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Blackhawks 2024 NHL Draft capsules: Scouting reports and analysis

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LAS VEGAS — A recap of the Chicago Blackhawks' selections in the 2024 NHL Draft and their scouting reports, including analysis from director of amateur scouting Mike Doneghey.

Round 1, pick No. 2: Artyom Levshunov, defenseman

What you need to know: Levshunov, 18, put up terrific numbers in his freshman season at Michigan State with 35 points (nine goals, 26 assists) in 38 games. The year prior, he had 42 points (13 goals, 29 assists) in 62 games for the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. It hasn't been decided yet whether Levshunov will return to school or turn pro.

Scouting report: Levshunov is listed at 6-foot-1.75 inches and 205 pounds and carries a right-handed shot. He's an all-situations-type defenseman. He's big, he can skate, he can drive offense, and he's respectable defensively. The Blackhawks believe he has all the tools to be a No. 1 defenseman.

Player reaction: "Finally, I’m drafted, I was waiting for this 18 years. Finally somewhere. Not somewhere — in Chicago! Feels real now. Now it feels like a dream came true. Now it feels real."

Analysis from Doneghey: "You see the way he skates and the size, for a big guy to get around the ice that well, and he's very puck friendly and he's ultra competitive. He just continued to take the steps. Everyone thought he was going to go back to Green Bay, and then he ends up going to Michigan State and he was able to elevate his game against players that are 3, 4 and 5 years older than him and not miss a beat from the USHL. And then once you meet him off the ice, he's an engaging personality, his character, the way he treats people, it's just what we're about.

Round 1, pick No. 18: Sacha Boisvert, center

What you need to know: Boisvert, 18 registered 68 points (36 goals, 32 assists) in 61 games this past season for the USHL's Muskegon Lumberjacks. His 36 goals ranked fifth among all USHL skaters and his 68 points was tied for 11th. He also added three assists in eight postseason contests. He's committed to play at North Dakota next season.

Scouting report: Boisvert is a 6-foot-2, 183-pound center and carries a left-handed shot. There's a lot to like about his package, most notably his size and the pride he takes in his grit and overall game. He described himself as "a two-way, skilled power forward who can shoot the puck and also play a physical game."

Player reaction: "I can’t even describe it. It’s great. Best feeling I’ve ever had. I'm super excited. Original Six, you couldn't ask for any better of a scenario."

Analysis from Doneghey: "Another guy we've been following for two years, because Muskegon is in the USHL in the same division as Chicago, so we get to see him a lot. Long body, ultra competitive. He boxes in the summer. His father owns a gym. He plays on the edge, but he also had 36 goals in that league. If you look back at the Kyle Connor's and the Brock Boeser's and those guys, those are similar numbers to what he had. He's got size down the middle, he can skate, he's good on faceoffs and he's another fantastic kid."

Round 1, pick No. 27: Marek Vanacker, left winger

What you need to know: Vanacker, 18, led the OHL's Bulldogs this season in goals (36) and points (82), and ranked second on the team in assists (46) in 68 games. He also added seven points (three goals, four assists) in six postseason contests. He played the majority of the season with a torn labrum and had surgery a few weeks ago, where he was put on a 4-6-month timeline, which means he isn't expected to be available for the start of the season. Vanacker is teammates with Blackhawks prospect Nick Lardis in Brantford.

Scouting report: Vanacker is listed at 6-foot-0.5 inches and 178 pounds. He's known to be a strong skater with great hands. He carries a left-handed shot and projects to be a top-nine winger.

Player reaction: "Honestly I’m kind of speechless. It’s an amazing feeling and something I’ve worked towards my whole life. To have this happen on this night, it’s super surreal."

Analysis from Doneghey: "He really got an opportunity when Nick Lardis got hurt and he kind of filled in Nick's role. He can score — 36 goals — but he's just, from the top of the circle down, along the boards, to net front, he's the first guy in. He controls the play, controls the puck, ultra competitive and he can score. Put into a lesser role when Nick came back but going forward he's going to be a really good player."

Round 3, pick No. 67: John Mustard, center/winger

What you need to know: Mustard, 17, produced 56 points (29 goals, 27 assists) in 60 games this past season with the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks. He's committed to play at Providence next season.

Scouting report: Mustard is listed at 6-foot-1, 186 pounds and carries a left-handed shot. His natural position growing up was center but he played mostly wing last season. He hopes to get back to playing center in the future but is open to anything. He called himself "a pretty dynamic forward. I like to play with a lot of speed and energy. I like to create plays."

Player reaction: "It’s great. It’s all I could ask for as a little kid. Wanting to play in the NHL one day, it’s a dream come true."

Analysis from Doneghey: "He leads with speed. He had almost 30 goals in the USHL, which we think is a hard league to score in and he was able to do it. We love that he's going to Providence to play for [head coach] Nate Leaman. Nate's had a lot of success in the college level with national championships and winning medals in the World Juniors, so we really like the way he coaches and teaches guys attention to deal."

Round 3, pick No. 72: Anthony (A.J.) Spellacy, right winger

What you need to know: Spellacy, 18, registered 38 points (21 goals, 17 assists) in 67 games this past season for the OHL's Windsor Spitfires. He had 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 47 games last season. He is a two-sport athlete, playing football (free safety and wide receiver) and hockey up until 16 before committing to hockey full-time.

Scouting report: Spellacy, who's listed at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds and has a right-handed shot, is one of the fastest players in this draft class. He also prides himself on his physicality and tries modeling his game after Tom Wilson.

Player reaction: "It's a dream come true. There's nothing better. I didn't come in with too much nerve. I thought I was going to go a bit earlier. Once I started getting down into the third round I was getting a little nervous, but I knew whoever picked me was going to get someone good and I look forward to that. I'm happy to be in Chicago."

Analysis from Doneghey: "He's a freak of an athlete. He had five football scholarships offers after his sophomore year of high school. He was a defensive team captain, leader. Awesome skater, competitive. In Windsor, not a great team, he was on the penalty kill there, first guy over the boards. He got a lot of his opportunity for offense through speed. Competitive kid, plays with some bite. Again, probably a little bit of a long road with him. Two years ago, he chose to go the hockey route from a football family so he's a little bit behind the curve I guess in hockey experience but he's going to be a good player."

Round 3, pick No. 92: Jack Pridham, right winger

What you need to know: Pridman, 18, recorded 48 points (23 goals, 25 assists) in 54 games this past season for the BCHL's West Kelowna Warriors. He also added 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in 10 postseason contests. Jack is the son of Toronto Maple Leafs assistant GM and cap guru Brandon Pridham. The plan is for Jack to return to West Kelowna next season before heading to Boston University in 2025-26.

Scouting report: Pridham, who's listed at 6-foot-1, 177 pounds and has a right-handed shot, calls himself "a skilled forward with good hockey sense, shot and skating." He likes to study Adrian Kempe and Jack Eichel but acknowledges "obviously I'm neither one of those players, but I think both of them have very strong assets in regards to skating and hockey sense and can make plays and want to help the team win."

Player reaction: "It's awesome. I'm out of words right now. Very special moment for my family and I."

Analysis from Doneghey: "Another guy who's on a little bit of a long road. He played at St. Andrew's College last year where Dean Letourneau played who the Bruins took in the first round, and so we've got some history there with [Blackhawks head eastern Canada scout] Jim McKellar. He can skate, kill penalties. We really like that he's going to Boston University because of their strength program and their coaches. We obviously have Ryan Greene there, Alex Vlasic was there, Drew Commesso was there. Some good pieces."

Round 5, pick No. 138: Joel Svensson, center

What you need to know: Svensson, 19, compiled 33 points (24 goals, nine assists) in 25 regular-season games this season for Växjö Lakers HC of J20 Nationell and added five points (four goals, one assist) in four postseason contests. He also had eight points (five goals, three assists) in 10 games for Kristianstads IK of HockeyEttan and added nine points (four goals, five assists) in 12 playoff games. He's signed to play in the Swedish Hockey League next season.

Scouting report: Svensson, who's listed at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and has a right-handed shot, is known to be a strong skater. He brings some size to the organization, too, up front, which was needed.

Analysis from Doneghey: "Joel has been through a draft. That was our Swedish guys, [director of European scouting] Mats Hallin and [head European amateur scout] Niklas Blomgren. He fits our traits. If you watch him — I haven't seen him live, those guys and [amateur scout] Colin Fraser have seen him live — [it's] his skating. Another right shot. Really good character assessments coming back from his current coaches."

Round 6, pick No. 163: Ty Henry, defenseman

What you need to know: Henry, who turns 18 on July 19, recorded seven assists in 54 games for the OHL's Erie Otters. He went pointless in six postseason contests. He's expected to go back to Erie for the next season or two.

Scouting report: Henry is a 6-foot-4, 197-pound defenseman and is a left-handed shot. He's a big body and skates well for his size but appears to be more of a longer-term project.

Analysis from Doneghey: "He can skate, he's more athlete right now than hockey player but we've got time to develop him."

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