First-round draft picks are kind of the thing in Chicago right now. The Bears turned their No. 1 overall pick into DJ Moore, Darnell Wright and even more picks earlier this year. The way the Cubs and White Sox have played for most of the year, they could be in line for top picks, too. And of course the Blackhawks selected phenom prospect Connor Bedard with the No. 1 overall pick on Wednesday night. The only team to miss out was the Bulls, because the ping pong balls didn’t fall their way this year and their pick went to Orlando as part of the Nikola Vučević trade from 2021.
The Blackhawks hope Bedard will be a points machine for years to come, but it’s far too early to tell what his legacy will be in Chicago. So now, we’re taking a look at Blackhawks first-round draft picks who have already cemented their spot in franchise history. And if the Blackhawks were to carve the faces of four first-rounders somewhere inside the United Center, here’s who would make the cut.
DOUG WILSON – 1977
New fans of the Blackhawks may know Duncan Keith as the best blue-liner in franchise history, but before Keith was hoisting Norris Trophies, there was Wilson. Bobby Orr is often credited with being the first offensive defenseman in the late 60s, but Wilson wasn’t far behind. Wilson score 50+ points in nine of his 14 seasons with the Blackhawks, including an incredible 85-point (39G, 46A) campaign in 1981. That was the year Wilson won his Norris Trophy. Wilson’s 779 points with the team rank most among all defensemen in franchise history. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.
DENIS SAVARD – 1980
Before there was Showtime with Patrick Kane, there was the Spin-o-rama with Savard. Kane passed Savard on most Blackhawks leaderboards, but Savard still owns the record for most assists/game with an incredible 0.82 rate. He ranks third in total assists (719), fourth in points (1,096) and fifth in goals (377). Savard has another footnote in big Blackhawks history, since he was the man sent to Montreal in the trade that brought Chris Chelios to Chicago. After retirement, Savard returned to the Blackhawks as a coach, but his tenure didn’t last long. He only coached for 147 games before he was replaced by Joel Quenneville. Savard was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
Toews began his career with a bang by scoring a goal on the first shot in his first game of his NHL career. That started a 10-game point streak to start his career, which was the second-longest in NHL history at the time. Captain Serious was never the prolific scorer as his counterpart, Kane, but he was the yin to Kane’s yang. While Kane was more of an offensive phenom, Toews was an incredible two-way player and was often tasked with shutting down an opponent’s top player on defense. Toews also saved some of his best magic for the playoffs, like his incredible five-point performance against the Canucks in Game 4 of the 2010 Western Conference Semi-Finals or his two goals in 72 seconds (including a ridiculous shot from the goal line) to force OT against the Ducks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Toews won the Conn Smythe Award for the Blackhawks’ first Stanley Cup victory of their recent three-Cup run in 2010 and the Selke Trophy in 2013.
PATRICK KANE – 2007
For generations it seemed no one would come close to challenging Stan Mikita for the “Best Blackhawks Player of All-Time” honor, but Kane is that guy. Showtime was known for his incredible goal-scoring ability, but many consider him to be an even better passer and playmaker. Kane beat out Toews for the Calder Trophy in 2008, and he broke barriers as the first American player to win the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy in 2015. In 2020, he also became the youngest American player to hit the 1,000 point threshold at 31 years and 61 days old. Most importantly, Kane scored the magical goal that nobody saw to clinch the Blackhawks’ first Stanley Cup during their run in the 2010s. Kane won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2013.
Source: Yahoo Sports