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2010 NHL Entry Draft: Chicago Blackhawks draft preview

Visit NBC’s Draft Headquarters for our complete coverage of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Stan Bowman get’s his shot at continuing to build the Blackhawks, after winning the Stanley Cup thanks to superior drafting by former GM Dale Tallon. The Hawks are in need of goaltending depth in the system (of course) as well as up forward, as it’s likely we’ll see a number of their AHL prospects take the step up to the NHL this fall. There’s no surprise that the Hawks’ big strength is on defense, and despite the scoring talent the Hawks touted this past summer the organization will likely be thinking offense in the draft. After sending Dustin Byfuglien and Ben Eager (along with Brent Sopel) to the Thrashers, the Hawks now have some salary room and an even bigger need for more depth at the forward position. With two picks in the first round now (24, 30) they’ll have a good chance to build that depth back up.

2010 draft picks:

Round 1 - 24th
Round 1 - 30th
Round 2 - 43rd
Round 2 - 54th
Round 3 - 60th
Round 3 - 90th
Round 4 - 120th
Round 6 - 151st
Round 6 - 180th
Round 7 - 191st
Round 7 - 210th

Top prospects (Per Hockey’s Future):

1. Dylan Olsen, D
2. Kyle Beach, LW
3. Nick Leddy, D
4. Akim Aliu, RW
5. Shawn Lalonde, D
6. Marcus Kruger, C
7. Jack Skille, RW
8. Billy Sweatt, LW
9. Brandon Pirri, C
10. Igor Makarov, RW

PHT’s mock draft results:

24 - Quinton Howden - C - Moose Jaw (WHL)

A skilled forward with a good combo of size, speed and scoring touch, yet who plays as a much smaller forward. He’s not flashy but creates turnovers on the forecheck and if he can play up to his size (6-3, 182) could be special.

30 - Beau Bennett - RW - Penticton (BCHL)

A talented winger, who is just coming out of prep-school hockey, he’s been shooting up draft boards and could sneak into the first round.

What the blogs are saying:

Second City Hockey, commenting on the blockbuster trade with Atlanta:

Everyone knew that the Hawks needed to jettison some salary coming into 10-11, and Buff, Sharp, Versteeg, and Ladd were the prime candidates among the already crowded corps of forwards. Buff made himself the most expendable by underperforming during the past two regular seasons, and that he was (occasionally) a force during the playoffs this year allowed Bowman to sell high. Additionally, the Hawks have Kyle Beach ready to make a grab at a roster spot, and he’s younger and cheaper, something the Hawks need to become. In trading Sopel, the Hawks do lose a very valuable penalty killer, but the fact of the matter is that his $2.2 cap hit is just too much for a #5 defenseman even on a team without cap woes. Eager is a restricted free agent, and Bryan Bickell seems primed to step into that role at a discounted rate after performing admirably when he had the opportunity this year.