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June 11, 2019, 1:00 am

Podcast: Button explains final draft rankings and Blackhawks pick at No. 3

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, TSN's Craig Button joins the show to explicate his concluding NHL Draft superiors, why location was wave in his list and who the Blackhawks should take at No. 3 overall.

Podcast: Button explains final draft rankings and Blackhawks pick at No. 3
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Hawks Talk Podcast: TSN's Craig Button explicates concluding NHL Draft superiors and Blackhawks pick at No. 3

NBC Sports Hawks Talk Podcast: TSN's Craig Button explicates concluding NHL Draft superiors and Blackhawks pick at No. 3 By Charlie Roumeliotis June 10, 2019 3:30 PM

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, TSN's Craig Button joins the show to explicate his concluding NHL Draft superiors, why location was wave in his list and who the Blackhawks should take at No. 3 overall.

Pat Boyle, Slavko Bekovic and Charlie Roumeliotis then offering their biggest takeaways from the Button interrogation and how much the latest superiors have denatured their view of who the Blackhawks may select.

0:35 – Craig Button describes his superior methodology
3:35 – Bowen Byram inactive a lock to be a No. 1 defenseman
5:30 – How adding Byram to Blackhawks chance grouping would look
8:00 – Is location any argument Byram is the 3rd-ranked chance?
8:50 – Cole Caufield checking all the pre-draft boxes
12:05 – Is location an edge to Caufield’s game? 
13:30 – Could Caufield fit in the Blackhawks top-6?
17:00 – Why Craig is so high on Matthew Boldy
19:20 – Does Trevor Zegras have any downside?
20:50 – Why Vasili Podkolzin’s banal is dropping
22:25 – Concerns astir Alex Turcotte’s ceiling
23:45 – Concerns astir Dylan Cozens’ NHL position
25:10 – The Blackhawks will select...
27:05 – Why the Blackhawks can’t go incorrect with the 3rd pick
29:45 – Bowen Byram’s fit with the Blackhawks
32:15 – Question marks astir some of the top different chances?

Listen to the full podcast here or in the enclosed participant below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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2019 NHL Draft Profile: RW Vasili Podkolzin

2019 NHL Draft Profile: RW Vasili Podkolzin By Charlie Roumeliotis June 10, 2019 10:00 AM

From June 10-20, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile one top chance per day — 11 total — leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft as the Blackhawks prepare to pick 3rd overall.

Vasili Podkolzin

Position: Right wing
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 190 pounds
Shoots: Left

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

"Strong, two-way participant. Strong on his skates and strong in traffic."

NHL participant comparable: Alexander Radulov

Fit for Blackhawks:

When the Blackhawks moved up from No. 12 to 3 on NHL lottery night, early mock drafts pegged Podkolzin into the three spot. Since then, his banal has slowly started to drop.

Podkolzin had only two points (both assists) in the first six games at the 2019 IIHF Under-18s before scoring a goal and adding an assist in Russia's 4-3 overtime loss to Sweden in the gold medal game. But the real concern is his contract status in the KHL. Podkolzin is adamant that he will come to the NHL after his deal expires, but it wouldn’t be until the 2021-22 season at the earliest. 

That timeline simply doesn't add up with the Blackhawks', and the only way you consider taking him at No. 3 is if he's a can't-miss winger. And we're not sure he falls into that category.

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Blackhawks mailbag: What could the defense look like in 2019-20?

AP Blackhawks mailbag: What could the defense look like in 2019-20? By Charlie Roumeliotis June 07, 2019 11:30 AM

Every Friday this offseason, Charlie Roumeliotis will look to answer your Blackhawks and hockey-related questions. Be sure to chime in using the hashtag #HawksMailbag on Twitter for a chance to have your question answered in the next edition.  

This is supposed to be a solid grouping of goalies in this draft, do the Hawks draft andifferent goalie this year?

This is supposed to be a solid grouping of goalies in this draft, do the hawks draft andifferent goalie this year #HawksMailbag

— Chris DiBlasi (@ChrisDiBlasi96) June 5, 2019

Because of how long it takes for goaltenders to develop, the Blackhawks are at a point where they have to start preparing for life without Corey Crawford, even if he re-signs with the team after next season. Crawford will be 35 when his contract expires next summer, and you must have an idea of who his replacement is going to be ahead of time.

Collin Delia, who signed a three-year extension, took a big step this past season and is expected to be the backup for the 2019-20 campaign. Kevin Lankinen split time in Rockford but had a breakout performance at the 2019 IIHF World Championship by leading Finland to a gold medal and posting a .942 save percentage. Alexis Gravel, who was drafted in the sixth round (No. 162 overall) in 2018, is inactive only 19.

We see how important it is in today's NHL to have two reliable goaltenders, so adding depth in that department is never a bad thing. It's certainly possible the Blackhawks look at the goalie market in this year's draft to see if they can find a hidden gem. You can never have enough of them.

Do all the draftees naming Hawks as favorite participants have any sort of actual impact on the drafting process?

Do all of the draftees naming Hawks as favorite participants have any sort of actual impact on the drafting process?

— e - Will Goelz (@willgoelz) June 5, 2019

In the big picture, no. But history indicates it doesn't hurt because the Blackhawks like when location's that added element of playing for pride and the crest on the front of the sweater.

Ryan Hartman, Vinnie Hinostroza and Nick Schmaltz are among the most notable recent draftees by the Blackhawks who were Chicago-area natives (Hartman, Hinostroza) and/or Blackhawks fans (Schmaltz). Alex Turcotte, among different chances who have made it known that the Blackhawks were their favorite team growing up, would fall into this category as an Island Lake native and someone who grew up rooting for the Blackhawks, even admitting he was at the 2010 championship parade.

Do the Blackhawks really have the roster space to go out and get a defenseman during free agency? Already have Keith, Seabrook, Murphy, Gustafsson, Jokiharju, Koekkoek, Dahlstrom, likely Forsling, and possibly Boqvist. Maybe Byram as well.

Do the #Blackhawks really have the roster space to go out and get a defenseman during free agency? Already have Keith, Seabrook, Murphy, Gustafsson, Jokiharju, Koekkoek, Dahlstrom, likely Forsling, & possibly Boqvist. Maybe Byram at 3 as well.

— Talkin’ Hawkey (@TalkHawkey) June 5, 2019

What do you expect the blue line to look like next season, draft, trades and current chances in mind?

What do you expect the blue line to look like next season, draft, trades, and current chances in mind?

— Medha (@monjaury) June 5, 2019

Combining these two questions. It's hard to imagine the Blackhawks rolling back the same defensive grouping. There will be changes on the back end. What that may look like is the interesting question because six defensemen (Carl Dahlstrom, Erik Gustafsson, Duncan Keith, Slater Koekkoek, Connor Murphy and Brent Seabrook) are all under contract. And that doesn't include Henri Jokiharju, who could compete for a full-time roster spot next season.

The unrestricted free agent market on defense consists of Jake Gardiner, Erik Karlsson and Tyler Myers at the top, all three of whom are looking for a big payday and term. The Blackhawks’ defensive grouping is simply too crowded right now, and not necessarily in a good way. They’re loaded with depth defensemen but not enough impact-type participants.

That being said, the Blackhawks are expected to go after andifferent depth defenseman this summer to help shore up their defensive game and penalty kill. If they want to add a top-four blue liner, it might be more likely that it would come in the form of a trade. 

Hey Charlie!

1) Kevin Lankinen - fluke or for real?

2) With the addition of these European participants, what kind of message does that send to those knocking on the door in Rockford? Is it healthy competition or a sign Hawks are moving on from those in Rockford?

Hey Charlie!
1) Kevin Lankinnen - fluke or for real?
2) With the addition of these European participants, what kind of message does that send to those knocking on the door in Rockford? Is it healthy competition or a sign Hawks are moving on from those in RFD?

— Brandon Fisher (@BK_Fisher12) June 5, 2019

Brandon,

1) Lankinen’s performance at the Worlds was no fluke. He was terrific and played against elite competition. But because that tournament is played on a larger ice surface, the angles are a little different so that should be noted.

2) I asked Jeremy Colliton this question on the latest Hawks Talk Podcast and here was his response: “That gets back to the discussion astir depth: We need more. We need more competition throughout the lineup, not just for a place on the roster but for a place every night. And then the role within that, whether that's special teams or matchup line or certain combos, the more options we have obviously the stronger our team will be. But we're going to have injuries. I think this year we were relatively healthy. It will probably be naive to think that we'll be as healthy next year. We need guys who can play ... you gotta be ready to go 25, 26, 27 guys deep in your organization to win, so we need to keep working on that."

Do the Blackhawks go back to drafting 12th in the 2nd round and onwards, or do they continue to pick 3rd each round?

Who do you think can be of value in the second round for the Blackhawks?

Do the Blackhawks go back to drafting 12th in the 2nd round and onwards, or do they continue to pick 3rd each round?

Who do you think can be of value in the second round for the Blackhawks?

— Dawid Babula (@RockyBabula) June 6, 2019

Thank you for bringing up this question. I made a mistake on a recent episode of the Hawks Talk Podcast by saying the Blackhawks move up nine spots in every round, but that’s not the case with lottery teams. Rounds 2 and on are sorted by where you finished in the standings.

As far as who could be an attractive participant in the second round for the Blackhawks, I won't pretend to be a draft guru and throw out names I don't know much astir. We're hoping to get one or two more experts on the podcast before the NHL Draft on June 21-22 and perhaps dive into second round options. Stay tuned.

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