Blackhawks bumped up to get fast forward Oliver Moore with the No. 19 draft pick

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — The Blackhawks have repeatedly tried to move up their teen in the first round of the NHL draft on Wednesday for forward Oliver Moore.

No trade came to fruition—yet the Hawks landed Moore with the 19th pick anyway.

General Manager Kyle Davidson seemed shocked afterward, acknowledging that the Hawks’ internal rankings of prospects were Moore much higher than No. 19. Leaving Day 1 of the draft with both No. 1 seed Conor Bedard and Moore added to the prospect pool is a colossal coup.

“I’ve been on the phone almost the entire time since I got back to my seat [after picking Bedard] Davidson said… trying to get up with him in mind. “So it’s almost a perfect scenario where we just stayed [at 19th and] We didn’t have to give up any additional choices to get up and get it.”

The Falcons have established snowboarding as their favorite feature over the past couple of years, and Moore fits that genre very well. Davidson has called him the “fastest player in the draft,” and he’s not the only one in hockey circles who believes that.

Scouting director Mike Donaghy stated that Moore’s hockey sense equaled his speed as well. Doneghy came off last season impressed by Moore’s defensive and combative reliability.

“He has a really quick mind,” Donegy said. “He can fly, but his brain and his feet are on the same page. He handles the game really well. … He gets a lot of chances offensively because of his pace, but he’s very detail-oriented in the defensive area.”

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Moore, a Minnesota native, had 75 points in 61 games this past season for the US National Team Development Program and is heading to the University of Minnesota next season — where he’ll be teammates with Sam Renzel, the Hawks’ final 25th overall pick. year.

He said he models his game after Red Wings superstar Dylan Larkin, using his speed to drive mid-ice. Weighed in at 5-11 and 190 lbs. in the scout group.

“I take a lot of pride in my defensive game, and I think my offensive transition is really good for my age,” said Moore. “I’m just a fast player, and I think a lot of NHL teams like to play fast. Obviously, the Falcons do too.”

The draft continues Thursday

Davidson and Hawks director of scouting Mike Donaghy won’t sleep much as recruiting resumes at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The Hawks looked at packaging some of their four second-round picks to trade for another late first-round pick on Wednesday, but nothing worked. That leaves them with a huge group of picks (35th, 44th, 51st and 55th overall) right off the bat on Thursday.

They should be able to get some high end prospects in there. Doneghey said the Hawks have compiled a list of prospects expected in various sections of the draft who don’t fit the desirable attributes of their organization — essentially a “no-draft” list — and that a lot of the players on that list were selected by other Wednesday teams.

This means, therefore, that a lot of the players the Falcons favor remain available. Among the best strikers left in the overall standings are Andrew Crystal, Riley Heidt, Gavin Brindley, Ethan Gautier, Oscar Fisker-Molgaard and Jaden Biron.

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“We’ll continue to stick to the traits in terms of speed and competitiveness,” Donegy said. “Right now, we’re doing a very good job of building that depth forward.”

The Falcons will also go into Thursday with two third-round picks and one pick each in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds.

Caleb’s departure

Defenseman Caleb Jones’ exit from the Hawks — he was not offered a qualifying offer — will be overshadowed by other news this week, but it’s nonetheless a notable move by Davidson.

Glady Jones averaged 19:13 time per game last season, up from 16:43 in the Hawks’ first season, and increased that average to 21:06 from February 20 onwards. He’s been very much playing his first pairing with brother Seth Jones during this stretch – and on that note, it’ll be interesting to hear Seth’s reaction to this news.

He struggled with consistency and costly turnarounds throughout his tenure, much to the frustration of his fan base. The brutal period in November 2022 was particularly memorable.

But Coach Luke Richardson remained supportive and seemed to value Jones’ skating ability, and Jones always took charge when necessary while expressing optimism for the future. His analytics have also been surprisingly good, which could help him secure a new contract elsewhere this summer.

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