NASHVILLE, TN – They ended up keeping it. In fact, getting to #19, there wasn’t a single trade. With that pick, the Chicago Blackhawks selected another center for the draft pool in Oliver Moore. Though they have need for wings, General manager Kyle Davidson went with a second center in the 2023 NHL Draft and a potential to have an unbelievably strong team down the middle.
What Are the Blackhawks Getting in Moore?
A speedster. Moore described his game more Dylan Larkin and less Patrick Kane. While the comparison to a Detroit Red Wing might not thrill fans, Moore didn’t shy away from Kane comparisons. He just sees his play as more of a two-way forward and maybe not as much as a sniper only.
“I remember growing up, an American player who has a couple Stanley Cups to his name,” Moore said. “But I think a guy I kinda play like is Dylan Larkin–a good comparable. Someone who can use his speed and drive the middle of the ice.”
The Blackhawks may very well be sizing up the draft in a way to solidify what is already a strength in the organization’s prospect pipeline. Moore, however, was consistently a top fifteen prospect with many draft rankings. He was long gone by the time we got to #19 in the Hockey Now Mock Draft.
But the choice of Moore also shows that it’s a best player available mentality, where several wings were still available–namely Gabe Perreault (#23 to New York) and Andrew Cristall, who as of this writing, has yet to be selected.
One other point–Moore’s intention is to play at the University of Minnesota this coming fall. This is in line with his comparable who went to the University of Michigan for a year before signing his entry-level deal with Detroit in 2015.
Chicago has time to let Moore develop. But they may very well have gotten a gem projected to go much higher. It only gives Chicago more speed down the middle.
If Connor Bedard and Oliver Moore turn out to be the one-two punch in Chicago, a lot of defenders will have a heck of a time chasing them down.