The Chicago Blackhawks have selected defenseman Henri Jokiharju (joh-kee-HAHR-yew) from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League in the first round (29th overall) of the 2017 National Hockey League Draft presented by adidas at United Center on Friday night. Additionally, the Blackhawks acquired the 29th- and 70th- overall selections of the 2017 NHL Draft from the Dallas Stars in exchange for the 26th overall selection of the 2017 NHL Draft.
Jokiharju, 18, paced all WHL rookie defensemen with 48 points (9G, 39A) and four power-play goals in 71 regular-season games this past season. The Tampere, Finland, native registered eight multi-point games and finished fourth on the Winterhawks with a +14 plus/minus rating during his first season. Jokiharju added three assists in 11 postseason contests.
Jokiharju won a gold medal with Finland at the 2016 IIHF World U18 Championships, posting three assists in seven games. He was named to the Second All-Star Team in 2015-16 after recording nine goals and 20 assists in 47 games with Tappara's Under-20 junior club in Finland.
The NHL Draft will resume Saturday at 9 a.m. at the United Center with rounds 2-7. Chicago has nine selections for the Draft's second day, with the first coming 57th overall. The Blackhawks have one pick in the second round (57), two in the third (70 and 90), one in the fourth (119), three in round five (135, 144, 150), and one in the sixth (181) and seventh (215) rounds.