Today, we continue our summer series looking back five years in the rear view mirror at Chicago's draft classes from 2011.
So far, we have looked at the Cubs, White Sox and Bulls, reviewing their mixed results and limited successes. Javy Baez is still a TBD, the Sox did nothing, and the Bulls drafted a star in Jimmy Butler who may be in play at this summer's selection meeting.
Now, let's turn our attention to the Chicago Blackhawks.
During the summer of 2011, the Blackhawks were coming off a tough seven-game first round playoff exit at the hands of the eventual Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks. After the roster overhaul that was required after the Stanley Cup win in 2010, there were holes that needed to be filled at every level of the organization.
So, for the second time as GM of the Hawks, Stan Bowman went to work. And the 2011 NHL Draft has been, to date, his best while calling the shots in Chicago.
Some good NHL players came off the board in the first 17 picks, before the Hawks were on the clock. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins went to Edmonton with the first overall pick and was followed by Gabriel Landeskog to Colorado and Jonathan Huberdeau to Florida. Through the 2015-16 regular season, nine of the first 17 picks have played in at least 200 games in the NHL and two more have played in at least 189. Seven of the 17 picks before Chicago was on the clock have produced at least 100 points in the NHL to date as well.
When the Hawks stepped to the podium at 18, they selected center Mark McNeill from WHL. McNeill, a bigger physical forward, spent two more full seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders before making the jump to the Rockford IceHogs for good at the end of the 2012-13 season. He has been a productive player in the AHL, but has appeared in only one NHL game to date.
During the draft, Bowman made a move to add another center. Chicago traded forward Troy Brouwer to the Washington Capitals for the 26th overall pick, where Bowman selected Phillip Danault. Viewed by many as a potential heir to Marcus Kruger's role as a penalty killer and bottom line center, Danault was surprisingly traded to Montreal at the deadline during the 2015-16 season in the deal that brought Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise to the Hawks.
Before he was traded, Danault skated in 32 games with the Hawks over two seasons and posted one goal and four assists.
The Blackhawks also had two picks in the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft, neither of which was their own. Bowman dealt away the Hawks' second round pick (which would have been #48 overall) in the deal that brought Chris Campoli to Chicago.
That pick would ultimately get flipped to Detroit by Ottawa, and the Red Wings used it to select Xavier Ouellet.
Chicago first selection in the second round was acquired in the 2010 trade that originally sent Andrew Ladd to the then-Atlanta Thrashers after the 2010 season; the Hawks also acquired defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy in the original Ladd trade. With the 36th overall selection, the Hawks picked defenseman Adam Clendening.
The organization was high on the Boston University defenseman for a time, but it became apparent that he wasn't going to crack the NHL lineup in Chicago. After appearing in four games - in which he scored one goal and added one assist - Clendening was traded to Vancouver for defenseman Gustav Forsling in January of 2015. Forsling signed his entry-level with the Hawks this summer and is expected to compete for a job this summer, either with the Blackhawks or IceHogs.
The 43rd overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft had a long road to... being picked by the Blackhawks. See if you can keep up with the route here...
- The pick that became the 43rd overall in 2011 was originally traded to Chicago by Calgary for Rene Bourque in 2008.
- In September of 2009, the Blackhawks traded a second round pick in 2010 (#32) to Toronto for a second round pick (#43) and a third round pick (#69).
And so with Calgary's pick - via Toronto - the Blackhawks were on the clock for their fourth pick of the draft at number 43. There, they selected Brandon Saad.
Saad would go on to be a key member of the Hawks' Stanley Cup championships in 2013 and 2015, but his desire to get a big raise cost him and the Hawks last summer.
When Saad was traded to Columbus, he took the other player drafted with a pick from the 2009 trade with Toronto with him. Defenseman Michael Paliotta was the player selected with the 69th overall selection. He appeared in one NHL game with the Hawks and was credited with an assist. The third player Chicago sent to Columbus in that deal, forward Alex Broadhurst, was a seventh round pick by the Blackhawks in 2011. He never appeared in an NHL game for Chicago.
Paliotta was the first of, you guessed it, two picks held by the Blackhawks in the third round of the 2011 NHL Draft. Yes, Bowman had two picks in each of the first three rounds that summer as he tried to restock the organization's depth with the right players.
The other third round pick used by the Blackhawks in 2011 was on another defenseman, Klas Dahlbeck. He was traded in the deal that brought center Antoine Vermette to the Hawks before the 2015 trade deadline. Before he was traded, Dahlbeck saw action in four games with the Blackhawks and was credited with one goal.
Chicago only had one pick in the fourth round, and it was used on Maxim Shalunov. The Russian forward played only 20 games with Rockford before opting to return to Russia. He has spent the last two years in the KHL.
The Blackhawks had only one pick in the fifth round in 2011, and it has been the best pick of Bowman's tenure. With the 139th overall selection, the Blackhawks picked forward Andrew Shaw.
Shaw had already been passed on through two entire NHL Drafts; he was less than a month away from his 20th birthday when the Hawks called his name. In the seasons since then, only ten players from the 2011 NHL Draft have produced more regular season points than Shaw's 137. And the only other player from the 2011 NHL Draft to have multiple Stanley Cup rings at home is... Saad.
In the sixth round the Blackhawks selected defenseman Sam Jardine, who is still around the organization in the ECHL and AHL but not playing with a contract with the Blackhawks.
In the seventh round the Blackhawks selected goaltender Johan Mattsonn, who is still in Sweden.
So, in review, the 2011 NHL Draft for the Blackhawks as it stands today looks like this:
Round 1: Mark McNeill - 2016 RFA
Round 1: Phillip Danault - traded
Round 2: Adam Clendening - traded
Round 2: Brandon Saad - traded
Round 3: Michael Paliotta - traded
Round 3: Klas Dahlbeck - traded
Round 4: Maxim Shalunov - n/a
Round 5: Andrew Shaw - 2016 RFA
Round 6: Sam Jardine - n/a
Round 7: Alex Broadhurst - traded
Round 7: Johan Mattsson - n/a
The results of the trades:
- Danault - Tomas Fleischmann, Dale Weise
- Clendening - Gutav Forsling
- Saad/Paliotta/Broadhurst - Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Corey Tropp, Jeremy Morin and a 4th round pick in 2016
- Morin traded to Toronto for Richard Panik
- Tropp traded to Anaheim for Tim Jackman
- Dano traded to Winnipeg for Andrew Ladd
- Dahlbeck - Antoine Vermette