Who will the Chicago Blackhawks draft with the No. 2 pick? A closer look at 5 potential options.

When the Chicago Bears held the No. 1 NFL draft pick in 2023, the phone lines were buzzing before the Bears jumped at the best offer from the Carolina Panthers.

It was a different story when the Blackhawks had the No. 1 pick in last year’s NHL draft.

“Yeah, I really didn’t hear from a lot of teams,” general manager Kyle Davidson said.

Two words: Connor Bedard. Why bother?

This year’s draft on June 28-29 in Las Vegas is a different matter.

Had fortune smiled on the Hawks and awarded them the No. 1 pick a second year in a row, the selection would have been Macklin Celebrini. End of story.

Instead, the Hawks retained the No. 2 pick in last week’s draft lottery.

“There’s pain that goes into ending up at that point,” Davidson said after the lottery, “but as we sit here now at No. 2 overall, there’s going to be a huge reward.”

Having that pick — along with a second first-rounder, No. 20, as well as three second-round picks — carries a bit more intrigue than the cut-and-dried first pick.

“Maybe there will be more action at 2. There certainly wasn’t any action at 1 (last year),” Davidson said. “Everyone is pretty tight-lipped, not only about their players but their draft boards. You do hear some rumors, scout talk, but I don’t put too much stock in that unless I’m hearing it directly from a GM. I’m very skeptical of the information.”

It seems highly unlikely the Hawks would part with the No. 2 pick, but you never know. This is a team that started with no first-round picks in 2022 and ended up with three — and then went against convention and selected defenseman Kevin Korchinski at No. 7, considered a reach at the time.

We’re taking a look over the next few days at potential options for the Hawks’ five picks in the first two rounds. Here are five possibilities at No. 2.

1. Ivan Demidov

The consensus says the Hawks will take Demidov, a right wing for SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL junior league. Demidov has had a couple of knee injuries since October, and according to reports he’s under contract with the Russian league.

Davidson indicated the Hawks will do their due diligence on both fronts but said for now, “I don’t think it’s any concern at all.”

With Demidov in Russia, the Hawks aren’t able to scout him to the degree they’re able to scrutinize other international prospects, somewhat of a risk for such a premium pick.

“It’s a little bit of a hurdle in that, of course, there’s comfort in (seeing with your) eyes and being present in the rink and watching them in person,” Davidson said. “But we trust our scout in Russia. He does really good work, and then there’s also the video that you can rely on.”

Those challenges didn’t sway the Hawks from drafting Roman Kantserov with the No. 44 pick in the second round last year.

“The process we ran with Roman last year felt thorough enough that we took him, and I wouldn’t expect that to change with any player this year,” Davidson said.

Demidov is NHL Central Scouting’s second-ranked international skater.

“Arguably he’s one of the most skilled players in the draft class,” Dan Marr, vice president of NHL Central Scouting, told the Tribune. “He’s got that quickness with his skates and speed but also his quickness with his smarts.

“Whoever he plays with, that line’s going to be a productive line because he sees the ice so well and he makes plays at top speed. And then he can finish and score.”

Some have compared the 5-foot-11, 181-pound Demidov to 2023 No. 7 pick Matvei Michkov, but Marr said Demidov’s elusiveness puts him in the mind of someone else.

“You’re talking about the likes of a (Minnesota Wild forward Kirill) Kaprizov, those types of players,” he said.

2. Artyom Levshunov

Marr said the emergence of some special defensemen makes the top of the draft more interesting.

“We have some high-caliber defensemen in our top 10,” he said. “What’s intriguing about them is that they all play a different style.”

The Hawks invested first-round picks two years ago in Korchinski and Sam Rinzel, and they extended Alex Vlasic last month. And with other high-value defensive prospects in the pipeline, you’d think that might rule out drafting a defenseman.

“I don’t think so,” Davidson said. “I think we’re heavy on defense, we’re heavy on forward. … Strength at those different positions just means that we can go ‘best player.’ We can rank the board accordingly and then just go with what fits the best.”

Two defensemen in particular stand out: Levshunov and Anton Silayev.

The 6-2, 208-pound Levshunov helped Belarus win gold at the 2022 IIHF Under-20 World Junior Championship in Denmark (Division I, Group A) and helped Michigan State reach the quarterfinals of this year’s NCAA Tournament.

“He can contribute offensively, but he’s just got a complete game,” Marr said. “His understanding with positioning and reading the play, moving the puck, it’s really high-end.”

Marr said it was hard for him and his staff to sort out the top defensemen, but “you can ask the question, and we do this during our meetings: ‘Who’s the player you’d want to build your team around? Who are the two (NHL) guys you would compare them to most?’

“And (for) Levshunov, (Zeev) Buium and (Zayne) Parekh, we’re rattling off Norris Trophy names.”

3. Anton Silayev

The 6-7, 211-pound defenseman made a strong impression this season and climbed to No. 1 in the international rankings — one place ahead of Demidov.

Silayev, who turned 18 on April 11, became one of six players 17 or younger to play at least one game in Russia’s top professional league.

“A tower on ice with an excellent physical presence,” Central Scouting says. “(He) has improved a lot year over year and is now used in all game situations. Surprising mobility for a player of his size, he is active, alert and involved.”

4. Cayden Lindstrom

The center’s season with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers was stalled a couple of times by injuries — hand surgery and a back injury — but he remains a solid candidate.

“He never really got back into full form,” Marr said. “But when he’s at full form, he’s a force to be reckoned with.”

Lindstrom finished with 27 goals, including at least one goal in nearly 60% of his games (19 of 32) and eight multigoal outings, according to Central Scouting.

“This is your power forward who can play in all situations,” Marr said. “On the skill side, he can make the plays, set up plays, get to the net, finish the scoring chances, but then he can own the front of the net, he can own the corners, he can own the play along the boards.”

5. Cole Eiserman

Before the season, he looked like a lock at No. 2. But now? Who knows?

“We’ve had him at 12, we’ve had him at 8 — it’s all over the map with him,” Marr said. “But there’s no denying that he is a goal scorer.”

So why did his stock drop?

The NHL’s chief scout said Eiserman tends to look one-dimensional at times.

“You have to be able to play in other moments of the game, other situations, and you just can’t always be put on the ice on the power play to get set up to score off the one-timer,” Marr said.

The Boston University signee had a whopping 58 goals and 31 assists in 57 games for the U.S. National Training Development Program’s Under-18 team. He also had nine goals and one assist in seven games at the U18 worlds, though he expressed disappointment about being snubbed for the world juniors.

Marr said Eiserman has been taking steps in the right direction, so “he could move back up.”

“He’s not going to hurt his team in other parts of the game, but he is going to deliver on the goal-scoring side,” Marr said.