The Chicago Blackhawks had a real eye on the future when they made their selections in the 2013 NHL draft. Mostly picking from the end of each round, Chicago picked up talent it can watch develop at lower levels for at least the next season or two.
The 'Hawks went with American forwards and Swedish defensemen Sunday. Four of those American 18-year-olds are planning on playing college hockey this fall.
General manager Stan Bowman probably isn't looking to sign any of these players for a couple of years, which will allow them to develop into potential pieces of the organization.
Here's a quick look at the Blackhawks Class of 2013. All stats come from NHL.com.
Round 1 (30th Overall): Ryan Hartman, C/RW, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
Hartman is an 18-year-old agitator who has some pretty good skills with the puck. He isn't afraid to drop the gloves, and he competes hard at both ends of the ice.
I posted this on draft day, which you can read if you want a little more detail on Hartman, who I believe is going to spend at least another year in juniors.
Round 2 (51st Overall): Carl Dahlstrom, D, Linkoping (Swedish Junior)
In the first of three picks obtained from Toronto for Dave Bolland, Bowman went with another Swedish blueliner. At 6'3" and 191 pounds, Dahlstrom, 18, had five goals and eight assists this past season.
Round 3 (74th Overall): John Hayden, C, USA U-18 (USHL)
The Blackhawks selected Hayden with one of two picks Bowman collected by trading Michael Frolik to the Winnipeg Jets. Hayden is Chicago-born but hails from Greenwich, Connecticut. The 18-year-old is a big forward (6'2", 220 pounds), and he plays big as well.
This is another pick the 'Hawks can wait on, as Hayden is scheduled to suit up for Yale this fall.
Round 4 (111th Overall): Robin Norell, D, Djurgarden (Swedish Junior)
The 'Hawks traded with San Jose to secure this pick. Chicago received a fifth-rounder next summer in exchange for this year's 117th and 151st selections to select Norell, a 5'10", 175-pound defenseman.
Norell is 18, and, though he lacks size, he is mobile and is a hard worker. He seems set for another year in Sweden.
Round 4 (120th Overall): Tyler Motte, C, USA U-17 (USHL)
Motte, 18, is a bit undersized at 5'9" and 175 pounds, which kept him from being a higher pick. He is a pretty strong skater and is skilled with the puck. Chicago will have a few years to monitor his progress at the University of Michigan, where he is headed this fall.
Round 5 (133rd Overall): Luke Johnson, C, Lincoln (USHL)
Johnson is 18 years old and has spent two seasons in Lincoln. Johnson tallied 55 points in 55 games in the 2011-12 season. His numbers dropped a bit this season, but he did have 46 points in 57 games. He is 5'11", 178 pounds, and he looks to be playing college hockey for North Dakota this fall.
Round 6 (181st Overall): Anthony Louis, C, USA U-18 (USHL)
Louis is another Illinois native and another smallish forward (5'7", 155 pounds) who will likely be playing college hockey in the fall. Louis is committed to Miami University. In 53 games last season, the 18-year-old totaled 18 goals and 25 helpers.
Round 7 (211th Overall): Robin Press, D, Sodertalje (Swedish Junior)
Press, 18, is a converted forward, having been placed on the blue line just over a year ago. He's got some size at 6'2" and 187 pounds. He'll be continuing to learn his new position in Sweden.
With a host of prospects from prior drafts waiting to come up the pipeline from Rockford, Bowman has the luxury of monitoring the progress of these players from a distance. He took a chance on some smaller skaters, but in all he picked up a fairly talented crop of prospects.
I don't think we'll see a kid come up and help the way Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw did following the 'Hawks drafting them in 2011. Patience is definitely the key to watching this class of picks develop.