very creative, comfortable and creative with the puck."

Zegras describes his own game:

On his creativity: "I think growing up, watching a bunch of guys in the NHL like Patrick Kane mess around the ice, just something I’ve always done as a little kid. Maybe I rolled into the driveway and work on fun passes. It’s what I’m really good at."

NHL player comparable: Patrick Kane

Fit for Blackhawks:

Talk to any player on USA Hockey's National Team Development Program and they'll say Zegras was the most offensively gifted player of the group, which is saying a lot when you consider some of the names he's up against (Matthew Boldy, Cole Caufield, Jack Hughes, Alex Turcotte, to name a few).

At the NHL scouting combine, Zegras mentioned Kane several times as somebody he tries modeling his game after. The vision, the passing, the skating, the playmaking ability, the hockey IQ. He has it all offensively, and also doesn't get enough credit for his two-way game.

Zegras is somebody that has quickly been rising on draft boards, and it's because he has the potential to be a 90-point player in the NHL as a center. His name has been discussed by the Blackhawks at No. 3 and he's certainly a tempting option. Pair Zegras with Kane for the next decade and it's scary to think about the numbers the two could put up together.

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Hawks Talk Podcast: Predicting who Blackhawks will take at No. 3 overall

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AP

Hawks Talk Podcast: Predicting who Blackhawks will take at No. 3 overall

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Slavko Bekovic and Charlie Roumeliotis react to the Olli Maatta trade and how this impacts the Blackhawks' defensive group. Is this the first of more moves to come?

The guys then break down their top-three candidates for the Blackhawks at No. 3 overall and predict who the pick will be on Friday. They also discuss how the Blackhawks' selection may impact the offseason and the big picture going forward.

0:40 – Initial reaction to the Olli Maatta trade

3:45 – How Maatta fits with the Blackhawks

7:45 – Filling Dominik Kahun’s spot

10:00 – Maatta’s contract situation

11:00 – Our top-3 draft predictions

18:30 – Official predictions on who the Blackhawks will pick

24:30 – Is there a wrong pick in the top 10?

27:30 – If the Blackhawks don’t pick D, the forward is…?

29:30 – How the Blackhawks selections shape the offseason

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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