Sunday, June 23, 2024

Black Hawk: Behind the scenes of an unforgettable auction

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
"Pop culture maven. Unapologetic student. Avid introvert. Gamer. Problem solver. Tv fanatic."

In terms of amateur recruitment, the Chicago Blackhawks have gone from an unenviable position to a favorable position on the draft floor in Montreal, much to the chagrin of fans grieving the departures of Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach, both of whom traded Thursday.

The old saying goes that you can’t make an omelette without cracking some eggs. The Hawks’ top management will have to walk on the shells they broke for several years after trading a 24-year-old double scorer, 41 goals and a promising midfielder.

These unpopular trades still allowed the Blackhawks to have three picks from the first round, having had none on the morning of the session. Like frantic spectators in the Bale Center stands on kickoff night, Quebec and Ontario’s national hiring manager Alex Rouleau has lived his share of rollercoaster rides in 48 hours.

“It’s one of the best modifications I’ve made in my life,” he immediately said during an interview with

His 12-year-old son Samuel was by his side on stage to welcome offensive defender Kevin Korczynski with the seventh overall pick – sold by the Ottawa Senators members in exchange for their new star Debrannat – as well as forward Frank Nazar, then linebacker Sam Rinzel at Level 25.

Image credit: National Amateur Blackhawk Scout Alex Rollo and his son Samuel.

There is no smoke without fire

A few hours earlier, Rollo and the team of recruits had received word of request from management at the hotel.

He says, “We were told to prepare, that transactions could happen and that we could have additional options. We prepared for all eventualities. We had a good idea that the big names could leave Chicago. It’s no longer a secret.”

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Then he started appearing on social media. There is no smoke without fire.”

Rollo, a former Fall Doer Furs advocate drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2001, was active in recruiting DeBrincat and also Dach when the organization drafted them in 2016 and 2019 respectively.

This is one of the glaring facts of the profession of scouting young talents.

“I lived (the transactions) in a rather divided fashion, because nevertheless I was involved in hiring DeBrincat, and then Dach. When you see players I signed up being traded, you’re always in a bit of a shock.

“But we’ve been given new choices, so these are new opportunities. In Alex’s case, it was a previous selection for the second round and it paid off on us. It means we did a good job with him. It’s the general manager’s job after that. From there, we get on the boat.”

So, with a second pick secured from Senators, the team picked center Paul Ludwinsky, Shane Wright’s Kingston Frontenack teammate, early in the second round, which he described as “a very versatile spark plug.

“When I went to see Kingston this year, you couldn’t notice her, Rollo insists. He moves his feet well and is always in the thick of the action. On some nights, when Wright’s line was quieter, they could take him to the winger on one of their first lines.

Samuel Savoy: An Old Love

In the next round, Black Hawk imitated the Anaheim ducks by drawing from the Gatineau Olympiques.

After Noah Warren (42nd) and Tristan Lono (53rd), New Brunswick forward Samuel Savoy became the third goalkeeper in Louis Rubitael to receive a National Hockey League jersey. Like his teammates, left winger Acadian was among four players drafted to the Olympics at the 2020 QMJHL auction.

Black Hawk’s recruiting director Mike Donighi called it a “ball of energy” during his liquor review on Friday afternoon. Savoy himself compares his style of play to that of Brad Marchand and Sam Bennett, who could not hurt him in meeting the team to earn points.

Image credit: Joël Lemay / QMI Agency

Rollo says he’s been spying on him for a long time, because the Ottawa area – including Ottawa – is on his way when he begins or concludes his travels. He makes his point by declaring himself “the only recruit in the world who lives in Abitibi”.

“What you hear is what we like,” he notes. Every time we see him play, he has the energy on the floor. He is very energetic and is not afraid to go on the net. He has to cheerful And he wants to make a difference. These are the qualities that attract us.

Doneghey made the trip to see him play in Gatineau, where the city is conveniently located during observation scouts. Our chiefs came to see him play, even the greats president at a certain time. There was Brian Campbell (special operations consultant), who is very close to management.

There’s a lot for fans to win in the comparison game, but scouts like to play it safe when asked to compare a probability to an NHL skater.

This is the most difficult question to answer. It’s hard to compare, but if you look at the players drafted this year, you’ll find plenty of similarities to the Frontenacs’ players, he says, referring to Ludwinski.

“The speed of the feet and its overall speed. It is like a Swiss army knife. It can play many roles while making a spark. It will be cheerful To work with him, because he can give options regardless of his coach.

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Davidson era plan

As in Anaheim, the winds of change are blowing through “Windy City” and new General Manager Kyle Davidson has placed an order with the scouts.

It’s no coincidence that they put out 11 potential chances, including eight forwards, in the seven rounds.

“The course of action is very clear looking at our choices as a whole. It shows that the common characteristic is speed. Nazar is very fast. Ludwinski and Savoie skate at a high level of speed.

“The common feature is easy to see. The new management wanted to focus on speed this year.”

Some experts have questioned whether this drift franchise should not wait until 2023 to win hope of a higher auction. You have to understand that the reconstruction has begun now.

“For all the grapes we’ve been looking for players for a year, watching them in action, we love them and want to work with them if it’s good. fit.

“Why do we wait another year, when we are in important years? Our CEO, his vision is to say ‘wipe out and start over.’ That’s what he did to start over as quickly as possible.

Image source: AFP

As for Korchinski, the Blackhawks’ first choice, no decision has been made at this time. He will report to the development camp on Monday.

“The plan is not to rush him. If the organization feels he is not ready, he will continue to learn. We will give him time.”

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