Welcome to the 2018 edition of the Hockey Wilderness mock draft. A group of Hockey Wilderness writers are tasked with selecting a player everyday for the next 31 days, based off the final draft order - NO trades! - culminating with the 31st pick right on draft day.
The 2017-2018 season for the Chicago Blackhawks was a dumpster fire. Plain and simple. Finishing 7th in the Central Division, which is dead last, was the worst finish ever since they joined the Central back in 1993. It was also the first time since the 2007 season that the Hawks missed out on the playoffs, and the time is now to make a big splash in the NHL Draft and get back to their winning ways.
The Blackhawks have the 8th overall pick in this upcoming draft in Dallas which is the highest since drafting Kyle Beach back in 2008 with their 11th overall selection. Kyle Beach, however, turned into one of their biggest busts as he did not play a single game in Chicago and currently plays in Austria.
And with that being said, the Chicago Blackhawks select Evan Bouchard from the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
The Scouting Report
The 18 year old from Oakville, Ontario, Canada sits at 6’2, 192 pounds. He arguably had one of the best seasons as a defensemen you can have playing in the O. In 67 games with the Knights, Bouchard tallied 25 goals and 62 assists, good for 87 points putting him atop the CHL ranks for scoring as a defensemen. Bouchard also sat atop the ranks in terms of points per game in the OHL at 1.3. Of those 87 points, 45 of them were 5v5 points, making him a staple on the power play and an elite quarterback on the power play.
This is the biggest draft for defensemen in quite some time, and the Blackhawks need defensemen. They can no longer rely on Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook as their age is catching up to them both, and they need a spark on the d-line to help out their team. Bouchard would be an immediate help to the Hawks who are in desperate need of a top-tier young defenseman they can rely on.
How He Fits The Wild
Bouchard would definitely fit in with the Wild. A young defenseman they can build around on the back end with his scoring ability would be a huge help to Suter, Spurgeon, and Dumba. Give him time to develop in the American Hockey League, and he has the tools to be a top 2 defenseman in the future for the Wild.
How Could The Wild Get Him?
The Wild would have to do a lot to trade up to get Bouchard from the Blackhawks. The Hawks, who are in need of a defensemen, would be asking a lot from the Wild. The Wild would have to give up not only their 1st round pick, along with future picks including a top defensemen in their organization. It is unlikely this trade would happen, because of Bouchard’s talent level on the back-end and the Hawks need for a young defensemen.
Kyle Beach information found on hockeydb.com
List of Blackhawks draft picks found on hockey-reference.com
Evan Bouchard stats found on prospect-stats.com