August 31-in-31: Chicago Blackhawks
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 20 prospects in the system.
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The Blackhawks missed the playoffs…. again. For an organization that has won three of the past 10 Stanley Cups, this is beyond unacceptable. Everyone in the organization acknowledges this and vows to make the necessary changes. Then again, that’s what they said last offseason.
If you are a Blackhawks fan, what makes you think this year will be any different?
Maybe it’s the types of players they added through free agency. Maybe it’s the trades they made both during last season and this offseason. Probably a combination of both. Either way, there seems to be a buzz surrounding the team again, something that has been missing the past couple of seasons. It might just be time to get excited about Blackhawks playoff hockey again.
For a look back on the July 31 in 31 click here: 31-in-31: Chicago Blackhawks
Dylan Strome- Strome seems to have played his last AHL game. His chemistry with Alex Debrincat is too good, and to paraphrase Dr Evil, they complete each other.
Chad Krys and Nicolas Beaudin- both rearguards are entering their first year of professional hockey and both should start the season in Rockford unless someone has an amazing training camp.
Adam Boqvist- while not a lock to start the season in the NHL, it would appear that a position with the big club is his to lose. It’s a big jump from juniors to the NHL but Boqvist looks as ready as any prospect in a long time.
MacKenzie Entwistle- will take his large frame and intense forecheck to the professional ranks this year.
Brandon Hagel- was one of the more noticable forwards at the rookie camp. Served notice that he wants to take the next step.
Philipp Kurashev- probably the player that has seen his stock rise the most in the past year. Has gone from a middle round draft pick to an eye catching, type A prospect.
Kirby Dach- how does a third overall pick raise his stock higher? Watch any of the highlights from the rookie camp and you will see a player that does not want to return to junior hockey. If he continues to play like he did at the rookie camp, the Saskatoon Blades will be looking for a new “ best player”.
Victor Ejdsell- the main piece of the Ryan Hartman trade when it happened, Ejdsell took a massive step backwards last season. Now slated to play in the SHL with Farjestad BK, have we seen the last of the big forward?
Alex Nylander- was very underwhelming at rookie camp. Will definitely see time in the NHL with the Blackhawks but will need to put in more effort to stay there. Much more.
Prospect Depth Chart
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Alex Nylander Dylan Strome Maxim Shalunov
Dominik Kubalik Kirby Dach Aleksi Saarela
Michal Teply Dylan Sikura Artur Kayumov
John Quennville Philipp Kurashev Andrei Altybarmakyan
Left Defence Right Defence
Nicolas Beaudin Adam Boqvist
Chad Krys Ian Mitchell
Top 20 Fantasy Prospects
- Dylan Strome
- Adam Boqvist
- Kirby Dach
- Nicolas Beaudin
- Alex Nylander
- Ian Mitchell
- Philipp Kurashev
- Dylan Sikura
- Dominik Kubalik
- Chad Krys
- Kevin Lankinen
- Maxim Shalunov
- Aleksi Saarela
- Evan Barratt
- Artur Kayumov
- John Quennville
- Michal Teply
- Matthew Highmore
- MacKenzie Entwistle
- Andrei Altybarmakyan
All things considered, this should be an exciting year in Chicago. The first full season under coach Colliton. The additions of Ryan Carpenter, Calvin de Haan and Robin Lehner as well as the recycling of Andrew Shaw all point to a very different looking team than the one that missed the playoffs. This training camp has different feel leading into it. Make no mistake, if you are a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks, you should be very optimistic. This is the year you return to the dance.
Thank you for taking your time to read this 31 in 31. As always, you can follow along with me on Twitter @fiveminutemajor.
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