Official: Blackhawks Sign Blake Hillman

The rumor was out over the weekend, and now it’s confirmed: the Blackhawks have signed defenseman Blake Hillman from the University of Denver to a two-year, entry-level contract.

But what’s intriguing about the news is the phrasing in the Hawks’ announcement:

The two-year deal running through next year indicates Hillman – like Dylan Sikura – will burn the first year of his entry-level deal with the Hawks in the final week of the regular season.

37 thoughts on “Official: Blackhawks Sign Blake Hillman

  1. Let’s face it….

    Hillman/Tuulola/Mitchell…

    are all better options than 56/82/Murphy/and yes Seabrook… when considering the latter are below average to average at best… and make a Shit ton more money (so hurt the TEAM when Cap $$$ are considered)…

    Furthermore- the kids all skate better and are cheaper… and can GROW/learn… where as the “Hawks” guys… are on the wrong side of Growth/and pretty much done learning

  2. Surprised that they are burning a year on his deal. But whatever let’s see how he looks the last few games.

  3. Never imagined they would burn the first year of Hillman’s deal. He didn’t seem to have the pedigree of a guy you would need to do that for.

    They must have negotiated this with Stan. Hillman just finished his junior year. ‘Stan, give us a two year deal and get him in a game this year or we walk next season.’
    ‘OK!’

    In the end it will be his play on the ice that determines his value after this coming season. But it would have been nice not to move the clock up on a new contract by a year.

  4. It doesn’t matter how many D men Bowman signs, Q will play Oesterle for sure.

    I still like Oesterle far better as a forward, he has a nice offensive skillset and mindset. He is not a good defenseman.

  5. So this is Stan’s plan sign and call up anyone with any chance of making any NHL roster. Urgh

  6. I know I sound like a broken record, but how about signing some of these college goalies…or…is SB waiting to see who wins in the NCAA?

  7. Wall, so 3 guys who haven’t played a lick of NHL hockey are better than 56/82/5/7. Obviously you have been misusing your crystal ball … maybe try it for winning lotto numbers.

  8. This is great news. Hillman looked like a man among boys at times this season.
    He plays with a real nasty edge in front of his net, defends it like its the nest.
    Makes smart, simple plays to get the puck out of the zone.

    I really really like this move.

  9. ER- 1st off I said – Better Options… which is different than saying they are better…
    2nd… added the qualifier-“when u factor in Cap $$$ and ages”…
    lastly- if you haven’t checked lately- the Hawks Suck… and these 4 D Guys- ain’t getting younger- and are a big part of the Hawks sucking…

    Do you think that all four of these guys- can be “difference makers” next year and contribute to a quick Hawk Turn around???

    I don’t… if ALL four are playing BIG minutes… Hawks will most likely be BAD again… just saying

  10. ER, good comments. I totally agree. Too many snap judgements about prospects who have not stepped foot on NHL ice.

  11. You don’t need to see a guy play on NHL ice to get an idea of how good he can be based on his play at other levels. If you are pedestrian in the AHL, for example, you are not going to come up and dominate the NHL. It doesn’t work that way.

    I think most posters were just saying, Hillman, while a nice prospect, was never considered an elite, high end guy, so the burning of one year of his first contract seems…..unnecessary.

    When the Bears paid $15 million for Mike Glennon, I didn’t need to see him run the Bears offense to know what he had to offer as a player.

  12. It could be that balancing the number of ELCs coming due each season, both Rockford and NHL rosters is playing a part also.

  13. Wall, there’s no point in playing a game of semantics but I’ll just leave it with if I mis-characterized your intent, then I apologize and endeavor to give more benefit of the doubt going forward.

    Scott Powers just tweeted the forward lines at practice today:

    Saad-Schmaltz-Kane
    DeBrincat-Ejdsell-Sikura
    Sharp-Kampf-Hinostroza
    Jurco-Anisimov-Martinsen

  14. I mentioned before that the additions of Ejdsell, Sikura, Hillman and now Delia are making the last games fun again. When the team goal is out of reach, at least we have individual players we can focus on and I’ve gotta tell you I’m excited to see the 12-14-95 line.

    BTW – the d-pairings at practice today were 2-7. 56-5 and Hillman rotating with 82 and 44.

  15. @ THE WRAPAROUND

    Which drafted or FA defensive prospects has Stan brought in that has shown proves I should be confident in his decisions? Blake Hillman is Michael Paliotta 2018

    @ EBONYRAPTOR

    Interesting lineup choices. If Victor Ejdsell plays good enough to get in Q’s good graces he is really going to force Anisimov off the team. I really expect Anisimov will not be back. I’d be shocked if he isn’t moved around draft day. I think you can make a case that entire 4th line will not be back next season.

    Speaking of next season I hope Sharp does not return. Who was on the blog telling us Sharp was getting 20 goals this season? Raise your hand and take a bow! Morrison, I’m looking in your direction.

  16. On the glass half full approach, ADC is closing in on some rare air. Since 2000 only a select few players have scored 25+ in their first season before age 21. The list is pretty impressive. Stamkos, Crosby, Patrick Laine, McDavid, Matthews the only guy on the list who is not a bonified top pick is Jeff Skinner a 7th overall pick . SB should definitely be commended on the Alex DeBrincat. What can be questioned is why Q skated him with a bunch of bums on the 3rd line and on his off wing for most of the year though?

  17. You are operating under the theory that inundating him with ice time and responsibility against the best players in the world right away would have accelerated his development and he would have had more production.

    A lot of the national people think that Q should be commended for bringing Dcat along slowly and allowing him to make the transition from junior to the NHL without having to face number one pair defensemen all night right from the get go. I personally think that bringing him along slowly had a lot to do with his first season success. The 2nd round and later draft picks that succeed going from junior to the NHL are few and far between. We aren’t talking Patrick Kane here.

  18. Q showed why is the respected and successful coach he is by allowing deBrincat to build confidence and not get overwhelmed by having to play top 6 until he was ready.

  19. Not hearing much about Crawford is very worrisome, not even hearing from him at all even more so.
    I wish him well.

  20. In a recent Bowman interview he said that if playoffs were in the picture his feeling is Crawford would be playing.

  21. @ SSHM
    – Stan’s job is not to win your confidence – he has nothing to prove to you

    I say let’s see Hillman play first – maybe you’re right but maybe you’re wrong

  22. @The Wraparound

    Correct SB has nothing to prove to me directly his track record on drafting and signing UFA defensive players speaks for its self. However it hardly inspires any confidence.

  23. Alright!

    Lets get as many guys as we can and let them/players-org. work it out.

    It will work out in the end.

  24. Lets not forget Debrincat did that in the hardest division and harder conference as well. 3rd line as well.

    Good thing we did not make him go to Rockford like a lot of people wanted after the first so many games of season.

  25. Attended practice today…

    Sikura – Has a great/accurate one timer!!! acceleration is great…
    Kid is paper thin…

    Hillman- I thought he was fantastic in his gaps and shadowing players in many of the drills…

    Delia- was solid… saw Delia sat. nite in Rockford… He made a few 10 BELL saves in that game.

    As good and accurate as Sikura was in shooting drills… Saad was — SAD!!!!

    Hino- was flying… really love Hino… I hope Rumors of landing that German speed demon come true… seems like a guy who could play well with Hino or Sikura if he is as fast/good as reported

  26. ER- thanks for the “understanding- and benefit of doubt”…

    I guess where i was going with that comment… was like saying the opposite of

    If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it…

    IMO- the Hawks D… Is broke… so Hawks NEED to fix it… will replacing
    56/82/7/5 – with any combo of Tuulola/Hillman/Forsling/UFA – fix it?????? idk

    But – the ATTEMPT needs to be made…. Cuz- Why would next season’s results be any different otherwise? (yes- Crow gets you 10-15 more points)

    And- maybe Sikura/Edje + ??? on PP get you 10 more Points…
    But This current D group — NOT gonna go far in Post season- IMO

    Cuz Q – ain’t getting away with skating 2/7 for 25- 30 minutes per game going forward!!!

  27. Wall there is potential on right side to get better every year in next couple of years, but its hard to picture any no. 1 leftside dmen right now. I see a number of 3rd pair possibilities and with some time a few 2nd pair candidates. I agree if going to be competitive a long term upgrade (preferably to me) or bridge the gap type player is needed there, with a future acquisition.

  28. Crow is 7-10 more wins, take off that many loses and ties.
    PP pts could be more.
    FW will be better across the board
    Team cant play worse then we did for how good we really are.

    Still want what makes roster what we need/want to be a top team. Do no want more regular season points that do not mean shit in playoffs.

    We need roster gain, not pts gain.

  29. Ian, we had who we had and go who we got, though we still signed a top Dman in summer. Soupy. We signed a top FW in summer. Hoss.

    We need to do that again. We cant rely on only draft and excellent Europe/college scouting and getting.

  30. Cant forget the difference these 82 games and other yrs is not blaming Saad or not having Bread Man or PP etc.

    Its not having Hoss and Hammer. No one was signed or etc that plays the way those guys do. Yea younger and faster. This was the reason why this yr more then crazy sch bounces Saad 19 7 etc whatever anyone said…

    Not having Hoss, Hammer and Crow for 50 of 82 games. That’s this yrs record.

  31. When you think about we were playing short handed, like 2011, without 81 and 4. Before you even mention the Crow.

    Signing a top Dman or FW gets one of them back/that’s important. Trickle effect.

    The young guys (lots of them) cant carry the roster. We need to get two top players back on roster in addition to having the wave of good young players.

    81 caphit will cover one of those two positions. There should be plenty enough of elc contracts these yr coming up to add the second of those two top players so we can have a Blackhawks roster again.

    Its a transition that needs to be included.

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