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Trading Up From #20: Making the Case for Cole Eiserman

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Cole Eiserman has already been profiled here at Chicago Hockey Now and he’s slipped out of the top five as far as pundits are concerned. The Blackhawks front office favors high IQ, speed and of course, scoring from its forwards. A look through how general manager Kyle Davidson has selected so far includes Nick Lardis, Gavin Hayes and Oliver Moore show precisely what Davidson covets.

From his own words, Davidson plans on arriving to the draft making that pick at 20th overall but things can change which could make the team better.

“Whether it’s move back, move up, stick, see what that pick’s value is on the market for another prospect, an established NHLer, whatever the case may be–that’s all up for evaluation,” Davidson said.  “If one option arises that is clearly the highest value, that’s what we’ll do. We’re not married to any one direction with that pick we’ll just evaluate the board and the draft prospects with the assumption that we will make it–that’s all we really can do. When we get to Las Vegas, that’s when options start to materialize. It’s about evaluating from there.”

Where Does Cole Eiserman Grade Out?

Smaht Scouting: #13
Craig Button: #8 (March)
Bob McKenzie: #4 (January)
McKeens: :#9
Dobber: #16 (February)
NHL Central Scouting: #12 (North America)

Prior to the season, Eiserman was considered a top-five prospect but he’s slipped a bit as the season goes on. It reminds of another US product, Cole Caufield, who was hyped early and then fell into the Montreal Canadiens lap at 15th overall during the 2019 NHL Draft. Central Scouting slotted Caufield at eighth and have Eiserman at 12.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie had Eiserman as high as fourth back in January. But Dobber has him graded out at #16, making that a significant range. Eiserman, though, can score goals and score them at a high clip. He’s not afraid to go into the corners, dig out loose pucks, and set up his teammates instead of waiting for something to unfold for him.

Where then might Eiserman likely go? San Jose Hockey Now’s Sheng Peng listed Eiserman as a potential choice at 14, which would be a six-spot jump for the Blackhawks. Could he fall to the Blackhawks at 20, similar to Oliver Moore? Perhaps.

After all, Moore had quite the gap from where he would end up. Ranked as high as seventh by some, Moore was snatched up by Chicago at #19 last year.

The Blackhawks have the draft capital to move up if they value Eiserman enough. They could also use some help at wing–with a prospect pool loaded at the blue line and down the middle.

He grades out, he’s certainly a Blackhawks like prospect, and would help fill a need. It’s anyone guess if Eiserman falls to the Hawks at 20, but conventional wisdom has him getting selected before that.

The Blackhawks should absolutely consider trading up for Eiserman if the jump is cost effective.

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