Since we’re focused on Chicagoland this week, I thought it might be interesting to have a quick look to see how well the club did at the draft table 2002-2007. In those seasons, the Hawks added a tremendous amount of exceptional talent. There were several top 10 selections: Cam Barker (#3, 2004); Jack Skille (#7, 2005); Jonathan Toews (#3, 2006) and Patrick Kane (#1, 2007).
There were also several picks 11-90 that paid off in spades: D Anton Babchuk (#21, 2002); D Duncan Keith (#54, 2002); Brent Seabrook (#14, 2003); Dave Bolland (#32, 2004).
The club also had at least their share of quality players from the 91-infinity pile. They included James Wisniewski (#156, 2002); Adam Burish (#282, 2002); Dustin Byfuglien (#245, 2003); Troy Brouwer (#214, 2004), D Niklas Hjalmarsson (#108, 2005).
They also picked a lot of kids who aren’t in the NHL. They were either plugs, chose to play in Europe or landed somewhere in the middle. Some of those kids were pretty high picks: #52 and #59 picks in the deep 2003 draft; #41, #45 and #54 picks in 2004; #54 in 2005; #33 in 2006; #56 in 2007. They also got less than 100 cents on the dollar from guys like Barker and Skille in the first round.
I guess the lesson here is that picks outside the top 5 are like sorties: sometimes you come back and sometimes you don’t come back. The Hawks had 27 picks inside the top 100 in those 6 seasons, meaning about 4 per year. The Oilers have added some good kids in the past few years (Gagner, MPS, Eberle), but this pick (#1 overall) has to be a Toews-Kane pick. It is the key to the cluster. Adding some picks for Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor might help too.
I think that might be what we see in the next couple of weeks. Adding picks, and moving up in the draft.