Blackhawks draft review: 2011 class
June, 24, 2014
By Scott Powers
Paul Bereswill/Getty ImagesBrandon Saad, a second-round draft pick in 2011, has emerged as a key player for the Blackhawks.Stan Bowman will enter his fifth draft as the Chicago Blackhawks general manager later this week. Leading up to the 2014 NHL draft on Friday, we'll take a look at each of Bowman's first four draft classes, analyze how he's done so far in his tenure and glance ahead to where he may look to improve the Blackhawks in this year's draft.
The series continues Tuesday with the Blackhawks' 2011 draft:
Mark McNeill, forward, first round, No. 18 overall: McNeill had a solid first full professional season this past year. The Blackhawks like his potential as a powerful winger. He could get his first taste of the NHL next season.
Phillip Danault, forward: first round, No. 26 overall: Danault had some ups and downs in his first full professional season. It may take some time, but he could replace someone like Marcus Kruger as a defensive-minded forward down the line.
Adam Clendening, defenseman, second round, No. 36 overall: Clendening is getting closer to the NHL. His offensive game is ready and he's been working on the defensive side. He should make his NHL debut next season.
Brandon Saad, forward, second round, No. 43 overall: Saad headlines this draft class for the Blackhawks. He already has two NHL seasons under his belt and could be a big-time player if he continues to progress as he has. He and Patrick Kane could have a long future together on the same line.
Michael Paliotta, defenseman, third round, No. 70 overall: Paliotta finished up his junior season at Vermont this year. He had five goals and 22 assists in 38 games as a junior. The Blackhawks were pleased with his season.
Klas Dahlbeck, defenseman, third round, No. 79 overall: Dahlbeck has come along nicely for the Blackhawks. He improved his offensive game this past season. He didn't appear in any game, but he practiced with the Blackhawks throughout the playoffs. He could also be on the verge of the NHL.
Maxim Shalunov, forward, fourth round, No. 109 overall: Shalunov has shown glimpses of his potential, but he hasn't been able to put it together yet. He was signed to an AHL contract this past season and spent most of the year in the ECHL.
Cal Sport Media/AP ImagesThe Blackhawks have already committed to 2011 fifth-round pick Andrew Shaw, signing him to an extension this season.
Andrew Shaw, forward, fifth round, No. 139 overall: The Blackhawks hit the jackpot with Shaw in the fifth round. He's given them a consistent third-line center the past two seasons. They signed him to an extension this past season.
Sam Jardine, defenseman, sixth round, No. 169 overall: Jardine completed his sophomore season at Ohio State this year. He had one goal, 12 assists, 35 blocks and a plus-7 rating in 36 games. His season was described as "solid" by Blackhawks assistant general manager Norm Maciver.
Alex Broadhurst, forward, seventh round, No. 199 overall: Broadhurst made a smooth transition to the AHL from juniors this past season. He had 16 goals and 29 assists in 75 games for the Rockford IceHogs. He was even called up to the NHL for one day.
Johan Mattsson, goaltender, seventh round, No. 211 overall: The Blackhawks did not sign Mattsson. He played last season in Sweden.
Draft outlook: This is a class Bowman can really hang his hat on. It has the potential to be one of the Blackhawks' deepest draft classes. Saad and Shaw have already found spots in the NHL. Clendening, Dahlbeck and McNeill should see NHL time next season. If Broadhurst and Danault continue to develop, there is a potential for at least seven NHL players in this class.
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