|Mark McNeill - a bone fide Blackhawks fan - was the first of 11 Chicago picks at this weekend's draft (Photo by Getty Images).
An overview of the Blackhawks’ 11 picks at the 2011 Entry Draft, including where they’re likely to play next season. For more on the Blackhawks' picks and video from the draft, click here.
Mark McNeill, C
Prince Albert, WHL
Rd. 1, 18th overall
In a center-heavy draft, Blackhawks VP/GM Stan Bowman, Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelley and company got one of the middle men they coveted with the 18th overall pick. He’s the complete package: size, hockey sense, defensively responsible, wins faceoffs and plays both special teams. Kelley says he could be the Raiders’ captain next year. (Plus, the kid is bona fide Blackhawks fan. Storybook stuff.)
Next year: Will have Prospect Camp and likely part of Training Camp to prove himself, but is expected to return for another year of junior with Prince Albert.
Phillip Danault, C
Rd. 1, 26th overall
You couldn't find any pick all weekend with a bigger smile on his face after hearing his name called than Danault. Slight in stature (maybe 170 lbs. soaking wet… wearing four towels) and offensively gifted, but the phrases that jump off the scouting reports are: “Non-stop motor,” “Noticeable every shift” and “always gives an honest effort.” Hawks love his personality and passion.
Next year: Same story as McNeill. Look for him back in Victoriaville, where hopefully they have some quality all-you-can-eat buffets.
Adam Clendening, D
Boston University, Hockey East
Rd. 2, 36th overall
Bowman has been high on Clendening for a while and for good reason. Perhaps a little undersized at 5-11, Clendening was considered to be one of the best power play quarterbacks in the entire draft. Great vision and stickhandling, plus a pro shot and passing ability. Buffalo native has played regularly in the summers with Patrick Kane.
Next year: Will return to BU for his sophomore season.
Brandon Saad, LW
Rd. 2, 43rd overall
Potentially one of the true steals of the draft. Saad has first-round talent – which is where the Blackhawks had him ranked – but probably fell to pick #43 after missing part of the season due to a groin injury. His production wasn’t the same when he returned, but had 19 goals and 12 assists in his first 26 games. Red Line Report describes him as having “every tool in the shed with size/strength, hockey sense, and puck skills,” plus a “rocket shot and pro-calibre release.”
Next year: Should be back in Saginaw.
Michael Paliotta, D
U.S. NTDP U-18
Rd. 3, 70th overall
A nice compliment to the more offensively-minded Clendening, the 6-3, 198 lb. Paliotta is a physical blueliner who can potentially shut down opponents’ top guys. Good mobility and vision. Won gold with Team USA at the U-18 World Junior Championship in April.
Next year: Will attend the University of Vermont.
Klas Dahlbeck, D
Rd. 3, 79th overall
Big, strong, stay-at-home type of defenseman with good mobility and some offensive ability. Had 2 assists and was a +1 for at the 2011 World Junior Championship. Was one of the final cuts for the Swedish national team last year and figures to be in the mix again.
Next year: Linkoping
Maxim Shalunov, RW
Chelyabinsk 2, Russia
Rd. 4, 109th overall
The complete offensive package… with none of the defensive awareness. “Easily the most frustrating Jekyll-and-Hyde prospect in the draft,” according to Red Line Report. High potential reward, little risk with the 109th selection.
Next year: Expected to be back with Russian squad.
Andrew Shaw, C
Owen Sound, OHL
Rd. 5, 139th overall
An agitator of the highest order. This from NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards: "There are times when he does play out of control, right up against (the line)… He's full of energy. He never stops moving or competing. Those are certainly things you like about the guy." Had 135 PIMs in 66 games; also had 22 goals.
Next year: Owen Sound
Sam Jardine, D
Rd. 6, 169th overall
Hawks like his size (6-1, 190 lbs.) and puck-moving skills. Really came on in the second half of the season and was one of four finalists for the league’s Rookie of the Year award.
Next year: Will return to Camrose and then attend Ohio State.
Alex Broadhurst, C
Green Bay, USHL
Rd. 7, 199th overall
Orland Park, Ill.-born forward is a great skater who led Green Bay in scoring during the playoffs with 3 goals and 9 points in 11 games.
Next year: Will attend the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Johan Mattson, G
Sodertalje Jr., Sweden
Rd. 7, 211th overall
The Blackhawks were familiar with Mattsson after he attended the 2010 Prospects Camp. Big, athletic goalie who plays the hybrid style with poise and good positioning.
Next year: UPDATED 6/29: Will play for Sudbury of the OHL next season.