The Chicago Blackhawks drafted defenseman Henri Jokiharju with the 29th overall pick of the NHL draft at the United Center on Friday. Jokiharju is a right-handed defenseman who played last season with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. He had nine goals and 39 assists in 71 games. He had been ranked No. 21 by ESPN, 29 by HockeyProspect.com, 29 by ISS Hockey, 31 by McKeen’s Hockey and 38 by Recrutes. Hawks were originally going to pick at No. 26, but traded the pick to the Stars for the No. 29 and 70 overall picks. Jokiharju is the first defenseman the Blackhawks have drafted in the first round since Dylan Olsen in 2009.
In the second round with the No. 57th overall pick, the Blackhawks drafted defenseman Ian Mitchell. Mitchell is from Canada, and is 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds. Ian had eight goals and 29 assists in 53 games for the Spruce Grove Saints of the AJHL last season. Mitchell will play at the University of Denver next season. Tsn ranked Ian Mitchell No. 52 among all prospects, and ESPN had his No. 48. Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman on Ian Mitchell: “He’s got a high skill set. He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s got great competitiveness, speed, skating, he’s got quick hands. We like that part of it.”
In the third round with the 70th pick, the Blackhawks drafted forward Andrei Altybarmakyan. Andrei is from Russia and is 5-10, 183 pounds and a left-handed shot. He has great speed and a lot of skill offensively. He is very physical and competitive as well. He had 20 goals and 25 assists in 31 games for Serebryanye Lvy St. Petersburg in the MHL last season. Blackhawks appearntly love Andrei Altybarmakyan because he wasn’t even ranked in the top 100 by TSN or ESPN. Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman on Andrei Altybarmakyan: “He’s a real electrifying-type player. His skill set is, he’s got great speed, offensive skill, he’s a competitive guy too, he’s not afraid to throw some body checks. He plays an up-tempo style. He’s maybe a little bit off the radar for some people, but we were very impressed with him. I think he’s got a chance to be a real special player.”
Blackhawks had two third round picks. With their other third-round pick at No. 90 overall, the Blackhawks drafted center Evan Barratt. Barratt is from the United States and is 5-11, 187 pounds and a left-handed shot. He had 18 goals and 35 assists in 63 games for the U.S. National Team Development Program. He has good vision to create plays. He will play at Penn State next season. Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman on Evan Barratt: “I think the fans here are really going to like what they see from him. Real competitive. Ultra competitive player. He’s got skill too, so I don’t want to sell him short in that department, but I think the thing we like the most is the way he battles really hard. It was great to see him, he was pretty emotional getting picked, you can tell he wants it pretty bad and I think that’s the one quality about him that we like the most.”
The Blackhawks made a trade in the fourth round, dealing their No. 135 and 181 picks to the Vancouver Canucks for the 112th overall pick. With that 112th pick, the Blackhawks drafted forward Tim Soderlund, who is from Sweden, 5-9, 163 pounds and a left-handed shot. Soderlund had three goals and four assists in 39 games for Skelleftea in the SHL last season. He plays hard and is reliable on the forecheck. ESPN ranked him at No. 84 among all prospects.
Also in the fourth round, The Blackhawks drafted defenseman Roope Laavainen. He is from Finland, 6-2, 182 pounds and a right-handed shot. He had five goals and 16 assists in 48 games Jokerit’s U-20 team. Blackhawks continued to draft right-handed defenseman.
In the fifth round, the Blackhawks drafted forward Parker Foo. He is from Canada, 6-1, 170 pounds and a left-handed shot. Foo scored 34 goals and had 32 assists last season in the AJHL, a 39-point increase from his previous season. He will play at Union College next season.
Blackhawks had another pick in the fifth round and they drafted defenseman Jakub Galvas. He is from the Czech Republic, 5-11, 165 pounds and a left-handed shot. Galvas is two-way defenseman and you can also play him on the power play. He is ranked No. 26 among European skaets by the Central Scouting Service. He had one goal and five assists in 36 games for HC Olomouc in the Czech Republic last season.
And lastly with their last pick in the seventh round, The Chicago Blackhawks drafted defenseman Joshua Ess. He is from the United States, 5-11, 174 pounds and a left-handed shot. Josua played in high school last season. and will play at the University of Wisconsin next season.