The Blackhawks selected eight players in Sunday's 2013 NHL Draft, adding lots of new talent into an already deep system. But what are these players' strengths and weaknesses? chicagoblackhawks.com brings you what draft experts had to say about some of the top picks. Today's scouting report: Carl Dahlstrom (51st overall), John Hayden (74th), Tyler Motte (121st) and Anthony Louis (181st).
Carl Dahlstrom, defenseman, Linkoping (SWE)
Red Line Report: "Strength and conditioning make him a shutdown d-man. Slowly but surely morphed into a real prospect over the season. Huge defenseman improved his puckhandling dramatically, making his decisions quicker and making safe outlets to the right spots. Though he's a bit of a gentle giant who lacks a natural mean streak, he competes hard and wins battles down low, strips pucks, and pins his man against the wall. Steady defensively, and shows pretty good footwork for a big man. Could be a formidable shutdown type defender given his skating range, which is well above average considering his size and huge wingspan. Plays an efficient defensive game relying on his anticipation and consistent positioning. Effective 1-on-1 defender thanks to patience, timing, lateral agility and reach more than strength. Not much creativity or puck skill; just makes safe, basic plays."
Hockey Prospectus: "Dahlstrom will not be a huge standout in any given game, but he always looks solid. Despite not being overly skilled, he finds a way to positively contribute. He has decent, if not solid mobility, especially for a big defenseman. He has the straight-away speed to bring the puck up when he is affronted space. He makes a lot of defensive stops, and that is his game, although in the Swedish junior league, he showed some offensive potential. He is a smart defensive player who can close with his body or with his stick. He is also 6'3", 200 pounds, and while he will not crush opponents, he pins well, will lay some hits, and he has the strength to push forwards off of pucks. His offensive potential remains questionable. In my viewings, he has appeared clumsy and unskilled with the puck. I have heard some conflicting reports that suggest he has average offensive potential."
EliteProspects.com: "A solid defensive player with a good understanding of the game and impressive positioning. Dahlström has great size and reach, which he uses to his advantage although not being an overly physical player. Handles the puck well and is a capable passer."
John Hayden, right winger, U.S. NTDP U-18
Red Line Report: "Big bull likes the physical aspect of the game. Hits hard along the walls and drives through his checks. Dominates down low in the offensive corners, winning the 1-on-1 puck battles and making power moves to the crease. Has soft hands for such a horse, and uses his [size] effectively to gain and hold position around the slot, keeping defenders off his back. Also uses big body and long reach to protect the puck when cycling. But he is playing a bit too heavy and it's affecting his skating, which was never his strong suit. Lacks both first step burst and a top-end gear. Feet are very heavy and he does not stop/start quickly. He is tough to move off the puck and uses twists/spins in tight areas to gain separation. Provides good puck support and has good hockey sense in all three zones. Understands defensive zone positioning and sells out his body to clear zone along the boards."
Hockey Prospectus: "Hayden is a power forward who drew attention this year due to the solid amount of offensive skill he displayed, along with his power elements. He already has the body of an NHLer, as he is 6'2" and 210 pounds, and he uses his frame well. He is a tough player who will drive the net, shoulder off checks, and grind it out for pucks in board battles. His offensive touch with the puck is intriguing. Hayden will not blow anyone away with a flashy move or highlight reel pass, but he can flash above-average potential, and he has some creativity to his game. He is not selfish, as he can make plays. His power elements, combined with the fact that he can make a man miss, make him a desirable prospect. His skating is roughly average; while he is not lumbering, he is not a player will blow past a defenseman. One scout thinks that he is average skater, and another thinks he needs some work in that area. He will be attending Yale University in the fall."
TheScoutingReport.org: "Stocky Yale commit brings an intriguing combination of size and skill. Excellent cycle based forward who keeps his feet moving and is difficult for the opposition to contain due to his large stature. At his best below the hashmarks, Hayden is willing to stand in front of the net and sacrifice his body in a physically punishing scoring area. Skating needs to improve for him to make an impact at the pro level. We see Hayden having a real chance one day as his competitiveness should allow him to play a number of different roles."
Tyler Motte, left winger, USA Under-18 (USHL)
Hockey Prospectus: "Motte entered this season as a top prospect, and though he did not have an outstanding year, he showed that he could still contribute in a number of ways. He is a very good skater who picks up speed quickly, and he plays with a high level of energy. Even though he is a smaller player at 5'9", he pressures well with his speed. Motte anticipates the play very well off of the puck for a player his age, and he was one of the USNTDP's best penalty killers. While he is not dynamic offensively, he shows significant flashes of upside with his puck handling and playmaking. Motte has good hand-eye coordination, and his overall hockey sense allows him to be a good puck possession forward. He is committed to the University of Michigan for the 2013-14 season."
TheScoutingReport.org: "Motte is a 5-foot-10 winger who is arguably the top goal scorer on the U.S. U18 team this year. Motte will attend Michigan this fall while no doubt receiving interest from Sarnia, who hold's his OHL rights. Speaking of Sarnia, he might just remind you of OHL leading scorer Reid Boucher. A true scorer, Motte loves to shoot the puck and has a rare goal scoring instinct."
Anthony Louis, left winger, USA Under-18 (USHL)
Hockey Prospectus: "Louis is a talented forward who has a high level of puck possession ability, and he has been a top player with the USNTDP over the past two seasons. The primary reason for this low ranking is his size, and it might cause him to freefall beyond this spot on draft day. He is small, at about 5'6"-5'7", but his skill may be worth the gamble. One scout mentioned Calgary prospect Johnny Gaudreau as a point of reference, saying that small players with talent can be worth it if given the time to develop. Louis has the elements expected from a talented forward: high-end puck skills, great creativity, superb on-ice vision, and good speed. He is also a tough player who will initiate contact, fight it out in board battles, and backcheck hard. He finds ways to stand out on a nightly basis despite his limited stature. He will attend Miami University in the fall."