Parade of forwards at top of NHL draft


"The forward group is real strong", New Jersey general manager Ray Shero said.

The Blackhawks were busy trading and drafting on Friday.

Incoming freshman Evan Barrett of the Penn State men's hockey team was chosen in the NHL draft on Saturday afternoon.

The Blackhawks selected defenseman Ian Mitchell No. 57 overall in the second round of the National Hockey League.

Edmonton-product Parker Foo was the Blackhawks' first pick of the fifth round.

Attendees at the press conference are to include NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, USA Hockey's Mathieu Schneider, Terry Pegula, Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman and Blackhawks president John McDonough, according to the NHL source. He had eight goals and 29 assists in 53 games for the Spruce Grove Saints of the AJHL last season.

He added to his global experience after the Winterhawks were eliminated from the WHL playoffs, representing Canada in three games at the U18 World Championships.

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The Blackhawks followed up that pick with two more selections in the third round, and with the first pick they took forward Andrei Altybarmakyan out of Russian Federation.

The Blackhawks had to see something special in Altybarmakyan, who wasn't considered a top-100 prospect in the draft class by TSN or ESPN.

Jokiharju also won a gold medal with Finland at the 2016 IIHF World U18 Championships, posting three assists in seven games.

Although Barratt has the skills, he doesn't have the size of an elite center, standing at 5-foot-11 and weighing in at 187 pounds.

IL is part of the Big Ten, which began sponsoring hockey when Penn State elevated its program.

The Blackhawks took a trade swap and moved up a few spots to select Tim Soderlund with the 112 overall pick in the fourth round.