Thanks for joining us for our August 31-in-31 series! Every day this month we will be taking a look at each team and diving into their prospect depth charts, risers and fallers, graduating prospects, and top ten prospects in the system.
The Blackhawks offseason started earlier than accustomed to, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08 season. The upside to this is that they earned a top 10 pick for the first time since the 2007 entry draft where they selected Patrick Kane and that worked out pretty well. Hopefully history repeats itself and the Blackhawks can right the ship and get back to playoff hockey.
At the 2018 entry draft, the Hawks had 2 first round selections and used both picks to add to their increasingly deep pool of defensive prospects selecting offensive wizard Adam Boqvist (8th overall) and elite passer Nicolas Beaudin (27th overall). The rest of the draft (with the exception of goaltender Alexis Gravel) was used to select high risk/high reward forwards. The most promising among them being Jake Wise (69th overall) and Philipp Kurashev (120th overall).
Got time for a hockey joke?
Have you heard the one about how the Blackhawks went into the offseason and didn’t have cap issues?
Yeah, me neither.
Another offseason of cap management is upon us and GM Stan Bowman has been busy, highlighted by a nine player trade with the Arizona Coyotes in which the contract of Blackhawks legend Marian Hossa was moved. Giving up good, young talent to other teams so that they will take contracts off their books has been the move for the Hawks in the past and it has cost the team dearly. Oh, what could have been.
The future’s looking brighter for the Blackhawks, with an ever expanding group of talented prospects at all positions. As a matter of fact, this is the deepest the prospect pool has been in at least a decade. While success may be a couple of years away, at least by the standards set by the championship teams of the past 8 years, there is no reason a return to the playoffs can’t happen right away, especially if the newfound cap space is used appropriately.
Cam Ward, Chris Kunitz, Brandon Manning, MacKenzie Entwistle, Marcus Kruger, Jordan Maletta, Andrew Campbell, Jordan Schroeder
Best of luck with your new team
Marian Hossa, Vinnie Hinostroza, Jordan Oesterle, Tanner Kero, Tomas Jurco, Anthony Duclair, Adam Clendenning
Dylan Sikura– a lock to see time in Chicago this season, Sikura has seen his stock rise after two Hobey Baker nominated seasons at Northeastern University and a stint on Team Canada at the Spengler Cup.
Henri Jokiharju– the Swiss Army Knife of defenders, Jokiharju had a stellar season playing in Portland on both sides of the ice finishing with 71 points and a plus/minus of plus 47.
David Kampf– will look to expand his role after playing in 46 games for the Blackhawks last season. Coming into training camp in the best shape of his career is a great start.
Gustav Forsling– had multiple chances to stick around in Chicago but couldn’t do it. Looked a touch slower than the game played around him. An offseason surgery and extended recovery time doesn’t help.
Carl Dahlstrom– did not do much with his 11 games in the NHL last season. Needs to adjust to the faster pace of the NHL. Looked very tentative with the puck.
Radovan Bondra– seemed to have lost his scoring touch somewhere between junior hockey and the pro ranks. Injuries have really slowed his development down.