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2024 NHL Draft Prospects

Future Blackhawks Prospects? Sizing up Ivan Demidov

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Ivan Demidov has recently been just about everywhere when it comes to rankings. In this case, Demidov could be an option for the Blackhawks if they don’t win the 2024 Draft Lottery again this season.

So if they end up top three instead of #1, should he be considered.

Without question. Here’s more on the dynamic Russian forward.

Looking at Ivan Demidov

Demidov is the MHL, the junior tier of Russian hockey and his numbers were eye popping. In 30 games, he had 23 goals, and 60 points. Take your pick of scouting outlets and every single one is high on the winger. Bob McKenzie had him at sixth in his midseason rankings while Smaht Scouting has him second in their rankings. His offensive instincts are off the charts, and he’s very responsible in his own end. Furthermore, he checks the boxes with the high hockey IQ but the interesting one that doesn’t hit on the Blackhawks checklist is his speed. He can skate, but his top end speed doesn’t rival that of Connor Bedard or Macklin Celebrini.

So if choosing second, or if at third he falls to them, would the Blackhawks pass?

Well, that depends.

Would the Blackhawks take Demidov If Not Picking First?

Conventional wisdom says yes–but there needs to be some assurances. First, Demidov is signed through next season to play in Russia. The allure of playing with Bedard and other top prospects–along with the riches that the NHL can bring to an elite player should certainly appeal.

There is absolutely no doubt that having a top end player like Demidov would put the Blackhawks into contender status much faster than originally planned. He will hit in the NHL.

What matters to be seen is where he fits in the Blackhawks timeline. One, would having to wait a season matter to general manager Kyle Davidson? It didn’t stop the Hawks from going after Jonathan Toews, who headed back to North Dakota after being taken third in the 2006 Draft. But it was also a much different set of circumstances.

Patrick Kane and Toews both debuted in the same season, which allowed them to be identically lined up contract wise for the duration of their Blackhawks career. Obviously, Bedard will have a season ahead of whoever Chicago takes in 2024, but Demidov would have a two-season lag by the time he makes it up. Perhaps it’s irrelevant.

The second part is the assurance that indeed Demidov will come to play in the NHL. Again, playing in a market like Chicago promises riches just knowing he’s in a big market.

So checking all the boxes, with a bit of question mark as to when he makes it to Chicago perhaps clouds things slightly.

If not Celebrini at one, Demidov would be a hell of a pickup that would set up Chicago’s future just as well.

Future Blackhawks Profiles:

Macklin Celebrini | Cole Eiserman | Artyom Levshunov

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