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NHL Draft

Blackhawks open to trading No. 3 pick in Draft, but it's 'unlikely'

GM says they'll be 'choosing between great options' after Hughes, Kakko selected

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks would consider trading the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, general manager Stan Bowman said Wednesday.

"If someone made a really appealing offer, then we'd have to consider it, but that hasn't happened yet," Bowman said. "If it does, then as a group we'll talk about it. But that's one of those things where a team has to want to put together a really appealing package to move up. It's happened before. Pretty rare, though. It's not out of the realm, but it's unlikely to happen."

The first round of the 2019 NHL Draft is Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS). Rounds 2-7 are Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN). 

 

[RELATED: Complete 2019 NHL Draft coverage]

 

The top two picks of the draft, to be held at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, seem set. Center Jack Hughes from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Under-18 team, and forward Kaapo Kakko, from TPS in Liiga in Finland, are expected to be chosen by the New Jersey Devils, who hold the No. 1 pick, and the New York Rangers at No. 2.

"There seems to be an understanding how the first two picks will go," Bowman said. "You never know until it happens; there's always a chance. But we're going to pick one of three players. There are going to be two guys gone and then we get to choose who we like. From that perspective, it's refreshing knowing we don't have to do as much guesswork."

The Blackhawks could select center Alex Turcotte, who was born in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove, Illinois. Turcotte had 62 points (27 goals, 35 assists) in 37 games as Hughes' NTDP teammate this season. Other possibilities include center Dylan Cozens, who had 84 points (34 goals, 50 assists) in 68 games with Lethbridge of the Western Hockey League, and defenseman Bowen Byram, who had 71 points (26 goals, 45 assists) in 67 games with Vancouver of the WHL. 

The last time the Blackhawks had the No. 3 pick was in 2006, when they selected center Jonathan Toews. Since joining the Blackhawks in 2007, Toews has 755 points (327 goals, 428 assists) in 873 NHL games and has won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

The Blackhawks (36-34-12) this season finished sixth in the Central Division, six points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. It was the second consecutive season the Blackhawks did not qualify for the postseason.  

Bowman said the Blackhawks staff will meet Thursday and again early Friday, and they'll be comfortable with the player they pick at No. 3. 

"These are great kids," he said. "The one thing I've learned the last few months, getting to know each one of them, is they're all fantastic players and will all have great NHL careers. We're choosing between great options and that puts us in a really good position."

 

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