While most scouts are looking forward to the 2011 NHL Draft, Blackhawks fans can look back just two short years to a draft class that will play a major role in the future of the franchise.
In that draft, the Blackhawks made some strong choices:
- Round One (28): D Dylan Olsen
- Round Two (59): C Brandon Pirri
- Round Three (89): F Daniel Delisle
- Round Four (119): C Byron Froese
- Round Five (149): C Marcus Krüger
- Round Six (177): C David Pacan
- Round Seven (195): D Paul Phillips
- Round Seven (209): C David Gilbert
Of those eight selections, two (Pirri, Krüger) have seen NHL action already. In the last month, Froese and Gilbert signed entry level contracts with the Blackhawks, and will likely join Pirri and Olsen in Rockford this season.
Meanwhile, Pacan is no longer with the organization; he was dealt to Florida in the deal also sending Jack Skille to the Panthers for Alexander Salak and Micheal Frolik.
But these aren't the only members of the 2009 Draft that are on the Blackhawks' radar. Consider the other players selected that year that are now members of the organization:
- Round One (16): D Nick Leddy (by Minnesota)
- Round One (27): F Philippe Paradis (by Carolina)
- Round Two (45): D Jeremy Morin (by Atlanta)
Among our rankings of the top 20 prospects in the Blackhawks organization (rankings that no longer include Leddy), seven were selected in the 2009 Draft, including five of the top six. Morin and Krüger might be part of the NHL roster in 2011-12.
As fans look towards the future, there is no denying the impact this year's class will have on the Blackhawks organization.