Kalynuk was drafted in the seventh round of the 2017 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers but he was not signed by Philly within their “window of exclusivity” and therefore the Flyers lost exclusive negotiating rights with him.
Lazerus noted that Kalynuk reminded some scouts of a former Hawks defenseman:
The swift-skating 6-foot-1, 189-pound Kalynuk — one college source said Kalynuk reminded him a bit of former Blackhawks speedster Nick Leddy — is another gifted offensive-minded defenseman in the organizational depth chart. He was a team captain and power-play quarterback at Wisconsin as a junior and posted seven goals and 21 assists in 36 games. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection. He had 25 points in each of his first two seasons with the Badgers.
Broad Street Hockey, SB Nation’s Flyers blog, mentions that Kalynuk would have been buried on Philadelphia’s organizational depth chart and probably has a quicker path to the NHL in Chicago.
The Blackhawks offer an easier path to the NHL for Kalynuk, who would have been competing with the likes of young up-and-comers Egor Zamula and Cam York, among others, in the near future to join an already young — and good — Flyers defensive corps. It’s not hard to imagine a scenario that would have Kalynuk on Chicago’s opening night roster next season, which would have been hard to imagine here in Philadelphia.
Second City Hockey, SB Nation’s Blackhawks blog, notes that Kalynuk “won’t be eligible to play this summer if the NHL’s 24-team Return To Play tournament begins Aug. 1.” Chicago also has former Badgers defender Josh Ess in their system.