The Blackhawks received cheers at the 2017 NHL draft which is taking place in Chicago at the United Center.
This has been an offseason full of activity between the Panarin-Saad trade, the Hjalmarrson trade, the firing of Mike Kitchen and the promise by GM Stan Bowman to make many changes after being swept in the playoffs. Now it’s time for the draft and the Blackhawks had a first round pick to make this year.
They originally had the 26th overall pick but traded that to Dallas for the 29th pick and the 70th pick. Stan Bowman called Kane and Toews up to the stage to make their 29th pick, informing everyone on stage officially that the Blackhawks selected D Henri Jokiharju from the Portland Winterhawks. Jokiharju is a skilled defensive skater that can score, he put up 48 points as a rookie in Portland. A skilled scoring D man is something many people expected the Blackhawks to take and they did which is needed, very good pick for them.
Second round with the 57th pick the Blackhawks took another defenseman, Ian Mitchell from the AJHL Spruce Grove Saints. He was ranked #48 by ESPN in the NHL prospect pool at 18 years old.
The third round with the 70th pick (from Dallas) they picked something other than a defenseman. They picked forward Andrei Altybarmakyan from Europe’s MHL. The 18-year old Russian recorded 45 points in 31 games in the MHL (Russian Junior League) while also scoring five goals with the St. Petersburg VHL team.
The fourth pick was also in the third round at 90, and they took Evan Barratt another forward. Barratt was ranked 57 in ESPN NHL prospect pool as a solid two-way player despite not being very big or fast. He played with the American U18 team and played in the USHL last year which he totaled 80 points all together. He is set to attend Penn State next year.