Kyle Davidson

Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson not ruling out trading back from No. 19

Davidson won't be moving the No. 1 overall pick, but he is open to trading back from No. 19, even if the preference is to trade up

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BUFFALO — Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson is on record saying he'd be open to packaging some of his draft picks in 2023 to trade up, whether that be from the No. 19 overall spot or from the second round and into the back end of the first round, etc. That's the kind of luxury he's given himself by hoarding 11 total picks, which is no secret.

"It's definitely something we're exploring," Davidson told Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in May. "I think the level of success we reach will be dictated by the level of player we can acquire. And logic dictates that the higher you are in the draft, the better chance you have of getting a good player. And so we're going to explore the opportunities available to us to potentially move up again."

But on Thursday at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, Davidson clarified that doesn't necessarily mean he's ruling out the possibility of trading back, either. Before your mind goes there, no, he's not considering moving out of the No. 1 overall spot. Davidson is talking about the 10 other selections, which includes an additional first-rounder and the six in the second and third rounds combined.

"There’s always dialogue about different things," Davidson said. "But for me, these meetings and the meeting we had around the draft lottery, I’m not opposed to moving back as well and gaining more capital. Whether it’s up, back, stick, I think everything’s on the table."

I think the primary goal would be to move up, for sure. Let's not pretend like it isn't.

But you never quite know how the draft is going to unfold in real-time, and if the Blackhawks can gain an additional pick while also grabbing a player they like that will potentially be available in a trade-back scenario, they would be foolish not to consider it. Heck, it could ironically lead to a trade-up situation later in the draft.

"It’s such a deep draft, if you really like players and you have a big cluster of players you really like, why not move back and gain more assets because of it?" Davidson said. "You just have to do what the value dictates. That’s much more well-informed on draft day. You have no clue on how the draft’s going to fall. It all depends on what’s available or looks like is going to be available as picks start going off the board, players start going off the board.

"If you’re sitting there at 19 and there’s five guys you like, maybe you look to move back because you can get one of those guys you really like at that value pack further back in the draft and you can just keep banking assets. I think to say we’re just going to move up, that’s probably premature."

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