Skip to content
The Blackhawks have invested a lot of time in Artyom Levshunov (and it’s good for the Habs).
Credit: Photo by Michael Miller/ISI Photos/Getty Images

With the draft just around the corner, we’re trying to figure out the order in which the various players will be drafted at the next auction. We suspect that Macklin Celebrini will be the first, but then things will get complicated.

The Blackhawks, who have the second pick, are often linked to Ivan Demidov and Artyom Levshunov. The former is a dynamic Russian forward who could form an extremely dynamic duo with Connor Bedard, while the latter is a very solid defenseman with the potential to be a future #1.

Who will be the pick? Nobody knows, but…

According to Corey Pronman, who talked about Levshunov on The Athletic Hockey Podcast, the Blackhawks spent a lot of time scouting the defenseman. In fact, Pronman is confident enough to say that the Blackhawks have been to see him “at least 20 times” in the past year.

He mentions this in the very first minutes of the podcast, for those interested.

Of course, it’s normal to see Chicago doing its homework, but more than twenty games for the same player is a lot. Whether he’s the pick or not, the Blackhawks are clearly interested in the right-handed defenseman.

Especially since there’s also familiarity with Levshunov in the organization: last year, the Blackhawks drafted goaltender Adam Gajan, who played with Levshunov in the USHL. It’s not a huge connection, but considering they didn’t really get to see Demidov in person since he plays in Russia, that’s already a lot more familiarity with Levshunov.

And that, in the end, is good for the Habs in terms of drafting a forward and, ideally, that forward should be Ivan Demidov. The more clubs that draft a defenseman before the Habs, the more options Kent Hughes will have to add a forward to his bank of prospects.

The third-ranked Ducks are likely to want to select a defenseman, given the precarious state of their blue line and their abundance of good young forwards. The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, look like a wild card, especially as whoever makes the decision isn’t even on the job, given the current general manager vacancy.

If the Blackhawks want to select Levshunov, it would be excellent news for the Habs, who would drastically increase their chances of getting Demidov. Again, things have time to change… but clearly, if the Blackhawks have invested so much time in Levshunov this season, it’s not because they don’t want anything to do with him.

In bursts

– Still.

– He went to defend his teammate.

– Interesting.

– What do you think?

– He’s the sensation of the hour in MLB.

More Content