Hawks Insider

Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson ‘pretty confident' who No. 2 overall pick will be

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LAS VEGAS — The Chicago Blackhawks hold the No. 2 overall selection in the 2024 NHL Draft, which begins on Friday at The Sphere in Vegas. The wait is almost over.

Chicago's pick is expected to come down to offensive playmaking forward Ivan Demidov and two-way defenseman Artyom Levshunov. Neither would be a bad choice.

Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson said in his pre-draft media availability on Thursday that the team has made up its mind on who it's going to take. All that's left to do is submit the pick and announce it on stage.

"I think we feel pretty confident with where we're going to go," Davidson said.

On Wednesday, there was a report that the Blackhawks were getting inquiries on the No. 2 pick but they were telling teams they're going to keep it. Davidson said he hasn't gotten many calls but confirmed he has no plans on moving the pick.

"I strongly believe that we'll be making that pick tomorrow," Davidson said.

Davidson didn't specifically mention the names of Demidov or Levshunov but acknowledged the debate on who to take was very real. A few weeks ago at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo, Davidson said they weren't leaning a certain way yet because it was still a legitimate conversation and they didn't have all the information to that point.

"It's been significant," Davidson said on Thursday of the internal debate at No. 2 overall. "There's great options, and when you have great options, then you have to talk it through, you have to really break it down. It's been really fun, it's been really exciting. 

"It's been good for the group to have that opportunity to talk about different options and different avenues that we could take this. So yeah, tons of debate but really healthy and productive."

As for the No. 18 overall pick, Davidson said he's not ruling out any possibility, whether that's trading up, trading back, or standing pat. It would be difficult to imagine a scenario where the Blackhawks move back, considering they gave up a late second-rounder to the New York Islanders to move up from No. 20, but he has options.

"There's been talk both ways," Davidson said. "Teams behind us looking to move up, teams in front of us looking to move back. And for the most part, I chalk that up to teams just doing their due diligence to know what's available to them should they need to move.

"You have such limited time to act when you're on the floor and picks start going off the board and that clock's ticking, you just want to know what's possible and what's not. It doesn't necessarily mean that something's going to happen at all or ahead of time, but you know teams are just making sure they know the landscape before they go into the draft.

"I think you have to be open to anything. As picks start going off the board, you have to be open to that but also, as they start coming and you look at your your list, if there are a bunch of players there, then you can slide back too and we know that there are some teams that would be willing to move up and and we could slide back if we feel that's advantageous. But right now, I feel comfortable at 18, so we'll kind of see how the day goes as we get into the first round there."

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