Blackhawks Trade Adam Clendening To Vancouver

On Thursday night, the Blackhawks and Canucks swapped defensemen, as Chicago traded prospect Adam Clendening to Vancouver for Gustav Forsling.

At the 2015 World Junior Championship, Forsling, 18, led all defensemen with eight points (three goals, five assists) in seven games and was named a tournament All Star as a member of Team Sweden.

In regular season play, he has five points in 35 games with Linkoping of the Swedish Hockey League this season, where he is a teammate of Hawks prospect defenseman Carl Dahlstrom (second round pick in 2013).

Forsling was selected by Canucks in the fifth round (126th overall) of the 2014 draft. In the team’s statement about the trade, General Manager Stan Bowman said this about Forsling:

“We are excited to add Gustav to a strong group of young talent in our organization,” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman in a statement. “He was one of the best players at the World Junior Championships a few weeks ago and this season has emerged as a regular contributor in the top professional league in Sweden. He’s an offensive defenseman that plays very well on the power play and has a big shot.”

Back in June, ESPN analyst Corey Pronman ranked Forsling 78th among prospects eligible for the 2014 Draft. On Jan. 6, Pronman wrote the following about Forsling following the WJC tournament:

Gustav Forsling showed his very good puck-moving abilities, and while he’s certainly an offensively tilted defenseman, and certainly made a number of defensive miscues, he also wasn’t a complete liability defensively, and was able to make stops on good forwards. He could end up being one of Vancouver’s better late-round picks of the past decade, an area where they have not had the best track record.

In October, Pronman said that “Forsling was Sweden’s go-to defenseman on the power play at last year’s under-18 World Championships, leading the tournament in goals among defenders. Forsling has been fourth in average ice time among Linkoping players, and is tied for the scoring lead among under-20 defensemen in the SHL… His size and defensive play are mediocre, but he’s such a skilled puck mover. One can dream on the his offensive potential if he continues to develop.”

Clendening, 22, was a second round pick by the Hawks in 2011. After posting 59 points in 74 games last season, he had registered only one goal and 12 assists in 38 this season. Once the top defensive prospect in the organization, the blue line in Rockford became crowded when TJ Brennan and Ville Pokka were added in the Nick Leddy trade.

Adam Clendening

50 thoughts on “Blackhawks Trade Adam Clendening To Vancouver

  1. Based on the little I saw of Clendening, I believe this is a good move. To me, he has an NHL shot and passing skill, but not so much NHL skating and defense. Stan flipped him for a younger “possible”?

    Obviously it does not address the need for a third pair /physical defenseman upgrade.

  2. Well, ok …

    One thing about this Forsling guy, he can skate. Undersized at 5’11 175 and a major work in progress in his own zone, but very talented with the puck.

    If in fact they soured on Clendening (speculation only), then at least they moved him for an asset and cleared some space in Rockford.

  3. I always had high hopes for Adam, and thought he could be a very good 2nd pairing type guy. But I will admit, he did not progress as quickly as I would have thought, so this looks like a move where they are cutting ties before his trade value is absent. I would have liked to see him in a package that gets us more, but I guess you gotta strike when the iron is hot so to speak…

    Gustav doesnt seem to offer anything that the hawks didnt already have, but its another body that might turn into something and it opens up room in rockford to get other guys more TOI. Gustav probably slots in somewhere around the 5-6 defenseman of our pospects… Gotta think Johns/Pokka/Dalhbeck/Brennen/TVR would all be ahead of him, and then hes in the mix of guys like Dalhstrom/Palliota/Fournier. Also, it seems the Hawks have been making more and more plays for talented scandinavian players (TT, Ranntaa, Dalhstrom, Dalhbeck, Kruger, Hammer, Nordstrom, Rasssumsen, Pokka), so it if it builds up that “scouting” base, maybe it makes it more likely we get guys to come over from the Swedish/Finnish leagues, and its a good move long term…

    At the draft, the one guy i really wanted the Hawks to get was Julius Honka (finland). I liked everything of the little i had seen of him leading up to the draft. Those types of player get less hype, but turn into very nice players.

    All in all, best of luck to adam… Hurts to have to cut a deal with the nucks… but i guess it will do.

  4. I am not sad to see Clendening go but was hoping the Hawks could have used him and Brennan as a sweetener along with Oduya to the Leafs for Franson. Franson would be a rental and the Leafs aren’t making the playoffs so they would eat a few months of Oduya to get a couple defensive prospects.

  5. Clendening was an ill fit for the Hawks and their system. Just not defensively responsible enough on the one hand, and not Brian Campbell or even Nick Leddy like gifted enough with the puck on his stick in terms of puck movement and offensive generation. Bowman made the right move before his trade value became marginal. Swedish kid appears to have a nice tool kit and upside.

  6. A very wise man once said “Cden is a bad skater” and “Cden is the next Pirri”…

    Smart move by SB… should have done it 6 months ago…

    If Gus can skate (like Hof suggests)… all ready a better fit for Hawks

    Hawks D next year… Needs 3 of these “Prospects to step up”
    assuming TvR recovers- 2

    And While Runbad- has improved greatly… I am still not sold…
    I will add… Rbad- has actually played “better” (in a very short sample) playing up with “Better” D men…

  7. if you watch the film of the Hawks’ new prospect from WJC, and read the scouting reports on an 18-year-old, those of us who have been around here long enough will feel some sense of deja vu. Sounds/feels a lot like we could clip in the name “Nick Leddy” for this kid… and we all know Bowman loves him some strong international performers. This kid was a missile launcher at the WJC this year, and it certainly helps that he’s on the same roster as Dahlstrom.

    TSN’s Bob McKenzie shared some strong insight last night on Twitter:

  8. The Hawks need a gritty physical stay at home defenseman. Johns has potential to fill this critical need, but 2014-15 has essentially been an injury riddled and lost season for the former Golden Domer. The Hawks and their playoff chances have rhe need right now. Hence the problem.

    With Sharp, Richards, Oduya, Rosival and probably Kruger all gone or cap casualties in the offseason then Bowman will have, hopefully, the ability to address what I believe is glaring hole on the back end. Hawks will also be banking heavily on Johns, Dahlbeck and TVR filling roles.

  9. Just another admission that the hawks talent pool on defense was never that good. Beginning to think that Stan is not really all that good in the talent identification area. He’s had 5+ years and not produced anyone of note. This team is still built on Tallon’s pick’s. You look at the top talent the Wings are bringing up (drafting in about the same place as the Hawks) and maybe some soul searching is in order.

  10. hawkfacts… I smell what you r cookin

    To add- I think that Larkin ( I think he is another Det. pick) looked to be the best player or 2 for US at WJC…

    But Cden- was a bust from the start- imo- SB was lucky/smart to get anything for him really

  11. Maybe the question is not “Why can’t Stan draft better”?, but “Why can’t we develop our younger players like the Red Wings do”?

    Let’s face it, most top 10 draft picks do well in the NHL. But how often do you have a top 10 draft pick? So the next best thing to do is to find a way to develop the lower draft picks and the Red Wings do that VERY well. They have done it well for many years, too.

    I know that you are going to miss on a pick more than hit a home run, but there is a flaw in our developmental system and it is starting to reflect poorly on Stan. However, the one thing that Stan is not afraid to do is trade someone that he drafted and try to improve the big club. Too many GM’s fall in love with THEIR guys and it ends up costing them their jobs.

    I still believe in Stan and our coaching staff.

  12. SB can’t draft? He gets dinged for drafting Clendening but doesn’t get credit for Saad or Shaw? Step away from the edge, ‘facts.

  13. Reg – I must agree with your points about Red Wings/drafting/developing, and I also believe in Stan and the coaching staff (- except in the area of the miserable power play…and that may be entirely on the players? Too much jerking-around…).

  14. Bowman has been excellent in drafting and finding players. His greatest gift is that he is objective and not above correcting things or moving on when somebody doesn’t work out. I also love his Scandanavian strategy of the past 3 years. Hawks have a very nice mix of intelligent, hard working skill and role players in the system from Sweden, Finland, etc. And their has been conscious decision to avoid the Russkies, unlike his old man’s approach in Detroit and NY.

    The Hawks are en route to their 7th straight season of playoff hockey in the rugged Western Conference. That’s an accomplishment even though I am not optimistic about this season and fear we are becoming the Penguins 2.0. BIG strategically important offseason coming for Bowman.

  15. Good points Reg. Could it be that there is a difference in philosophy between Q and Stan on developing young talent?

  16. gotta agree w/ Reg and Rufus… it hasn’t been bad drafting- that is always a crap shoot— but who has Rockford developed???

    Saad- no
    Shaw- was in Rock- very short time
    TvR- No!!!

  17. Rufus, I think you are exactly right, Stan does draft / think / proceed with an open mind. He looks at every league and country for players, too. I like that about him. I don’t there is a “disconnect” between Q and Stan at all. In fact, I think they work really well as a team and that is where all our success comes from, their willingness to work together toward a Stanley Cup.

    But the hardest thing to do as a scout, coach or GM is to predict when, where and how far a player will go in their development. There comes a point in every young athletes life when they hit the proverbial “wall” and stop developing and progressing as a player. That’s the reason there are only a given number of pro hockey players.

    They say that athletes physical attributes are all developed by the age of 20. From there forward it is all in their heads. Some players can grasp the development and get better and some just hit the wall and can’t get to the pro level. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it just happens. A few guys make it……..most don’t. The minor leagues are full of really good players who, for one reason or another, couldn’t get to the top of the mountain.

    Stan is doing what is best for the team, he keeps turning the wheel of players until you find someone who can help you at the NHL level. There is no shame in that.

  18. I have to believe that Vancouver initiated this trade with the loss of Bieksa and lack of depth in their system so SB must be very high on the potential of Forsling. Cden hasn’t stood out from other Rockford options and it would appear by this trade that Pokka is viewed with higher potential in the near term. Wish Cden the best – hope he isn’t the second coming of Dylan Olson who was put on waivers by the Hawks affiliate in Florida yesterday.

  19. Tab–I’ve been leary of every single “news news” blog that is put out because anyone who can type, posts one…but your’s?! Is pretty good. Good job! PS. When you don’t clear waivers next year do you think Bob McKenzie will pick you up? Again, Thanks!

  20. Wall, I agree 100% with you. But without the young talent that Stan brought into the system, we couldn’t have traded for some of the players that we have, now.

    Let’s trust the Hawks GM and coaches for now. The playoffs will tell us everything that we need to know about this team.

  21. Wall, you nailed it on C-Dening no doubt. I also think Tab is correct on Paliotta.

    If Vermont does not make the NCAA tourney, his college season could be over in March and he would head straight to the A. As a right-handed shot and top prospect he plays right away.

    As for Forsling, the guy looks like a stud on the YouTube video, just the way he lugs the mail up ice and shoots the puck is very impressive. The defensive side will have to be taught and developed.

    Interesting that Forsling is also on Carl Dahlstrom’s team in Sweden. Dahlstrom has played all 43 games. I wonder if you European scouts got a good look at Forsling in the SEL as well as World Juniors and told Stan to go for it.

    So with Forsling, Dahlstrom and Norell you have 3 Swedish defensemen that the Hawks have high hopes for with 2 others – Robin Press and Andreas Soderburg a couple of late round dark horses. Wow that’s a lot. You have to figure/hope that 2 of those 5 will become NHLers at some point.

  22. With CapGeek gone, it is harder to look up prospects contracts. Is Forsling on an ELC and how many years is he committed??

  23. I have been busy but missed that CapGeek was gone until this morning when I started trying to research this guy. I had to hold my nose and go to the cap central area of hockeybuzz. It appears there that Forsling is not yet under an NHL contract as I don’t see him at all on Vancouver’s page…(Clendening is still listed for the Hawks so they have not updated yet.)

    Clendening was always one of those guys who looked good on paper but when I watched him play he seemed prone to silly mistakes, though fewer of those lately. I did note that Clendening is a UFA at the end of this year so I wonder if Stan had been trying to extend him at a cap-friendly number–knowing that if he is going to fit into our cap hell next year he had to be CHEAP…if he could not extend him, maybe he decided to move on?

    Regarding the above inference that we are not drafting well, comparing to Detroit, the Wings have certainly been forced to dip into their AHL talent by losing players to father time, and their young guys brought along slowly have kicked butt–again. However, we have some players I think could look pretty good if given the chance…and next year’s cap hell will be such chance for Pokka, Brennan, Dahlbeck,, Paliotta, Hartman, McNeill, Danault, Johns and maybe even Ross and Darling. And as mentioned, TVR, Saad and Shaw have already panned out….as well as who’d that other guy? Oh yeah 86.

  24. Who has Rockford “produced”?
    Bryan Bickell: 180 games w/ the IceHogs
    Ben Smith: 155 games
    Corey Crawford: 147 games
    Niklas Hjalmarsson: 99 games
    Andrew Shaw: 66 games
    Brandon Saad: 31 games

  25. Also, re: Rockford developing NHL players – your arguments are great in a vacuum.

    Before the 2010 Cup, Versteeg & Brouwer spent some of their professional career in Rockford (NOT Norfolk) before coming to Chicago. Other guys like Bolland and Byfuglien and Fraser spent time in Norfolk before Rockford became the Blackhawks AHL affiliate.

    Rewind to 2010. The Hawks have next to NOTHING for a talent pool (remember: we were talking about Shawn Lalonde, Kyle Beach and Jack Skille that summer). Stan Bowman burned the NHL roster half-way to the ground and has worked to replenish both the organization AND the NHL roster while keeping the team in the playoffs for 5 years. NOT easy to pull off.

    Furthermore, as I’ve written about on a number of occasions and which is specifically worth mentioning here, Bowman has drafted a LOT of college-bound players over the last 5 years. Kevin Hayes never played in Rockford because he spent four years at BC. Johns, Holl, Paliotta, Calnan, Hinostroza, Motte, Hayden, Schmaltz… all college players. Then you have players like Dahlstrom and Norell who are overseas when drafted, so limited time in Rockford (see Teravainen, Kruger as NHL roster examples). It’s a mix of longer developing pipeline players – your McNeills and Danaults and Nordstroms of the world – spending time in Rockford while others mature in college or their home country.

    Let’s not point at Rockford as a black hole of talent. It’s FAR from that. But there are only 12 forwards and 6 defensemen that can dress every night and most of those spots are taken. We’re now five drafts into Bowman’s tenure. Let’s see how the talent pool looks as guys like Leddy and Oduya and Rozsival are replaced internally. VERY rarely do guys jump straight to the NHL on a championship-caliber roster. In 2008, the Hawks were NOT a championship organization. In 2010, they did NOT have the depth to be considered an elite organization past the NHL roster (and even that 2010-11 squad was lacking). Now, the Hawks have strong depth in the organization in a good mix of forwards, left and right-handed shooting defensemen and all different ages from 18-23.

  26. Tab, your points are why I don’t worry too much about the future of this organization. If this guy doesn’t make it, then the next guy might. The only thing that worries me is how many undersized players we seem to have in the system. That’s why I was happy to see the Rasmussen signing last year and look forward to seeing if he can play big.
    Would love to move up in this years draft and get Pavel Zacha a 6’3″ center that skates well and plays both ends of the ice. Just want to be able to match up against the Kings, Ducks, Blues and now the Jets, too.

  27. to hawkfacts’ ludicrious comparison to the Red Wings:

    Let’s talk about the “top talent the Wings are bringing up,” shall we?

    Gustav Nyquist – 25 years old. Hasn’t played more than 57 games in an NHL regular season yet. 2008 4th round pick.
    Tomas Tatar – 24 years old. Jumped into the NHL lineup as a regular last year – at 23. was a 2nd round pick in 2009.
    Riley Sheahan – 23 years old. This is his first full NHL regular season. He was a 1st round pick in 2010.
    Tomas Jurco – 22 years old. Spent 1 1/2 years in the AHL before coming up to DET. was a 2nd round pick in 2011.
    Brendan Smith – turns 26 on Feb. 8. Was a first round pick in 2007. Last year was his first full season in the NHL.
    Danny DeKeyser – 24 years old. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Western Michigan in 2013.
    Luke Glendening – 25 years old. Spent 4 years @ U of Michigan before signing as a college free agent.

    So please, hawk”facts” – enlighten me about how the Wings are hurrying all of their top talent up to the NHL so much quicker than the Hawks, and how much younger they are than Chicago. Maybe the jumping to conclusions crowd should do the soul searching…

  28. re: Mike57 – the 6’3 center who plays both ends of the ice well and skates well who you’re craving is at Yale right night. His name is John Hayden. And he’s coming soon…

  29. Looking forward to seeing him! and I hope Mark McNeill is finally figuring it out. He looks like he can play big.

  30. Tab, really good points. On John Hayden, being he’s a sophomore right now and there was buzz he really intended to stay at Yale for the degree, it might be a while. Not nitpicking on your “coming soon” remark at all … have you heard something I haven’t or were you commenting based on how nicely he appears to be developing?

    Now Paliotta for sure I feel qualifies as “coming soon” …

  31. Hof, you watch a lot of Rockford games I thought. How is McNeill coming along? We need some of the size guys to step up and if it takes 3 or 4 years I am afraid our guys will be beat to a pulp.

  32. The thing with size is, the guy still has to have great skill and elite skating ability to make it in the NHL.

    Guess these past/present ‘hawks:

    1) “____ is the offensively gifted defensemen who likes to join the rush and shoot the puck. He also controls the physical aspect of the game and does not hesitate to play the body when given the opportunity. At times he overworks the puck and gets lost in his defensive coverage. Given his shooting and skating abilities, ____ possesses the necessary skills to be a successful offensive defenseman.”

    2) “____ is the epitome of a power forward. In addition to his edgy play, ____’s ability to put himself in opportunistic scoring situations gives him top-line potential. He sees the ice well and is exceptionally adept at both positioning in the offensive zone as well as creating space for linemates. One of the best aspects of his game is what he does without the puck. ____ plays with an aggressive edge and will both deliver punishing hits and drop the gloves when necessary. He is also a good passer, though playmaking is not his forte.”

    3) “____ has always had the ability to take over shifts since he is a huge, strong and powerful hitter, a good skater with a heavy shot.”

    Not quite as big, but some guys who are known more for their D in the NHL:

    4) “____ has above average speed and possesses a heavy shot. He drives to the net well and shows no fear in doing it. Loves to finish his checks and can deliver thundering hits despite his size, as he plays a gritty game. He also uses his quickness and good positioning to take away space.”

    5) “He has displayed exceptional playmaking ability along with a gifted sense for the game. His combination of agile speed and a solid shot can produce plenty of razzle-dazzle in the open ice. He needs to get stronger to handle the size of NHL defensemen.”

    6) “____ is an exceptionally skilled playmaker with elite hockey sense. He likes to set up plays and find his teammates with tape-to-tape passes. Has become much stronger which has improved his game, although he still could use additional strength. Works well in all three zones and has leadership qualities.”

    1) Hjalmarsson
    2) Brouwer
    3) Bickell
    4) Bolland
    5) Frolik
    6) Kruger

    Notice the comments on the offensive skill/skating ability of all of the guys on the list. Quick decision-making, quick feet, and skilled hands are the most important things; size is an added bonus.

  33. I also love it that when guys don’t spend enough time in Rockford then it doesn’t count that they developed them. But when guys did spend time in Rockford, it was the previous management’s success. The chicken little brigade out in full force today. We lose one game to the kings and we can’t win without a bruising blue-liner, we can’t develop players, we are turning into the Penguins…

  34. Mike57: I like McNeill & see him as a 3rd line winger. Decent hands, decent skater, his development issue is consistency to his game, like most bigger guys. He’s got a good shot with a quick release, he’s not afraid to get his nose dirty but I wish he’d initiate it more … but that is always my pet peeve with bigger guys. I always liked the Jocelyn Lemieux type guy who could skate and bang and loved doing it.

    I am not a sky is falling type but at the same time I hate seeing games where not only do they lose but get manhandled too. Not fighting but physical play. I feel strongly the Blackhawks need more of that but where are they going to get it? It would have to be a money for money trade and everything else would have to line up too.

  35. Dillon Fournier called up from Indy to Rockford, he takes Clendening’s spot. Now they can get a better look at him to see how he does against tougher competition. In my view Dillon is a long term project, at least two years seasoning needed, maybe more. Hopefully he develops quicker and I’m wrong.

    Wolves are at Rockford tonight, it should be on local TV here in Chicagoland.

  36. Not a fan of the move but I applaud Stan for being proactive and getting something for a guy who clearly wasn’t going to play on the Hawks. I liked Cden and was hoping that he would be a fixture in the future. Cden had his shot this year and couldn’t crack the roster. Q will NEVER give a kid a roster spot. All the current Hawks have earned there chances, no doubt. I’m not sold on the quick smaller puck movers anyways. I prefer bigger physical guys on the back end but that’s just my personal preference. As for the guy the Hawks got back, guess we will see. By the way Cden becomes the top defensive prospect in the Nucks farm system according to NHLfutures.

    I assume Hawks fans will see Cden soon enough in Van city.

  37. Tim, good post. I like having all these Scandinavian players (and more to come) in the organization.

    Reg, I agree/To add to what Tab said… in 2010 when we couldn’t keep 10of20 dressed players instead of holding on to as many as we could each yr and letting it bleed. Bowman took the hit all at once and stock piled the farm. It has taken 4-5 yrs but now were going to benefit from that for the next 10yrs. Like you said its normal for a few to make it and a lot do not, and like some other guys said Bowman moves the player for more future assets/something we need now when the player isint going to be in our roster but can play in the league on some teams.

    Now on the yrs we cant keep some players (36/67) and the ones this yr, we will be able to replace those positions with good prospects/acquire from outside with one our plenty of stock assets. Instead of having to play shorthanded (depth wise) like we did in 2011. By doing that for one yr/that yr, we will always be able to add/replace positions to have full roster/enough depth.

    Farm system, Bowman has got the wheel to full circle, now we can just roll it along.

    Mike, nhlumbers.com is another salarycap site. None are capgeek worthy.

    EspoForever, ‘who’d that other guy? Oh yeah 86’
    TEUVO!!! Hes going to make us forget (not worry) about who we didn’t get to keep once hes in his 2nd and 3rd full seasons.

  38. Tab- let me re-phrase who has Rock produced in SB era???

    And Saad was ready from exhibition… So Please DON’T say – Hogs “Produced” him

    as was Shaw to a lesser degree… 20 and 65 were NOT developed by HOGS-

  39. Development of players through the AHL is only one way to the show. Personally I don’t care how the player is developed (AHL, College, International), the critical question is do we have a talent pool that will supply the team with key needs to remain a contending team for an extended period. I believe SB has increased the odds of this substantially over the past few years.

  40. Wow, a gazillion posts over this 5th grade trade? This is far more absurd than all the Morin posts (admittedly, of which i partook of). Who cares about Clendenning or this other young guy? By the way, all the best to Morin, hospitalized for accelerated heartbeat. Young guy, not good.

  41. Dave- you are completely confused- if you think Saad was “developed” by Hogs!!!

    Gosh- anyone playing twice as many games with Hogs – should be the 2nd coming of Gretzky w/ your logic!!!

  42. Tab you nailed it. There are only 13 forward spots and 7 defense at the NHL level. (12 and 6 as you put it ).

    The Hawks roster is almost uncrackable as a “kid” unless you are special and I really think Stan and his scouts are so precise in their patience and assessment of prospects that they really don’t give away gems.

    Morin has not wowed anybody with his big chance with Columbus. Pirri is not tearing up the scoresheet, Olsen just got waived and sent back to the ahl, yes jimmy hayes is scoring. He has an NHL body and good for him for going to the greasy areas to score.
    sb and company might have been wrong about him. But the trade now is pretty much Hayes for Versteeg. The verdict is still out. If steeger produces in playoffs then it was a good deal, probably for both teams.

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