The Blackhawks prospect camp is under way, and there will be a lot said about how some of the new faces mix in with names some fans have become more familiar with over the past few years.
Not many of these players are playing for a shot at the United Center ice this season, but they’ll certainly show the organization how they look next to the rest of the team’s best young talent.
Here are a few things to watch as the prospects skate this week.
“Team C” is loaded.
Up front this “team” has most of the top prospects at the camp. Teuvo Teravainen, Phillip Danault, Mark McNeill, Ryan Hartman, Dennis Rasmussen, Garret Ross, Alex Broadhurst and Matt Carey. On the blue line, Team C boasts Stephen Johns, Adam Clendening, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Mathieu Brisebois and Dillon Fournier. And in net, Mac Carruth and Kent Simpson will share the ice.
Danault, McNeill, Teravainen and Hartman, represent all of the Blackhawks’ first round picks between the soon-to-be-departed Kevin Hayes and this summer’s addition, Nick Schmaltz.
Brisebois, who was acquired with David Rundblad at the trade deadline, was Fournier’s partner on the blue line for Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) in 2012-13, where they combined for 97 points (73 for Brisebois).
Another big week for Hayden?
John Hayden stole the show at last year’s prospect camp before heading to Yale for his freshman year. The 6-3, 210 forward won’t turn 20 until mid-February, and will get a chance to skate with a couple skilled wings who also spent last season in the college ranks, Anthony Louis and Vince Hinostroza, on Team A.
Blue line impressions
The Blackhawks and IceHogs are deep on the blue line, but there are a few names at the camp this year who won’t likely skate on either of those rosters who are worth your attention.
- Carl Dahlstrom is only 19, but he’s already 6-4 and 211 pounds and plays a strong game on both ends of the ice. He isn’t as physical as a Stephen Johns, but he has good hands, is an excellent passer, and sees the ice well.
- Michael Paliotta will head back to Vermont after posting 27 points (five goals, 22 assists) in 38 games last season. The 21-year-old is listed at 6-3 and 198 pounds and had a good season last year.
- Andreas Soderberg wasn’t one of the names that jumped off the page for many folks during the draft, but he’s another intriguing Swede in this year’s camp. Selected by the Hawks in the fifth round (#148), he was one of the youngest players drafted this summer (turned 18 on June 16). Soderberg is listed at 6-4 and 200 pounds and had a fair amount of buzz heading into the draft; after not appearing in Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings, Soderberg was ranked 29th among European skaters in the final rankings.