Back when the Chicago Blackhawks held the first overall pick for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, who they were going to take with the first selection was not a lock. In the weeks leading up to the draft there was plenty of debate between the top three prospects; Patrick Kane, Kyle Turris and James van Riemsdyk.
Dale Tallon made the right call by taking Kane first overall with van Riemsdyk going second to the Flyers and the Coyotes taking Turris with the third pick. 11 years later, the Blackhawks could have a shot at having both Kane and van Riemsdyk on the same team.
Tyler Dellow of The Athletic broke down where van Riemsdyk could end up next season if he doesn’t re-sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, which does not seem likely at this point since they have to worry about new contracts for the likes of Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and William Nylander. Dellow listed the Blackhawks as one of the teams who could be interested in him, along with the Flames, Ducks, Blues, Blue Jackets and Oilers.
“Chicago would be an interesting option for van Riemsdyk except for the salary cap issues,” wrote Dellow. “Which is a big except. The Blackhawks' big deals are all locked in for a while longer, which would make adding money difficult and if they did have money to spend due to an increase in the salary cap, it would likely make sense to allocate those dollars to the defense, which is a little threadbare.”
Landing van Riemsdyk would be a major longshot for Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks. While getting a big forward who consistently produces on the power play would be a fantastic addition, this team needs to use what precious cap space they do have on fixing a bad defense.