What are the Blackhawks getting in No. 35 pick Adam Gajan?

Taking a closer look at the first goalie drafted by the Blackhawks since 2020.

What are the Blackhawks getting in No. 35 pick Adam Gajan?
Source: IIHF (Chris Tanouye)

Adam Gajan was the first goalie taken in the 2023 NHL Draft as the Blackhawks used their first second-round pick to draft him.

After going undrafted in 2022, Gajan put himself on the radar with his strong play for Slovakia at last year's World Juniors – a tournament in which he entered as the team's third-string goalie and wasn't even expected to play – which included an upset of team USA, a shutout of Latvia and a near upset of team Canada in an overtime game in which Gajan made 53 saves in an extraordinary individual effort.

His lateral quickness and overall athleticism is what separates him from other goaltending prospects and next season he'll return to the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. A realistic timeline (and goaltending prospects always take longer) could be in the four to five-year range before he might see any NHL action.