BUFFALO, N.Y. – Chad Krys couldn’t resist the moment.
The defenseman, whom the Blackhawks selected with the 45th overall pick on Saturday, threw his GoPro into the media session of Alex DeBrincat, picked by the Blackhawks six selections prior to Krys.
“Excuse me, Alex: what would you think if you got drafted to the same team as fellow World Junior teammate Chad Krys?” Krys asked.
For two more American players, it was one more reason to smile.
DeBrincat and Krys were two of the Blackhawks’ three second-round picks as the NHL Draft wrapped up in Buffalo on Saturday. Other selections included forward Artur Kayumov of Russia (50th overall), goaltender Wouter Peeters of Belgium and defenseman Lucas Carlsson of Sweden.
“It was good to have a nice mixture and you don’t always know how it’s going to work out with what you get,” general manager Stan Bowman said. “We did a lot of work last night planning for the picks we had in the second round. I know everyone says this but we’re really excited for the guys that we got.”
About two weeks ago the Blackhawks were short on 2016 draft picks and their first wasn’t until the third round. They ended up with nine, including those three second-round selections.
“When you’re at that point of the list, there are a lot of players that are probably at an equal value. So what we’re discussing is what we’re trying to get out of with those three picks,” said Mark Kelley, the Blackhawks’ director of amateur scouting. “I don’t think we stuck verbatim through the list in the order that it was, all close. The two wingers were very, very high skilled, and the defenseman he’s just a smart, puck-moving. He’s just a mature player.
The Blackhawks' 39th overall selection, DeBrincat is a small but offensively gifted player with the Erie Otters (Ontario Hockey League). DeBrincat, who played one season with Connor McDavid, had consecutive 51-goal seasons with the Otters.
“I don’t know the exact number of guys that scored 50 goals back-to-back in the OHL. It’s a very small list. He certainly is a competitive kid and really knows how to find the back of the net,” Bowman said. “People talk about his size but he did something that is rarely done. So really impressive performance with him and we’re excited.”
Given the Otters’ proximity to this year’s draft host Buffalo, there was a pretty sizeable cheer when DeBrincat’s name was announced.
“It’s pretty hard to put into words. I’m really excited to be a part of this organization,” DeBrincat said. “It was a long day [Friday.] I didn’t really know if I was going to go or not, but I’m really happy now and glad it’s over.”
Krys, who is headed to Boston University this fall, was part of Team USA’s U20 team with DeBrincat. For Krys, who hopes to develop his game more in college, the possibility of playing for the Blackhawks one day is enticing.
“I think they like skating defensemen who can move the puck quickly, get the puck up to their forwards and handle the puck well and be involved,” Krys said. “So it’s great to be part of an organization that has defensemen who play like that.”
No. 39: Alex Debrincat, F, Erie Otters
45: Chad Krys, D, committed to Boston University
50: Artur Kayumov, F, Russia
83: Wouter Peeters, G, Belgium
110: Lucas Carlsson, D, Sweden
113: Nathan Noel, C, Saint John
143: Mathias From, D, Sweden
173: Blake Hillman, D, University of Denver
203: Jake Ryczek, D, Waterloo Black Hawks