Chicago Blackhawks Look for Depth in 2009 NHL Draft

Michael Wagner@MichaelDWagnerSenior Analyst IJune 26, 2009

With the 28th pick the Chicago Blackhawks select...

For the first time in quite a long while the Chicago Blackhawks will be picking outside the NHL lottery, actually far from it. In the 2009 NHL draft the Blackhawks will be picking 28th and trying to project exactly who they will be taking with that pick.

The major focus for the Blackhawks in this draft will be depth but more specifically the Blackhawks will be looking to add depth at the forward position. In the 2008 draft the Blackhawks focused on the defense selecting five defensemen with their seven overall picks.

Last draft the Blackhawks chose left wing Kyle Beach with the 11th pick and have chosen quite a few wings over the last few years. The Blackhawks depth at center is lacking just a bit with no "major" talent at center in the 'Hawks system.

Although it seems as though the Blackhawks will use the "take the best available player" approach to the 28th pick you would have to imagine that they with focus on the center position. Some names that Blackhawks fans might want to look at include, Jordan Caron, Peter Holland, Chris Krieder and my personal favorite Louis Leblanc.

The reason that I have been a big fan of the center from the Omaha Lancers is because he is a gritty two-way player that isn't afraid to go into the corner much like two centers the Blackhawks already have in Dave Bolland and Jonathan Toews.

Leblanc is expected to be picked in the first round in the twenties but he could go anywhere from 18 to the Montreal Canadiens to the Chicago Blackhawks at 28.

In the few mock drafts that I have seen on Bleacher Report and on other sites I have seen Leblanc off of the board far before the Blackhawks 28th pick but if he is their expect them to snatch him up.

Even though the Blackhawks will not be picking in the top half of the draft they can expect to get a player that will contribute in the future at pick 28. It is a deep draft from 20-40 and whoever the Blackhawks take will be an impact in the future and hopefully the near future.

Draft Day Trade Talk

There have been rumors flying over the last week about possible trades being worked out on draft day and the Blackhawks have been mentioned in a few of them. But will Dale Tallon pull the trigger on a deal for a big name player?

It is possible but the only reason that Tallon will make a big splash is if he can move some cap space around or do a straight salary swap to fill a need.

Names that the Blackhawks might be shopping are Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Cam Barker and Brian Campbell. you might be surprised to see three young players on this list in Byfuglien, Versteeg and Barker but Byfuglien has a cap hit of $3M and Versteeg/Barker are both expecting big raises this offseason.

The name that is not so surprising on this list is Brian Campbell who was signed last season to a gigantic $56 million contract and his cap hit might hinder the 'Hawks future plans of retaining Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith.

Even if the Blackhawks don't make a trade it should still be a day that a lot of deals that get done around the NHL.