Hawks Insider

Blackhawks draft Oliver Moore with No. 19 overall pick in 2023

Moore appeared in 23 games with the USA's National Development Program team, with eight goals and 17 assists

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NASHVILLE — The Chicago Blackhawks officially drafted a franchise cornerstone in Connor Bedard with the No. 1 overall pick on Wednesday, but they also owned the No. 19 overall selection after acquiring the additional first-rounder from Tampa Bay in the Brandon Hagel deal.

And with the pick, the Blackhawks took center Oliver Moore. He is considered to be one of the fastest skaters in the 2023 draft class.

"Honestly, I was holding back tears," Moore said. "Just sharing that moment with my family, my mom and my dad, they were so excited and I think they were pretty anxious to hear my name called just like I was. It's super emotional. So many emotions. I'm just so happy."

Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson said he worked the phones relentlessly to try trading up for Moore, but he ended up falling into their laps at No. 19. A true dream scenario.

"We had Oliver way higher than we picked him," Davidson said. "We were constantly trying to move up for a lot of picks. I was on the phone the whole time, almost from when I got back to my seat to when we went up on stage. I was working the phones trying to get up with him in mind.

"So cliché, we didn’t think he was going to be there, blah, blah, blah, blah but it wasn’t even a scenario we thought of, that sticking at 19 we’d get Oliver Moore," Davidson said. "I couldn’t be happier. I’m so excited right now."

Moore is a 5-foot-11, 188-pound center who can absolutely fly and is more of a two-way player, although he can certainly create offense. He said he tries modeling his game after Dylan Larkin, who likes to use his speed to drive the middle of the ice.

Moore, 18, registered 75 points (31 goals, 44 assists) in 61 games last season for the U.S. National Under-18 team. He also recorded 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 23 games for the U.S. National Development Program and nine points (four goals, five assists) in seven games for Team USA at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Moore checks most of the boxes the Blackhawks are looking for, most notably the skating and compete level. He is committed to play for the University of Minnesota in 2023-24.

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