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Chicago Blackhawks NHL Draft Profile: Daniil But brings size & skill from Russia

Greg Boysen Avatar
June 12, 2023

The NHL Entry Draft will be taking place on June 28 & 29 in Nashville. If it seems like we’ve been looking towards this date since CHGO Blackhawks launched in March of 2022, it’s because we have! The Chicago Blackhawks won the right to draft future superstar Connor Bedard with the first overall pick. However, as of now, they own 10 picks in one of the deepest drafts in recent years, including six in the first two rounds. With that in mind, the CHGO Blackhawks crew is going to dive into some of the prospects the team is potentially targeting for some of those picks after changing the course of the franchise with the number one pick.

Our next profile is on KHL forward Daniil But

Daniil But Measurables

Position: Left Wing
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 205

Rankings

The Athletic (Scott Wheeler): #26
Flo Hockey (Chris Peters): #20
NHL Central Scouting: #9 EU Skaters
Elite Prospects: #24

Quotables

“He’s excellent on the wall in puck protection and also has some outside-in skill so that he can attack off of holds into the middle third. He’s got impressive shooting mechanics given how long his stick is, and he regularly pulls pucks into his feet to change his angle face-up against goalies. I love the way he shields pucks and waits for his opportunities to attack. – Scott Wheeler, The Athletic

“But is a physical power-forward with good hands and an innate ability to protect the puck. His large stature and unique skillset make him an attractive winger, drawing attention with his ability to play with the puck off of the wall. He has nice outside-in skill, allowing him to beat defenders inside and force his way to the net.” Jake Janso, FC Hockey

“The many highly interesting ingredients in his game — his above-average sense, stickhandling ability, physical skills, and playmaking game —  could combine unexpectedly. They could turn him into something we can’t yet fully envision, something unique in the league, not unlike what we have seen happen with other players with uncommon NHL profiles like Tage Thompson.” – David St. Louis, Elite Prospects

Video Highlights

Why Daniil But Fits with the Blackhawks

If you want to add size to the Blackhawks’ prospect pool, then But is your guy. At 6-foot-5 and over 200 pounds at age 18, he is one of the biggest players in the 2023 draft class. Scouts are having debates on exactly where to rank the large left winger. Some have him going midway through the first round, while others have him slipping down to the third round. The Blackhawks will likely have multiple chances to select him with their extra picks in the second round.

The best way to describe But’s talent is as raw. There is untapped potential with him, and having that large frame makes him even more tantalizing. He has the pedigree, too, as his father, Anton, played seven seasons in the KHL. Daniil split his season between the KHL and MHL, Russia’s equivalent to the AHL. He was a point-per-game player in the MHL with 15 goals and 26 points in 26 contests.

But can be a traditional power forward, but that isn’t the only game he can play. He has the skill set of a dynamic undersized forward in the body of a giant. He skates very well for a teenager of his size and has soft hands to make unreal plays through traffic. His playmaking ability is off the charts, as he seems that he’s two or three steps ahead of his competition on the ice. He also comes with a lethal shot that makes him a potent finisher.

If But is taken by the Blackhawks, he will be a long-term project. While the raw talent is there, he needs plenty of work to play the professional game in North America. He has the size to play in the NHL but needs to be stronger and harder to separate from the but if he wants to make it overseas. Good thing Kyle Davidson and company have nothing but time on their hands.

Photo Courtesy: Keystone

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