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Hockey Now Mock Draft Has Blackhawks Taking Simashev at 19

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First it was Andrew Cristall. Now the latest, and final Hockey Now Mock Draft has the Chicago Blackhawks taking defenseman Dimitri Simashev with the 19th pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. Interestingly, Montreal Hockey Now writer Marco D’Amico has the Canadiens taking Cristall 31st, a 12-spot drop from the earlier draft.

Who is Simashev? Here’s a little bit on him.

Simashev Already Playing in the KHL

Simashev tops out at 6’4 and fits the big bodied defensemen that are already in the pipeline and Simashev is no exception. The biggest allure for Simashev is that at 18, he has 18 games to his name in the KHL with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl after spending 33 games with the junior version of the same squad in the MHL.

Professional experience is better than nothing but it would still be at least two seasons before he could play in Chicago as his contract isn’t up until 2025.

While it’s understandable that Chicago could look his way, they already have a glut of defensemen in the pipeline.

Why Would the Blackhawks Take Another Defenseman?

This is likely the most compelling question as they already have Kevin Korchinski, Nolan Allan, Ethan Del Mastro, Wyatt Kaiser, and Isaak Phillips, it’s crowded in the pipeline. With that said, Korchinski might push for a job in Chicago next season while Kaiser and Phillips have already spent time in Chicago. Del Mastro and Allan will still have another season in their respective spots, which could be on par with where Simashev’s timeline falls.

Beyond that, defensemen are one of the most crucial positions for championship teams to solidify. Look back at the Blackhawks Stanley Cup winners and even the most recent Cup winners. Vegas shows that a blue line depth goes far, and even though Florida was a MASH unit by the Final, they too, were buoyed by a defensive corp that anchored victories.

Simashev is certainly an interesting option and CHN will be profiling him soon as part of our draft coverage.

But as the old saying goes, defense wins championships. Maybe the Blackhawks look his way to bolster that depth that could one day put them back into contention.

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