Connor Bedard may not be there in the 2024 NHL Draft, but Macklin Celebrini, Cole Eiserman and Ivan Demidov sure are. With the season nearly 30 games in, it’s time to start keying in on prospects.
The Chicago Blackhawks have the least amount of points of all 32 teams in the NHL. While it’s been brutal to watch at times, especially Thursday’s 7-1 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Kraken, it gives the Blackhawks that coveted 25% crack at winning the lottery.
Then again, there’s the 75% chance they slide down. Just ask Columbus and Anaheim about that one.
Boston University’s Celebrini is the clear-cut first overall pick, and CHN will be profiling him at some point soon. But there’s another very intriguing name who could be alluring should the Hawks slip from the top spot.
That name would be Cole Eiserman.
Cole Eismeran At A Glance
US Developmental Program
17 years old (8/29/06)
A forward within the US Developmental program, Eiserman is the winger that teams are salivating over should they get a top-five pick. For a moment, imagine if he lines up beside Bedard.
But before Hawks fans start penciling in roster charts, could things be shifting?
Especially since he was left off the World Juniors Roster for the United States. Despite being over a goal-per-game pace, is it smoke and mirrors?
Eiserman, who will attend Boston University after decommitting from the University of Minnesota, is a very young 17, his birthday in late August. In terms of birthday cycles when it come to turning 18 and signing a professional contract, Eiserman is still a full year and 12 days younger than Bedard.
So was it the age that kept him off the US roster? After all, James Hagens is the same age and is two months younger. Turns out that what was called a “minor injury” by EP Rinkside’s Sean Shapiro may very well be the culprit.
This one sounds like erring on the side of caution.
Will Eiserman Be on the Blackhawks Short List?
For sure. He fills a need to be a top line winger and could even be a guy that would bury his fair share of goals at the NHL level.
However–analyzing Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson and director of amateur scouting Mike Doneghey’s prototypical building block up front–they value speed, and hockey IQ above all else. Here’s the roll call outside of Bedard: Frank Nazar, Oliver Moore, Nick Lardis, Gavin Hayes, Ryan Greene and Paul Ludwinski to give what could be an impressive top six if potential stays in line.
Eiserman doesn’t have that top end speed. Oh, he’s skilled and has a nose for the net. The hockey IQ is there as well. And the release–while nothing rivals Bedard’s shot, has scouts and front offices around the league drooling.
But it’s the skating that could make the Blackhawks potentially hesitate. Add in a likely freshman season at Boston and maybe if gifted a top three pick they look for someone who could be in Chicago much sooner.
But the latter seems unlikely. Davidson has shown patience from the moment he took over and Eiserman is still an intriguing prospect to watch, especially with the scoring touch he possesses.
Davidson won’t put a timetable to the rebuild, and next season might be a tad early for playoff predictions. Even so, what’s a year of development to give Bedard and company more talent and a brand new, entry-level deal while his would be ready for renewal?
The Blackhawks front office will always draft the best player available on the board. If they don’t win the draft again, they’ll certainly have choices elsewhere.
Eiserman will definitely be one of many names on that short list.