Grading the Chicago Blackhawks 2022 first round draft classVincent Pariseon July 8, 2022 at 11:00 am

The Chicago Blackhawks hinted at a long rebuild after their abysmal 2021-22 season came to an end. It is tough to know that things are going to be painful over the next handful of years but that is the route the Hawks are going. They showed it hard on Thursday night at the 2022 NHL Draft.

Going into the draft, Chicago had zero picks to their name in the first round of the draft. Their pick became Columbus Blue Jackets property as a result of the Seth Jones trade made a year ago. That trade is obviously not working out for them.

They got back into the first round when they acquired the seventh overall pick (and two other later picks) from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Alex DeBrincat. With that pick, they selected Kevin Korchinski.

Not long after that pick was made, they acquired the 13th pick from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Kirby Dach. In that spot, they drafted Frank Nazar. At that point, the Blackhawks made it clear that they are tearing it all the way down.

It was fair to assume that they were done right there but they weren’t. Later in the first round, they sent pick 38 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for pick 25 and Petr Mrazek. The Hawks now have their stop-gap goalie for next year and landed a first-rounder for taking on his money.

With that selection at pick 25, the Hawks took Sam Rinzel. This is a really nice trio of prospects that the Hawks landed as the rebuild is now fully underway. These guys will come to the organization with high hopes that they can be great pieces going forward.

The Chicago Blackhawks went from 0 draft picks to 3 in the 2022 first round.

The good thing about them is that they are all known as hard-working character guys. The Blackhawks have had a lot of “minimal drive to win” type players on their team over the last few years and it seems like they are veering away from those kinds of players.

This isn’t a draft class that is going to change the fortunes of the franchise quickly but the Hawks are a better organization depth-wise than they were a day ago. They certainly didn’t get enough in the DeBrincat trade but they got a lot extra with the other two moves.

Now, the key for Kyle Davidson and his staff will be to make sure that these guys get all of the right tools to continue their development. It is also a big key for him to stay on the path and take no shortcuts. Overall, this was a solid draft for Chicago.

Final Grade: B

The Blackhawks get a B because they clearly made some additions to their organization by getting back into the first round. They also didn’t trade their first next year for anything big here which is good because that draft is amazing. The underwhelming return for DeBrincat keeps it from being an A on day one. Hopefully, these three pan out and become great players.

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