Hawks Prospects Impress Against Wings

In their final home preseason game before the 2016-17 season, the Blackhawks got a terrific showing from the youngsters vying for a roster spot.

Ryan Hartman opened the scoring in the first period, flipping a backhand past Jimmy Howard for his first of the preseason. Tyler Motte made a great play along the boards to get the puck to Duncan Keith, whose shot rebounded to Hartman in front of the net.

Later in the first, Vince Hinostroza joined Hartman with his first of the preseason. Hinostroza tipped an Andrew Desjardins shot through Howard to extend Chicago’s lead to 2-0. Hinostroza was buzzing the entire night and continued his impressive preseason.

The second period began with another prospect making a play. Alexandre Fortin, who scored his first of the preseason in Detroit, made a really nice play to set up Richard Panik for his first of the preseason.

Just for good measure, Nick Schmaltz – playing primarily at center on Tuesday night – got into the scoring as well in the second.

Hartman, Hinostroza and Schmaltz have all had a good camp.

But the prospect turning the most heads continues to be Fortin, who scored his second of the preseason in the third to extend the Blackhawks’ lead to 5-1.

Fortin got to skate on a wing with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane and showed a lot of patience and maturity throughout the night. Hartman made a nice play to begin the rush that ultimately ended with Fortin’s goal; the assists on Fortin’s goal went to another rookie, Michal Kempny, and Marcus Kruger.

Keith had two assists in his first preseason action and didn’t look like he had missed a beat since last season. He skated mostly with Trevor van Riemsdyk, who is in a battle for a roster spot of his own with Gustav Forsling having another solid outing on the blue line.

Because he hadn’t registered a point with the rest of the kids, Forsling got himself on the board late in the third. On a power play, he made a beautiful shot-pass to Anisimov on the doorstep for a redirected goal to make the final score 6-1 in favor of the Blackhawks.

Corey Crawford got the start and was perfect in his half of the game. Scott Darling replaced him and allowed a second period goal to Louis-Marc Aubry. Brian Campbell and Keith each had two assists in the win as the Hawks limited Detroit to only 18 shots on net.

So how did the young players perform:

  • Kempny skated 20:36 with three hits and two blocked shots.
  • Forsling skated 18:36 with an assist.
  • van Riemsdyk skated 18:48 with four blocked shots.
  • Motte skated 13:42 with three blocked shots and two hits.
  • Fortin skated 15:29 with one goal and one assist.
  • Schmaltz won five of 14 faceoffs and scored one goal in 14:15.
  • Hinostroza had one goal, one takeaway and one hit in 11:24.
  • Hartman had one goal and zero penalty minutes in 12:54.

The Blackhawks’ final preseason game is in St. Louis on Saturday night. This impressive young group of players will make the decisions in the coming days tough for the Hawks’ coaching staff.

53 thoughts on “Hawks Prospects Impress Against Wings

  1. Very impressive display by the young guys. I still don’t think there is a spot for Fortin but man where did this kid come from? He made two amazing cross ice passes and his goal also showed very high skill level. What a great scouting job. Also looks to me like Forsling will get some real games before a final decision is made. Nice to have some tough decisions.

  2. Imagine a lineup without tootoo, mashinter, rosival, etc

    Panarin, Toews, Hossa, Anisimov, Kane, Kruger, Panik, Desi, Hino, Hartman, Motte, Schmaltz, Fortin, Keith, Hammer, Seabrook,Campbell, Kempny, Forsling, TVR

    That group of players, (minus 2) I feel could contend for a cup. The prospects bring a level of energy and drive that was missing in a lot of players last season.

  3. Never thought Fortin had a chance to crack opening night…but he just might.

    Hinostroza I know scored and had some good plays defensively. It seems like he fly’s through the neutral zone and his hands can’t keep up with his feet and he loses the puck. Or tries too stick handle too much and coughs it up or fails to get a shot off. But man he can really skate.

    I like what Hartman brings. Provided he stays out of the box. Something that Ted Dent was on him for last year.

    Schmaltz definitely looks more comfortable in the middle…hes just not good at the dot. He looked lost on the left, better on the right. But he wants to play in the middle. Just win some draws. Probably Rockford bound.

    Forsling…let’s think on how he makes the team. He’s a left D. Campbell has played both sides. TVR would be the odd man out. But personally I don’t want to ship him out as you’re going to need him eventually. Yet you don’t want 8D eating into that cushion. At least I don’t. TVR would get claimed on waivers so that’s no bueno either. Place Rozsival on waivers, send him down…but keep in Chicago as a translator??? Or just play Forsling a game and send him back. If you do keep him do you pair the Swedes together and bump Campbell down with Kempny? How can the biggest flaw last season now be a big strength and so damn complicated?

  4. Fun game to watch. It was all the youngsters tonight with a little help from the regulars. Yeah don’t think Fortin will make the team from the start but who knows maybe we could see him later this season. Even got 1st star tonight. Good story.
    Feeling a little better now about our prospects going forward.
    4th line tonight was great, too. Hino-Desi-Tootoo. Intriguing!

  5. I think Motte and Fortin have earned a spot on this team. Desi and Tootoo will be on the team whether we like it or not. That leaves spot #12 &13. So Q must decide between Schmaltz, Hino, Hartman, Mash or Moose. The three youngsters need playing time so there is no way they are going to be #13 and sit. Mash or Moose will probably be #13. That means to me there is only one spot for Schmaltz, Hartman , Hino or either Mash or Moose. My worst nightmare is that Mash, Moose, Desi and Tootoo all make the team.

  6. Remember Shantz,.,.how bout Dubinsky ? No,.,me neither . We got some really good ,hard working class act ,play making super stars in the makin ! I kinda like JT,s feel on the forth line,.,.working hard for a spot,.,.,That line up looks Deadly Tough .

  7. Fortin reminds me of Mike Hoffman, They’re about the same size and both are smooth skaters with good speed. He has good hands and offensive instincts. Whether it’s this season of down the road, I think the Hawks found a diamond in the rough with Fortin.

    The conundrum of having 7 good d-men and only 6 get to play regularly. Nice problem to have, especially after last season when the Hawks had essentially 4 NHL caliber d-men.

    If only 3 of these young players can make the team: Fortin, Hinostroza, Motte, Schmaltz, and Hartman, I probably go Fortin, Motte and Hartman. Send Schmaltz down to learn how win draws and groom him to be a center. Send Hino down and have him learn how to handle the puck at high speed.

  8. I have no idea what Hawkhead said. I agree with what Ebony said. All the way down to Hinostroza’s stick handling and Schmaltz at the dot. Interesting enough with the trio of Motte,Hartman,Fortin…none have bonus money. Where’s both Hinostroza and Schmaltz do.

  9. I believe it’s really difficult to judge from preseason games – the palyers are not matching-up against opponents’ best/full lineups, but some of the “prospects” look good.

    “Imagine a lineup without tootoo, mashinter, rosival, etc” (Ganderhawk) — is that possible? (Please say “Yes.”!)

    I think Fortin will return to his junior team. I *hope* that Motte, Kempny, Hartman, Forsling, and Hinostroza make the team. I think Schmaltz is CLOSE, but maybe better for his development to start the season in Rockford(?).

    I disagree with some here about TvR – he’s not a Top 4, but he’s not as awful as some believe. Again, he’s played one full season — there is upside.

    We’ll see…GO HAWKS!!

  10. I’ve been saying this here since watching him for 2 years at North Dakota. Nick Schmaltz is a Center. No use trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and trying to force him to be a winger because we need one. It’s difficult enough to make the NHL as a young player, let alone playing out of position. No shame in going to Rockford and playing top 6 minutes.

    It seems like Fortin is forcing his way onto the team. I think Motte makes it as well.

    On defense, Forsling is IN. There continues to be talk about Roszival, but I just can’t see him playing many games. What if the Hawks waive him, send him to Rockford under the guise that he stays in Chicago and practices with the Hawks ?
    What about putting Rosy on injured reserve to start the season ? At that age, the team truly can cite any bump or bruise.

    The conundrum becomes what happens when Nik H. comes back from suspension, who sits ? It’s not going to be Gustav.

    We will see what Stan and company decide. Very interesting week ahead.

  11. Fortin really turned my head when I saw him at Prospect Camp. I was happy to see that he signed an entry level contract, and now he has a chance to make the team. I thought Forsling looked very good when I saw him Saturday night at the UC. The kid’s got composure. It’s great to have too many decent D-men that creates a “who to keep” issue. My picks to make the big club: Fortin, Forsling, & Motte.

  12. I meant to add in Kempny as well. On another issue…. How do we sign Panarin? If we need 6 million a year, is it time to think about moving Seabs? Maybe get some young offensive firepower, and save a good chunk of what is needed to sign Panarin? Just saying…

  13. Certainly was an impressive showing hopefully a sign of things to come should be interesting to see the roster for opening night and who sticks around

  14. I have one question if anybody can tell how does hinostrozas contract of intent he signed at worlds for european league impact his being sent to rockford

  15. What an interesting game to watch at the UC last night. There were lots of guys working hard to find some roster spots. The good news is these young guys certainly appear have some NHL talent. It could be that the WC tourney was actually a good thing in that it gave the coaches a longer look at these kids, who also are getting more comfortable playing.

    The Hawks team out there last night was fast, and much more so than last year to my eyes. Hinostroza, Motte, Fortin, and Hartman can really scoot. No fear in their game either. Schmaltz I think needs some more time, but his instincts look good. Forsling and Kempny should make the team some way, some how. They both look steady and ready. Rozy and Gus seem to be the odd men out right now. TVR can surely play.

    Mashinter, Tootoo, Rasmussen, Desi I am sure Q keeps 2 of those guys around. Hartman would/could fill that role, and has the greater talent imo.

    What lines Q trots out there early this year are wide open to imagination. Same with D pairings. Back line options are ridiculously improved compared with last year. So nice to see Campbell back in the Hawks sweater. His skating and ability to bring up the puck with speed has been sorely missed.

    Following the depressing loss in 7 games to the hated Blues last year in the opening round left a sour taste in my mouth. Hawks are better than that. They can emerge a bigger threat this season based on what I am seeing. This is going to be a new model Hawks team this season. The coaches just have to put the pieces of the puzzle together. It’s always good to have choices.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  16. Glad to read all your comments guys, i think the Hawks will send back Fortin to the Quebec Hockey league for another year then next year he will be ready and more experience.To play with the Hawks now will really help him to grow up faster and to get a good year with his Junior Team .i also think the Hawks will send Forsling back home after a few games with the big team . Motte ,Kempny , Schmaltz, Hino will probably play to start the season ….IQ will make them play hard to see who has it ..
    My wish would be to Keep Forsling ,Motte And Fortin but its very difficult with the expension next year and also with the rookies we have waiting in line to make the team .
    Love my Hawks
    Go Hawks Go …

  17. They have until November 30th to decide whether to keep Forsling for the entire year or send him back to Sweden. The way he’s moving the puck and showing off his instincts, at this point I’d be surprised if they didn’t at least give him a look-see in the early regular season.

    As for Fortin, as many have said he continues to impress. He can stay for nine games before they need to decide on where he’s going to be the whole year. It’s either the Quebec juniors or the Blackhawks for him – Rockford is not an option.

    As commented yesterday, interesting McNeill was scratched. They want speed and he is simply not as fast as these other guys. Hinostroza, Hartman, Fortin, and even Schmaltz ace him out in terms of speed. However, contracts and money always come into play. They have some tough decisions to make soon.

  18. I agree that TvR is the odd man out. But the problem with trading him now is you need to expose players to expansion. And he’s expendable. Also, he’s a better option than anyone in Rockford and youll need 7 defenseman at some point.

    Craig, a couple issues with putting Rozsival on IR. But I agree that you probably need to do something, to free up a roster spot and shed cap. In the event Forsling is too good to let go. Placing him on IR merely gives the team an extra roster spot. Placing him on LTIR does nothing either. The Hawks arent close enough to the ceiling to take advantage of his dollars. We did have a similar thought on how to deal with the contract however. He can’t simply retire as the hit would remain. They could waive him, place him in Rockford and he does something similar to what Rundblad did. Only Rozsival’s full hit would be vanquished and he wouldnt jump overseas. Keep him in Chicago and he’s there if you absolutely need to recall him.

    Campbell has played the right side in the past.


  19. Of course I open my mouth about Hartman doing nothing to impress and he scores a goal. All the kids played well last night. I’m starting to think the Red Wings might be a bit of mess this season. Howard is a legit NHL goalie so lets give the Hawks credit its not like they beat up on some AHL guy.

    the radio pre game school did a bit on Fortin. The way they explain him was the kid was skilled but played the backseat to a bunch of other guys in the Q. Its crazy that he is only 19. So you could see why he had taken a back seat to older guys. Hats off to Stan weither he goes down or stays. What a nice pick up. The kid plays a smart game on the ice.

    If these kids end up being scoring threats watch out! The Hawks blueline is sound and goaltending is fine. The biggest question going into the season is really can they score enough goals. Should be fun to watch!

  20. I claim ignorance on this. Why can’t Fortin be sent to Rockford?

    Is it a contractual thing?

    Seems Rockford would be the place for him to learn the system & be available for call up if the dreaded injury bug arises…

    Thanks & I apologize again for my ignorance…

  21. Much like Tikonov was brought over to help Panerin acclimate, it’s pretty obvious Rosy was brought back to ease the transition for Kempny. But with the emergence of Forsling and so many of the kids battling for a roster spot, I would imagine Stan and company realize, you cannot waste a roster spot on a glorified babysitter,

    I still think putting him on IR to free up a roster spot is the way to go. That buys them roughly 2 weeks and who knows what will happen between now and the end of October.

  22. Let’s not get too excited folks. This is pre-season and the competition isn’t the best. That being said, if some of the new defenceman pan out then Keith and Seabrook should get a break in the number of minutes they have to play each night during the long grind of the regular season. And they ain’t getting any younger. A fresher top pair come playoff time – now that’s exciting.

  23. On Fortin’s contract – he is 19 so can’t be sent to the AHL.

    On “burying” Roszival: Things change in an instant. They usually need 10 defensemen to get through a season. They shouldn’t be in a hurry to dump guys right now. Unless it’s a kid with some value who they don’t see fitting in. A guy like Pokka perhaps.

  24. RTF- I think someone here (few weeks ago) mentioned TvR could/should be used as a trade chip for “prospect/Young LW”- especially if some D guys on other teams go down early in year…

    who was that???

  25. Joey, I thought the agreement between the NHL and CHL only applied to drafted players. That appears to not be the case. The agreement states that a CHL drafted player (so player that was drafted while playing in Europe then plays junior can jump to the AHL, or a player that was drafted NCAA and went CHL can go to AHL at 19) must return to Junior hockey unless the player is 20 by a certain date OR has played 4 years of junior hockey. Fortin is not 20 and has not played 4 years of CHL hockey.

    The agreement is in place to help CHL teams. Protects teams from losing their better players…the players that bring fans in. Also, CHL commissioner David Branch has said in the past, players have been ruined by bringing them in too soon. No player was ever ruined by staying in junior an extra year. He also has said, once you leave junior you dont get to go back to being a kid being with friends and people your age.

  26. Rosival still has hockey life left, and is a valuable part of this roster. Also and of big importance, he is here to be a mentor / translator / pal to Kempny. He isn’t going anywhere, to include on IR.

  27. In both games vs Detroit we had prospects scoring on NHL goalies and, particularly in the game in Detroit, making plays against NHL Defensemen and forwards. That’s really encouraging and there are a lot of good options coming along…will be interesting to see who they keep up.
    If Fortin sticks…and Tootoo wears 22, I think Fortin needs to wear 14. (Grin)

  28. How is Fortin pronounced? I thought it was for-tan….how Pat and Edzo say it. I hear reporters say for-teen. I think I even heard the PA guy at the UC say For-teen. I havent flashback to the Hjalmarsson debacle…and people still can’t get it right. Won’t someone ask the kid?

  29. Since he s from quebec i would assume fortan stressing a french pronounciation but not definite on that

  30. It’s is pronounced, ForTAAN as the French Canadians would say in their own bastard bilingual way.

  31. Ernie…its not easy to tell you how to pronounce Fortin ……very difficult except when you can hear it from a Quebecer….Craw and Toews would surely prononce it the right way …sorry wish i could help …..Matin ( morning ). La fin de la route ( the end of the road) is also pronounce the same way ..sorry …cant find a way to show you ..Grrrrr

  32. Fortin playing very well and definitely deserved the ELC.

    Depending on the CBA interpretation, I am not sure how it works if they choose not to designate him back to the Q and keep him on the roster. Would he have to pass waivers to go to Rockford? I though the whole situation was he has to go back to the Q and can’t go to Rockford…

    CBA problems…

  33. Without trying to offend anyone if you pronounce the last syllable tawn as in dawn your getting close but still not as fluent as it should be

  34. Then why did fans pronounce Rundblad, Rundbad, without the “L”, was that just a Chicago thing ?


  35. Gringo- Look at what happened to Grigorenko. Forget that Fortin was undrafted as it doesnt appear to matter. Grigorenko played 18 games with the Sabres. Decided after the 9 game mark that he wasn’t good enough and wanted to send him down. He was ineligible to be sent down so he was returned to his junior team.

    If Fortin makes the team he can play 9 games or less and be sent back without the first year of his ELC being burned. If he plays game 10, whenever that is his first year is gone. If he plays 5 games to start the season and the Hawks send him back. He is waiver exempt. He is ineligible to be recalled until the end of his junior season. If Rouyn-Noranda is knocked out early he can be assigned to the AHL without having to worry about burning the first year of his ELC. The Hawks can also call him up after his Junior season is over and he can play up to 10 total regular season or post season games before that first year is burned.

    A similar situation occurred with Kruger. Kruger’s season in Sweden was over. So he played 7 regular season games and 5 playoff games. Since he played 12 total games the first year of his ELC was burned. had he played 9 games it would have slid to the next year. Waivers are a non issue.

    Saad played 2 games to start the year when Carcillo was suspended. He was sent back to Saginaw. When Saginaw’s season was over he played 2 more playoff games, He didnt pass the 9 games played threshold so his contract slid. Because Saad turned 20 prior to december 31 he was AHL eligible.

    Fortin turns 20 February 25. If he turned 20 prior to december 31 he would be AHL eligible this year in his age 19 season.

  36. Rouyn-noranda is ranked as one of the top chl teams this year which probably means fortin wouldn t be available for call up at end of season until well into the playoffs.

  37. Ganderhawk,
    Love your line up. Look at all that speed. TVR is the slow guy in that group. Everyone else has quite a bit of speed. I would love to see it, but Q won’t let it happen. He has to keep some and I hope he let’s them make plenty of mistakes and lets them learn from them rather than benching them. Loved seeing 48 flying down the center of the ice. Brought back memories of all that speed we had on our 2010 cup team…damn exciting to watch.

    Good points on who to keep and who to move down for the forward group.

    I am with you, I have no idea what Hawkhead said. Also, you da man!!! Figures you would catch the bonus issue. You always have great contributions here as evidenced throughout on this forum.

    Craig N,
    Totally agree on Schmaltz. We continually try to use youngsters out of their natural positions. TVR was playing the left side with Rosy last year. I agree keep them in their natural positions. For that reason, I see Schmaltz Rockfordbound. It would be great if he learns the secrets to wind NHL draws. Can’t have too many centers. Rundblad was short for Runbladder…he was always pissing his pants.

    My concern about the d core is that we have an abundance of left dmen. Seabs and Tvr ( I don’t count Rosy in the mix…make him a coach to translate) are the only right shots. I know 4 always plays the off side, but getting rid of TVR requires playing someone on their offside. Nice dilemma to have…

    I have to laugh. Pokka was lost in the mix and this thread was maturing before his name was mentioned. He is too slow to play with this team. I believe Tootoo is also tootoo slow.

    I know this is only preseason, but it was the last home game. Therefore it was more meaningful than an early preseason game. A reason for optimism. A lot of great comments gentlemen and all of them with an optimistic tenor. IMO, it beats the hell out of all this salary cap crap that dampens the excitement of hockey.

    Go Hawks!!!! Last nights game and this thread has me very excited about hockey for this coming season.

  38. “Rosival still has hockey life left, and is a valuable part of this roster…” – actually, the only thing Rozsival does better than TvR is “be a mentor / translator / pal to Kempny”.

  39. Rosy does still have life left. However, with the way this team’s d core is shaping up, he may be more suited for hockey’s form of hospice. The team would appear to be better off without him.

  40. Wouldn’t be good to see a line of hinostroza motte and fortin for a game or two just to see their speed and energy out their together and what they could do with it

  41. Wall, I think it was a guy from Tokyo those people are always two steps ahead of everybody else.

  42. Well heck, we whupped ’em. Outstanding. Q and Stan gotta be happy.
    Great contributions from all on the ice, very encouraging….and exciting.
    Going to be a great season.

  43. Appreciate the good words Booman. I enjoy being a fan and doing an armchair GM and like filling in any questions someone may have. Not always right as referenced by my belief Fortin could go to the AHL since he wasn’t draft. But hey, that’s why I’m a dumb welder and don’t work for the Hawks.

  44. Aaaaahhhhh boys ,i thought ya might figure out my bringing up Shantz and Dubie ,to relate to the fact that we need a couple hard working 3rd and 4 th line guys . At the best 3 forward spots to fill,.,.,i figure 5 new forwards will be slotted into those 3 positions as the year moves along ,.,.following me Ernie , if you think we will have 4 or 5 FULL TIME rookie forwards you are smoking better fall harvest than me . And all you non believers in TooToo ,he will back up his teammates ,no questions asked ! We have been lacking the presents of someone who will punch an opponent in the face and like it for some time,.,. . Who do you think is gonna look after these kids ,???? Wont be Rosie,.,.Hossa ? Mash will play a roll on this team as well , suck it up butter cup . This a little more clear?

  45. Hawkhead – if what you suggest (“TooToo ,he will back up his teammates ,no questions asked…Mash will play a roll on this team as well…”) is true, **maybe** the Hawks should consider a change of strategy…or coach and/or GM? Seriously, that amounts to TWO wasted roster spots (and the cap space). “Who do you think is gonna look after these kids?” — What year is this? (What’s Dave Schultz doing?)

  46. From what i’ve heard from quenneville and bowman their goal this year is to have three lines that give you some offensive pop vs last years one bug line and some from no. 1 line and two basically checking lines and although veterans are going to play a role it can t be accomplished without giving the younger guys a chance. Which says to me 3 or 4 rookie forwards will get an chance sooner or later toplay a major part in the roster.

  47. I never said 4 or 5 rookie forwards full time

    Fortin- Anisimov- Kane

    Tootoo or Mashinter

    3 rookies. Hinostroza and Hartman are probably interchangeable.

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