Blackhawks: Pre-Christmas Prospect Updates

It’s been three weeks since we checked in with the Blackhawks pool of prospects, so let’s take an early end-of-the-calendar-year look around the group.

One name that has surfaced recently as a potential player in the mix for the Hawks in the near future is Maxim Shalunov.

A fourth round pick by the Blackhawks back in 2011, Shalunov will turn 24 at the end of January. He has emerged as one of the top offensive players in the KHL this season with 17 goals and 14 assists in 31 games for Novosibirsk Sibir (through Dec. 21 action).

And as Scott Powers of The Athletic wrote last week, the Blackhawks not only have interest in bringing Shalunov over to the NHL, but still own his rights. He played 20 games in Rockford during the 2013-14 season before heading back to Russia. Shalunov’s KHL contract expires at the end of the 2016-17 season.

Also of note, Corey Pronman at ESPN previewed the USA roster for the upcoming World Junior Championship. He offered the following assessments of two Blackhawks prospects who are expected to be on the roster:

Alex DeBrincat, RW
The 5-foot-7 DeBrincat is going to wind up as one of the top overall scorers in recent OHL history whenever he graduates to the pro level. “He bleeds skill,” said one NHL scout. As a returning player (after a very disappointing tournament last year) DeBrincat will need to be great in order for the USA to go deep. His offensive game is well-rounded: He can dangle, but he plays at a quick pace, makes good decisions, battles hard and has a big shot too.

Chad Krys, D
Krys has stagnated significantly as a prospect during the past two seasons; he started his draft season with some believing he could go in the top 10, but fell to the Blackhawks at No. 45 overall. Despite the disappointing 2015-16, he’s been a fixture for the U.S. at international tournaments within his age group. When he’s on his game, he’s a dynamic player with his mobility and speed. However, his defensive game has a long ways to go in terms of reads and winning battles.

Alex DeBrincat

Let’s begin with the prospects not playing college hockey this season.


Alex DeBrincat – Erie Otters (OHL)
28 games, 30 goals, 30 assists, 60 points

Alexandre Fortin – Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)
21 games, 7 goals, 13 assists, 20 points

Radovan Bondra – Vancouver Giants (WHL)
29 games, 18 goals, 11 assists, 29 points

John Dahlström – Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
32 games, 16 goals, 17 assists, 33 points

Nathan Noel – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
27 games, 14 goals, 13 assists, 27 points

Graham KnottWindsor Spitfires  (OHL)
Niagara IceDogs (OHL) – 14 games, 4 goals, 13 assists, 17 points
Windsor Spitfires (OHL) – 11 games, 4 goals, 5 assists, 9 points

Artur Kayumov – Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)
33 games, 8 goals, 11 assists, 19 points

Roy Radke – Barrie Colts (OHL)
12 games, 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points
Radke has been out since late October (high ankle sprain)

Mathias From – Rögle BK (SHL)
26 games, 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points

Robin Press

Robin Pressleft the SHL at the end of November
Indy Fuel (ECHL) – 4 games, 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point
Djurgårdens IF (SHL) – 11 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point

Andreas Söderberg – IK Pantern (Allsvenskan)
28 games, 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points

Joni Tuulola – HPK (Liiga)
30 games, 1 goal, 3 assist, 4 points

Lucas Carlsson – Brynäs IF (SHL)
21 games, 1 goals, 4 assist, 5 points

Jake Ryczek – Waterloo (USHL)
19 games, 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points

Dylan Sikura

Here are updates on the Hawks’ NCAA prospects:


John Hayden – Yale*
12 games, 10 goals, 6 assists, 16 points
* – Hayden is the captain at Yale this season

Chris Calnan – Boston College*
19 games, 3 goals, 7 assists, 10 points
* – Calnan is the captain at Boston College this season

Anthony Louis – Miami (OH)**
17 games, 10 goals, 10 assist, 20 points
** – Louis is an alternate captain at Miami this season

Dylan Sikura – Northeastern
17 games, 10 goals, 17 assists, 27 points

Matt Iacopelli – Western Michigan
16 games, 13 goals, 4 assists, 17 points

Fredrik Olofsson – Omaha
13 games, 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points

Beau Starrett – Cornell
11 games, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points

Jack Ramsey – Minnesota
15 game, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points


Luc Snuggerud – Omaha
18 games, 6 goals, 10 assists, 16 points

Dennis Gilbert – Notre Dame
17 games, 0 goals, 6 assists, 6 points

Ryan Shea – Northeastern
17 games, 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points

Chad Krys – Boston University
17 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points

Blake Hillman – Denver
17 games, 0 goals, 4 assists, 4 points

32 thoughts on “Blackhawks: Pre-Christmas Prospect Updates

  • December 21, 2016 at 11:42 am

    I’ve still yet to hear how Shalunov is still property. Even the Hawks own site no longer lists him. Pronman said that because of no transfer agreement KHL rights are held forever. I will dispute that until I see something concrete. Something more than “It’s not expressly stated in the CBA but that’s how it works” which was the answer I got from one writer who said Shalunov was still property.

    I’m not doubting the Hawks interest and I think he even ends up here next year regardless of if he’s property or not.

    Debrincat was suspended to start last years WJC so you can attribute those poor numbers to that. But it will be interesting to see if the spark plug can elevate his game, something he will need to do next year in Rockford.

  • December 21, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks tab great stuff hopefully debrincat ligts it up this year. Also if anybody interesred if tkachyov signs next year he would still be 21 next sept. 15 so be eligible for a 3 year elc starting next season

  • December 21, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Are we talking about the same Vladimir Tkachyov that the Oilers tried to sign but was ruled ineligible because he played a few games for Moncton?

    Theres 2 players with the same name. One a 93 born and one a 95. I seen some references to stats and ages where it looked like the writer may have got the 2 confused.

  • December 21, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Sorry ernie he will still be 23 on sept. 15th Not 21 my math was off be eligible for 2 year elc starting year

  • December 21, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    If you stop… I will send you my life-size Fabbri blow-up doll… I will even wash it first…

    Last I heard the SHL is a Men’s Pro league with 25 and 30 year olds playing.

    You forgot to post some of my other’s…

    Saad- skates like Mini-Hossa
    Shaw – Tab told me to stop drinking the Bong water when I begged for Shaw to be called up
    Moose- 1st or 2nd best option from Rock

    Pirri- can shoot, can’t skate -Q won’t like him ( Rufus was dead right on him and Morin)
    Clendening- doesn’t skate well/not Hawk material (and that was when he was leading Hogs in scoring)
    Hino- will be one of the best from Hawk’s draft that year
    TvR- will make the team (from Camp)
    Nordstrom- will make the team (from Camp)

    Thanks for reading and paying attention to my comments… it shows you care

  • December 21, 2016 at 1:00 pm


    I love John Hayden and Olofsson too!!! (not as much as I luv you!)

  • December 21, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    re: Shalunov – a number of folks pressed Scott Powers about it and universally found that he is indeed correct. The Blackhawks still own Shalunov’s rights (somehow).

  • December 21, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Ernie just looking around articles when trying to negotiate a transfer agreement with khl and haven t found a legal clause but there were references to the fact no transfer agreement and memorandum to honor existing contracts put teams drafting a khl player at a diadvantage to signing these players and appears why their rights stay with drafting teams if i see anything binding i ll let you know

  • December 21, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Dumb and Dumber question, could he sign elc with us before 12/31 and have 2 elc yrs, which his KHL would agree to terminate his there so he can come over for 17.

  • December 21, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Shalunov’s contract expires at the end of this regular season. I don’t see anything happening until then, Morrison.

  • December 21, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Good point tab memorandum to honor contracts strikes again

  • December 21, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Great update on the hawks prospects. Which prospects do you see the hawks signing by the end of the year college or chl wise.

  • December 22, 2016 at 7:43 am

    mjf – some of these kids already have contracts (Fortin, DeBrincat for two). Hayden is at/near the top of their list to get under contract. He’s ready for the NHL and I don’t think I’m alone in being excited to get him formally into the organization.

  • December 22, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Thanks for the reply. Very excited about Hayden also. What do think of Radovan Bondra or Roy Radke?
    Or even the other college seniors
    Anthony Louis, Chris Calnan and Matt Tompkins? I believe if they don’t sign any of those guys they lose their rights.

  • December 22, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I really like Bondra and think he makes the jump after this season. Radke has been hurt so for me he’s still wait-and-see.

    From the college ranks, Louis has been the best of the 3 you named. I’m interested to see if Sikura comes out after a big season. He’s been terrific this year. Calnan’s BC career has been inconsistent and he hasn’t had the Kevin Hayes Senior Year Boom so I’m not sure he gets a contract w/ the Blackhawks.

    Something to keep in mind when considering kids like Snuggerud is how deep the blue line is in Rockford right now, and who needs a new deal after this season. Just on the IceHogs roster, the following defensemen will be RFA this summer: Pokka, Gustafsson, Fournier & Valleau. Schilling is UFA. Chicago has expiring deals w/ Campbell, Kempny & Roszival at the NHL level (Kempny a RFA). And with the potential of TvR going in the expansion draft, the Hawks could be looking at a significant amount of movement on the blue lines at every level in 2017.

  • December 22, 2016 at 8:30 am

    What position does Shalunov play? I have seen places say that he plays on the wing, and others say that he plays center. Obviously that makes a huge difference moving forward. If he can play center, that makes other players expendable. If he plays wing, it affects who you have to keep. Or does he just simply play both?

    It is also encouraging to see our college prospects starting to light it up. After last season, it was not looking very encouraging with many of them not having a point per game pace. I think the Hawks can rebuild on the fly and restock if some of these guys begin to pan out. I think the future looks bright, it just needs to be navigated ever so carefully.

  • December 22, 2016 at 8:35 am

    re: last year being “disappointing” w/ the Hawks NCAA prospects – if you get 1 kid out of the college ranks each year, it’s a success. The Blackhawks pulled Luke Johnson, Schmaltz & Motte out of college (and, frankly, Hayden could have made the jump, too). Freshmen rarely dominate the NCAA; the maturation of players like Sikura, Iacopelli speaks to that. There have been a number of college players to be excited about from the last few drafts, so thinking that point-per-game avg is the only benchmark for them being a consideration is awfully narrow.

  • December 22, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Tab, that is a fair point. Thanks for the answer to the question

  • December 22, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Tab, Shalunov has taken the second most draws on his team. And has won 47% of those draws. So while he probably should be a winger. He’s been playing center.

    Graham Knott also signed his ELC.

  • December 22, 2016 at 8:44 am

    The problem with Iacopelli…sure he’s a sophomore. But he’s 22…23 in may

  • December 22, 2016 at 8:47 am


  • December 22, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Ernie – I’m not necessarily going to paint Iacopelli’s age as a “problem.” If you can play, you can play. I understand that a 22-23 year old has a physical advantage against 18-20 year old kids, but if the hawks feel like the kid can play he’ll get a contract.

  • December 22, 2016 at 9:29 am

    While Hayden has size, I’m always skeptical of seniors in college. They either have great years and choose free agency or they have reached their peak and become mediocre pros. (I remember some past Hobey Baker winners)
    With Schmaltz plucked out of college, this might be the weakest group the Hawks have had in U.S. schools in the Stan era.
    Looks like Canadien juniors and Russian KHLer’s for a while.

  • December 22, 2016 at 9:46 am

    I disagree w/ hawkfacts’ assessment of the college crop.

    Hayden has been, arguably, the best forward at prospect camp for a couple years now. He’s a big body who knows how to use his size. And there’s a lot to like about Olofsson, Snuggerud, Gilbert and Sikura. And USA Hockey appears to like something about Krys that Pronman doesn’t. The Hawks’ college players early in Stan’s tenure (10-12) was a lot thinner than it is now.

  • December 22, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Tab- agree on Hayden… kid has been very good at Camps… thought he was very effective and noticeable WJ-U20 when he played there too- w/o really scoring.

  • December 22, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Let me clarify – I was mainly talking about top six forward and top 4 defense potential. Just don’t see it with this group. The Hawks will always have a pipeline of supporting role guys but in the next 2-3 years, they will need another stud (and that’s assuming they keep Panarin) if they intend to remain Cup contenders
    In 2 years, Keith will be 35 and Toews beginning his downward years. I’m saying there is no one in these college ranks that even remotely can fill top roles or even perhaps bottom support roles.

    Tab – I don’t know about 2010-12 either. They had college guys Ben Smith, Stephen Johns, Kevin Hayes, Michael Paliotta, Adam Clendening, etc. I’m not sure they have even had a college defenseman, other than Clendening, make the NHL Hawks in Stan’s time. Since 2012, Hinistroza, Motte, Schmaltz and that’s it.

    Also, I’ve seen Hayden play more than a few times. IMO, there is not enough speed there to produce an effective NHL forecheck. Maybe Krys will work out, haven’t seen him much.
    Thanks for the hockey talk, it’s better than the personal bashing stuff that’s been going on here

  • December 22, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Saw Alex DeBrincat got cut from the USA juniors roster after making the team last year. Got to be disappointing for the kid (and the Hawks)

  • December 22, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Should have clarified. The problem with calling Iacopelli a freshman last year is he was 21. Sure it’s his first year in college but he can buy his teammates booze.

    Apparently western Michigan in general had problems with the coach and Iacopelli specifically suffered. According to someone on Sirius that covers western michigan

  • December 22, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I like Hayden. We saw him play at world juniors and even though he didn’t get many pts he was in the play. Looked good.

    Bowman was smart to get lots of college guys a few yrs ago. We had a full roster then, now when we need waves of good young guys these guys are ready when we want/need them.

  • December 23, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Ian, I didn’t see this post the other day.
    2nd city wrote an article on june 1st about nalimov that explains because of a lack of transfer agreement with khl that cba rules don t apply and drafting teams retain players rights as long as they continue to play in khl. As for dec. 31st shalunov the cba states 24yr. Old eligible for 1 year elc and 23 yr. Old eligible for2 year elc since he was 23 on sept. 15th this year he would be igible for a 2 yr. Elc and be able to come over later this year as he turns 24 in january he would only have 1 yr. Elc next year either way be rfa on july 1st 2018 it be use it or lose it. Also his team is 2 pts out if a playoff spot and playoffs start in february.

    Does this mean he can come here, for 17, in MAR or would a guy have to do it before deadline. The deadline is my question on this because not sure every one realize when that KHL sch like that. That makes a difference.

  • December 23, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    As tab pointed out his contract with his khl team isn t up till after the season may i believe and without a transfer agreement and only a memorandum to honor contracts cba rules can t be applied till agreement is satisfied as we discussed at length. Which probably keeps him in europe this season.

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