ESPN Ranks Blackhawks Prospects Among Top 100

Late last week, Craig Custance posted his updated top 100 prospects in the NHL, and the Blackhawks had some names on the list. Here’s where Custance ranked Chicago’s prospects.

34. Artemi Panarin, LW

Panarin had an exceptional season, ranking 5th fifth in scoring in the KHL, and had a great World Championship, leading to a contract with Chicago. Sometimes free agents in their mid-20s can be undeservedly hyped, but Panarin is the real deal. He’s very quick and agile, great with the puck and sees the ice at a high level. He’s is small, and not great in his own end, but scouts note he’s got a little edge to his game and can finish in tight spaces. He could slot into an NHL top 9 right away and maybe even a top 6.

61. Ryan Hartman, RW

Hartman was quite impressive as a first-year pro, and hit his stride in the second half with 25 points in 34 AHL games after the turn of the calendar. I don’t think Hartman is going to wow you with his skill, and he’s not exceptionally quick, but he certainly can create chances and finish. He’s also pretty good defensively and very involved in the physical portions of the game. Hartman earned a brief call-up this past season and it’s not inconceivable to think he could push for a lengthier stay in the NHL in 2015-16.

64. Ville Pokka, D

Pokka was part of the Nick Leddy trade with the Islanders. He was quite good in his first AHL season, playing in all situations effectively. Pokka is a very intelligent defenseman who moves the puck very well and understands how to position himself defensively pretty well. The physical nature of the North American pro game was an adjustment for him this past season, especially given he’s not the quickest guy. I think he’s close to being NHL ready, and given the moves Chicago made this summer, the opportunity is there for him to seize.

Honorable Mention: Gustav Forsling, D

Last week, Custance also updated his organizational rankings. He placed the Blackhawks 16th in the NHL; they were 14th previously. Here’s what he had to say about the overall depth in the organization:

The Chicago system remains very deep, and though they graduated a big name in Teuvo Teravainen, the signing of Artemi Panarin nearly brought the same amount of talent into the organization. I have not loved the Blackhawks’ recent draft classes, but their current farm team has a lot of talent, and there are numerous prospects who can step in and play soon, if not right away.

13 thoughts on “ESPN Ranks Blackhawks Prospects Among Top 100

  1. 3 out of 100 seems pretty underwhelming to me. But then again this is an ESPN ranking so doesn’t surprise me

  2. 30 teams, 100 prospects. Had 2 players barely graduate in Dano and Teravainen this past year. Had they played 10 fewer games theyd be on the list too. A team that’s had the last pick in the first round (trades aside) 3 of the last 6 years. Id say 3 is pretty good. Considering league average is 3.33.

    Earlier this year when Pronman released his rankings Teuvo wasnt on it because he had been recalled. Tab questioned where Teuvo would have been and Pronman said he didnt know the exact number but definitely top 12. Thought around 9th.

    Dano by some accounts was ranked 6th in the jackets organization behind Wennberg, Reilly, Bjorkstrand,Milano, and Rychel. Reilly is no longer with them. He had more points in half the NHL games as Wennberg. Bjorkstrand a 13 pick played in the WHL And he had similar numbers to Rychel. Dano and Teuvo are 2 months apart on age. Teuvo a 12 pick, Dano a 13. Hawks were 10 games away from having 5 in the top 100.

  3. I always take these lists and rankings with a major grain of salt. He may be accurate with his rankings and then again he may not be.

    He’s a writer who got an assignment to put together a prospect list, did a good job on it but who really knows. He says he wasn’t excited about the Blackhawks recent drafts, well that’s ok, it’s one guy’s opinion.

    Drafting is one thing, player development is the next key piece. The Blackhawks put a lot of weight on player development and devote significant resources to it. Are they perfect, no, but they emphasize it a great deal.

    These lists are nice and all but to me, following their player development activities is a lot more interesting and valuable.

  4. Note the comments on Hartman, came on strong the 2nd half. A couple of front office guys said he was the player who made the most significant jump when comparing the beginning of the season to the end.

    That’s what you look for, improvement over a few months and consistency.

  5. Agree with Hof, player development is crucial, and the Hawks set that bar pretty high. For me, I’m really looking forward to seeing how Pokka progresses. From what I’ve seen and read about him, he could be up a huge piece of our future D plans.

  6. I fucking hate espn and their insider BS. I also hate them when they report on hockey. I am sure the same list is available via TSN.

    If Artie is indeed a top 6 winger the Hawks really hit a home run with that signing!

    Curious to see where Johns is listed

  7. My problem w/ the list for THW – they don’t spell players names right, and there’s very little justification for the spreadsheet they embedded. I’ll take Custance’s experience over 3 guys I’ve never heard of.

  8. Hof-“Player development”??? great buzz word/term…. But – who have the Hawks “developed” recently? and I mean Hogs!!!

    Saad- no
    Kruger- SHL
    Shaw- No
    19,88,,, no
    Crawford – yes
    Bickell has probably been the Most “developed” Hog non goalie… and we now see where that has gone,

    the term is applicable for the Redwings…. but not recent Hawks-

    In Hawks case- it has been prospects- who can play- 86,20,16,65- haven’t seen any developments under SB regime-yet

  9. Wall,

    Player development is an ongoing thing, it doesn’t stop and it includes players traded since developing players into tradeable assets is important. What’s the point in arguing this with you, there are different definitions of players being “developed”, you have your bar set at a certain level with “yes” or “no” judgments. If you think player development is only applicable in terms of Rockford, think again.

  10. Hof- not an argument-

    Just saying- if you are defining the development to occur at non-NHL level…
    The new SB/Regime… has actually seen little “fruit” thus far…

    But- if you say it includes NHL level/development (developing on the job-20,65,16, etc.) – you can say or call it “development”- but I would just say those guys have High hockey IQ- and some skills to go with it (well coached- pre-Hawks system)

    Lastly- agree it is an On-going process… And Fruits from AHL- have not yet been picked….

  11. In another thread I seem to recall that someone said that Panarin spends a lot of time in the weight room. Perhaps I’m wrong about this, but in any event, in this photo Panarin’s arms don’t look particularly developed and he does not appear to be thick in the chest and shoulders. Doesn’t mean he won’t be a fine player but hopefully he has the skills to avoid big hits.

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