NCAA Hockey: 15 Blackhawks Prospects Headed to College

The Chicago Blackhawks will have 13 drafted players competing in the NCAA in the coming season.


A few of the names that highlighted this list last year – Stephen Johns, Kevin Hayes and Justin Holl – have graduated. But the addition of an NHL-leading seven college-bound players in the 2014 NHL Draft make the list more robust for the 2014-15 campaign.

Three of the Hawks NCAA prospects – John Hayden, Tyler Motte and Anthony Louis – were invited to USA Hockey’s evaluation camp for the upcoming World Junior Championship earlier in June.

Let’s take a look at which college programs will be impacted by Chicago Blackhawks prospects this season.

No DakUniversity of North Dakota
Nick Schmaltz, C – Draft Year: 2014
Luke Johnson, C – Draft Year: 2013
Johnson, a fifth round pick last year, returns for his second season at North Dakota after posting eight goals and 13 assists in 42 games last season. He’ll be joined by this summer’s first round pick, Schmaltz, whose older brother Jordan led North Dakota defensemen with 24 points in 2013-14. Jordan was drafted by the Blues in 2012.

NDNotre Dame
Vince Hinostroza, F – Draft Year: 2012
Hinostroza had a great freshman year in South Bend, finishing third on the team with 32 points (eight goals, 24 assists) in spite of playing only 34 games. He added nine blocked shots and two power play goals during NCAA play. While Teuvo Teräväinen stole the show at the 2014 World Junior Championships, Hinostroza had five points in five games for the United States.

UMUniversity of Michigan
Tyler Motte, F – Draft Year: 2013
In 34 games with the Wolverines, Motte recorded 18 points (nine goals, nine assists), which ranked second among Michigan freshmen. He was credited with 29 blocked shots and added two power play goals and two game-winners as a freshman.

VMUniversity of Vermont
Michael Paliotta, D – Draft Year: 2011
A third round pick in 2011, Paliotta had a strong third season for Vermont. Listed at 6-4 and 205 pounds, Paliotta finished third on Vermont with 27 points (five goals, 22 assists). He scored three power play goals and a team-high 51 penalty minutes.

BCBoston College
Chris Calnan, F – Draft Year: 2012
Calnan, Jeremy Roenick’s nephew, is headed back to Boston College for a second season. A third round pick in 2012, Calnan posted four goals and nine assists in 37 games for one of the top programs in the country last season. He added one short-handed goal, six blocked shots and a plus-12 rating to his freshman resume.

YaleYale University
John Hayden, F – Draft Year: 2013
Hayden stole the show at past summer’s prospect camp, but got off to a slow start in his first season at Yale. He finished strong, however, posting six goals and 10 assists in 33 games. Hayden had two power play goals and one game-winner as a freshman. A third round pick last summer, Hayden will turn 20 in February.

OSUOhio State University
Sam Jardine, D – Draft Year: 2011
A sixth round pick in 2011, Jardine scored one goal and added 12 assists in 36 games for the Buckeyes last season. He is entering his third season at OSU, and finished second among Buckeye defensemen in points last season. He’ll turn 21 in August, and hopes to help the Buckeyes improve on last season’s fourth place finish in the Big Ten.

MIAMiami University
Anthony Louis, F – Draft Year: 2013
A sixth round pick last summer, Louis impressed at prospect camp. In spite of his size (listed at 5-7, 145), he had a nice freshman year at Miami with 12 goals and 13 assists in 25 games. He was the youngest player at Miami to reach 10 goals and 20 points last season. He’ll turn 20 in February.

Six more picks from the 2014 Draft class will join Schmaltz in the NCAA this coming season. The Blackhawks led the NHL with seven college-bound players drafted this summer. Here is where the rest of this year’s draft class will play their college hockey this season:

Western Michigan University
Matt Iacopelli, F – Draft Year: 2014

Colorado College
Frederik Olofsson, F – Draft Year: 2014

University of Nebraska-Omaha
Luc Snuggerud, D – Draft Year: 2014

Northeastern University
Dylan Sikura, F – Draft Year: 2014

  •  Update: According to the Blackhawks, 2014 picks Beau Starrett and Jack Ramsey will begin playing college hockey during the 2015-16 season. At that time, Starrett will head to Cornell, and Ramsey will attend Minnesota.

40 thoughts on “NCAA Hockey: 15 Blackhawks Prospects Headed to College

  • June 29, 2014 at 9:13 am

    If you are Bowman what do you do? The NHL team is loaded, the AHL affiliate has depth…so the best way, for now, is to draft through competitive leagues like the USHL that leads kids straight into college hockey…which benefits us in 3 ways…one, the kids will be mature young men mentally when they complete their programme, two, the Hawks won’t see these kids for 4-6 years, and three, with the excellent weight training programs at the collegiate level, the kids will have mature, solid frames when they are ready for the show. Plus, we don’t have to sign them until they decide to turn pro, so not burdening our max of 50 pro contracts.

    A guy on that list that gets missed a lot is Michael Paliotta from Vermont…he’s yet another from that incredible 2011 draft by Bowman. He’s a really neat kid…smart and confident, he plays a very physical game and keeps a “clean crease” under his watch…but this year, he added offence to his game, making him almost a sure fire candidate for pro…next season is his last in Vermont, then likely one year in Rockford before he will be ready as well…so between now and the next couple of seasons the Hawks are looking at Dahlbeck, Clendening, Johns, Dahlstrom and Paliotta all making the leap to pro…so when you look at our current D Core, really Keith and Hammer are the untouchables, everyone else could get dealt over the next 2-3 years.

    Hino is just going into his 2nd full season of College and he already added a lot of muscle to hit small frame…if Hino, when he graduates, can develop that huge bases, a la Martin St. Louis or Ben Smith, there’s no reason he can’t become a productive NHL’er…this is the great thing about the college game, it allows these youngsters to fully develop physically BEFORE they turn pro…so many of the Jr. hockey players (and the CDN Jr. Hockey Leagues have always been considered the best training grounds for prospects) are YOUNG, and not fully developed physically, and it can jeopardize their NHL careers if they are rushed too soon. So more and more, the College path is becoming a preferred way for NHL teams to develop consistent young talent over time.

    Another very good draft by Bowman/Kelley and Co.

  • June 29, 2014 at 9:49 am

    You guys will like this…yesterday new Canucks GM, Jim Benning, already embattled, was giving a radio interview back to VAN when he said the following, trying to defend how “little” they got for Kesler…

    “we tried hard to get the NHL’s top offensive prospect from another team, but they weren’t prepared to move him…you can try and try all you want, but in the end its the other guy who has to want to make the deal as well…I can’t force another team to trade certain players…”

    I think its pretty clear to extrapolate that Benning was talking about TT and Bowman.

  • June 29, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Benning did a fantastic job imo. Canucks will begin this season with Sedin-Vey-Bonino at the dot… a nice trio. Didn’t break the bank on Kesler but the player undermined his own value when he opened his mouth with his list of 2 teams

  • June 29, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Benning won’t last 3 years in Vancouver. Seems way in over his head. The Canucks need to rebuild. They can live in denial on that like Calgary did, with similar dreadful results. Benning isn’t a smart enough talent evaluator or a guy who had the nut sack required to trade the Sedins. It will be like Iginla hanging around way too long in Calgary all over again. Sorry Tab but you are flat out bat crap goofy on assessment of Benning.

  • June 29, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Question for Tab (or anyone else who knows the answer);
    When a player is drafted, how long does the drafting organization hold his rights? I know it can differ from sport to sport. I assume these players’ NHL rights are held by the Blackhawks at least until they graduate from their college programs?

  • June 29, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    It will be very interesting to see how these college prospect turn out. Stan has really put a premium on college kids vs the euro’s. Calnan was drafted 2 years ago now and is only going into his sophomore season. I guess the for the Hawks current roster this is really the best way to go.

    No comment on Benning yet. Thacher Demko is an interesting pick for the Nucks he’s a high risk high reward selection. I felt he could have got more for Kesler

  • June 29, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    BI, the drafting team holds the rights to sign any player until that player wants to turn pro…then they must sign that player or forfeit his rights. So with kids drafted out of the CDN Jr. ranks if they don’t choose to “go to College” they must be signed right away by the drafting team…i.e. Andrew Shaw. And this is why the NHL has the ability for 2 Way contracts, because for kids opting this path, the AHL IS their collegiate training, and NHL teams couldn’t afford to pay these kids a million dollars a year to play in say Rockford.

    I am CDN, so I came up this way…but the more I think about it, the collegiate path seems to be the better route on many levels. For many CDN Jr. players, they finish their grade 12 year “on the bus” or at their billets house. This is why a lot of these CDN kids, if they don’t make it in hockey, are left in very tough circumstances.

  • June 29, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    So rhe Hawks are $700 thousand over the cap right now when bonus is factored in. Which means two things…a trade is coming and I bet it is Leddy who is swapped. Also, we can stick a fork in the Kevin Hayes story.

  • June 29, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Yes the premium seems to be on college players with little for the CHL-Ross and Shaw were late picks-surprised they didn’t go after any Canadian kids with their low round picks-its always fun her in Southern Ontario seeing possible future Hawks-
    quite a pipeline in US College

  • June 29, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Hinostroza (the water bug on ice) and Hayden (big – 6’3″ 210lbs) are the two I’m most excited about. Motte, Calnan and some others look pretty promising too.

  • June 29, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks, Sr. Brad….informative stuff. One other questions now, if you would;
    What is the relationship between the AHL, the OHL, and leagues in Europe with the NHL franchise. Obviously Rockford in the AHL is the Hawks affiliate, the Wolves are the Blues affiliate……how about players that come to the NHL from let’s say, the London Knights, or a league in Finland. Do the OHL and foreign league players play on their respective teams while officially signed to the parent NHL club, and are then available for play in the NHL at some point when their OHL etc. season is over? Please forgive my lack of knowledge about these particulars, but I grew up in southwest MO, and there even the Blues were considered to play some sport that was other wordly and never, ever, covered until the last few recent years.

  • June 29, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    re: Rufus saying Benning is over his head – if you ask any scout who has watched the LA Kings prospects over the last couple years, the overwhelming majority would tell you their best forward prospect is Vey over Pearson & Toffoli. They just happen to have 4 NHL centers in front of him. That was a really nice addition for Vancouver, and Bonino is an under rated player as well.

    But not trading the Sedins – and their $15M combined cap hit after the cap came back lower than anticipated – makes the guy dumb. Okay, Rufus…

  • June 29, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    If a Hawk prospect decides to turn pro he MUST be signed to a contract and play for a Hawk affiliate…so any Hawk prospect that you see playing around the world for a team that isn’t a Hawk affiliate, isn’t under contract…I believe the Hawks have 2 affiliates, the Rockford Icehogs in the AHL and the Indy Fuel of the ECHL…I hope that helps.

    Tab, I agree…Bonino is a good player…every time we played ANA, he was a problem. Rufus, you have to be able to have trade partners to make a deal work…and with the Sedins it wouldn’t be as easy to move them as you would think…HUGE contracts, ZERO Cup wins, and on the back half of their careers…I wouldn’t trade for either one of them…

  • June 29, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Tab – You left Nick Mattson off the North Dakota list although he seems like a bit of a longshot. Also, if I understood the interview with Starrett correctly he said he had one more year in the USHL and then would attend Cornell in 2015. Is there any news on Dahlstrom – the number 2 pick last year? I’ve seen very little info since he was drafted.

    Regarding Vey, there were a couple of articles here in LA about the tough position the Kings were in. They have 4 quality centers and Vey would have had to clear waivers to go to the AHL this year. Also given their cap situation they were in a box despite thinking very highly of him. I agree that the Canucks got a good deal in that trade.

  • June 29, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Thanks, MS. Mattson has played 3 years at North Dakota, so he was an oversight. Good catch.

    re: Vey – he’s an RFA this summer. With the Kings hanging onto Mike Richards, there wasn’t going to be an NHL spot open for a couple years so they grabbed a really good dman in the draft and gave Vey an opportunity.

  • June 29, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    I had the privilege of watching Troy Murray play two seasons at the University of North Dakota and then head immediately to the Blackhawks after winning the NCAA championship in his sophomore year (Dave Tippett, James Patrick, Jon Casey, Craig Ludwig, Phil Sykes were some of his teammates). I believe his NHL baptism happened in Round 1 of the SC playoffs vs. the North Stars.

    Jonathon Toews has won titles everywhere except in his two years at North Dakota (where he played on a line with TJ Oshie).

    Here’s hoping that this year’s #1 draft choice completes the trifecta of North Dakota to Chicago Centers. I saw a video clip where Nick Schmaltz said he would probably start the year as a winger and then move to center at some future time. What’s the word on that strategy? I also remember him saying that he plans to spend 2 or 3 years, even 4 if that’s what it takes to make him NHL ready. Nice to hear such comments from a teenager.

  • June 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Christmas may come as early as July 1 (Toews – Kane contract extension announcements). The credit card bill for 2015-16 and beyond will also be known.

    Can’t wait for the armchair GMs to determine who is “in” and “out” based on salary cap considerations.

  • June 30, 2014 at 7:59 am

    BNS, it shouldn’t take too long to find out…FA opens in 7 minutes and if Bowman has someone specific in mind, he will act quickly.

    I see ANA traded for Nate Thompson last night…that’s Kesler and Thompson added down the middle…it looks like the Ducks are emulating the Kings strategy to beat the Hawks…big, strong 2 way Centres…good moves by ANA.

    Will we go after Paul Stastny and take the pressure off of TT??? That’s the question. Stastny, I am told, WANTS to come to CHI…Hossa is essentially his uncle and both families are VERY close. So we will see.

    A CDN hockey site this morning said that the Hawks were poised to trade Sharp to OTT for Spezza, but that makes no sense at all…there’s no way Bowman would trade Sharp for a 1 year rental player…if Spezza comes to the Hawks, it won’t be via Sharp.

  • June 30, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Sorry, its June 30th today…1 day and 7 minutes…

    Pierre LeBrun said this morning that Spezza has already nixed 2 trades that Bryan Murray had worked out, one of which would have brought Hornqvist and Nic Spaling from NAS (that went to PIT for Neal). Also TSN and also Pierre LeBrun have both said that the Hawks are targeting either Spezza or Neal, as are the St. Louis Blues.

    It seems that everyone watched the WCF vs. the Kings and are learning from it…including Bowman. If Stastny is signed, then Oduya and Sharp will have to be traded which would bring back to us almost $9.3 million worth of Cap space…signing Stastny would cost likely $7 million…Oduya would bring picks and be replaced internally…and with Sharp, Bowman may be able to insist the trading partner accept one of Rozy or Versteeg in the deal as well (although I don’t think Bowman wants to trade Steeger). Sharp should be able to give us a promising youngster already playing in the NHL (a Centre or Fwd) and a high pick for next year. Bickell skates on the top line with Toews and Hossa…Stastny Centres Saad and Kane…Shaw Centres Ben Smith and Jeremy Morin, and Kruger centres Nordstrom and promising young forward. Under this scenario, Bowman would likely bring in one more seasoned vet with size that could play C or Wing at around $1 million/year.

  • June 30, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Brad, I like that scenario. It is not that I don’t like Sharp, but moving on (roster churn to stay competitive — ala the Red Wings in their glory years) is the right thing to do from a team perspective in order to keep things fresh and the roster turnover appropriate. Sharp is a valuable piece, but if he can be “turned” into a valuable 2nd line center then the Hawks need to consider that. The Hawks are not going to get “big” up the middle quick to mirror the Kings and Anaheim. They control play by relentlessly coming and amazing puck possession, regardless of the size of the opponent. This strategy has and can work. Obviously, when the Hawks found a more capable 2nd Center, the playoff series with Kings was a toss-up. Arguably, having a 2nd Center at the onset of the series perhaps would have swung things in the Hawks favor earlier…

    Sharp is a great NHL forward who gets overlooked because of his teammates, unfortunately he is the player who needs to go start the roster churn. Hossa literally cannot go anywhere because of his contract and what retiring early on another team would do to the Hawks. Toews and Kane are too young to let go of. Saad has proven his value to me…It is Sharp who will go first…

    It will be an interesting 24 hour free agency period

  • June 30, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Sr. Brad those are good line pairings but I would entertain a couple of scenarios to garner your thoughts. (Statsny with the Hossa connection is interesting.)
    Is TT ready for the show? If so, would he fit between 88 and 10 on the second line?
    Would that hurt Saad going to the third line with Smith and Shaw?
    Then put Morin on that fourth line with Kruger and Nordstrom, or another player from Rockford.
    Would that not provide 4 solid lines, but the caveat, are we strong enough down the middle against Anaheim or LA?
    Then would there be enough $ for Kaner/Toews signing?
    I like Sharpie but I also understand the business aspect of the situation. He will benefit virtually every team he would go to as he still has game left.
    We would still have to move either Leddy or Oduya along with Rozy for cap space and get a D from Rockford?

  • June 30, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Knowing that Saad and Bickell would be interchangeable and Versteeg maybe that fourth liner. I actually like Bickell on a grinder line and Saad’s speed better served with Toews and Hossa.
    That would provide a solid experienced line up, but again is it strong enough down the middle?

  • June 30, 2014 at 10:36 am

    The issue isn’t this year… it’s next year when 19/88 Cap actually hits…
    That is why Spezza actually makes more sense than others (1 yr.)… BUT some major “Core” guys will surely have to be dealt- due to 19/88/20 hit… before next year- Unless cap goes up to $75M+

  • June 30, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Thanks for the clarification.
    And if it does go up that is a whole different discussion, but that is pointing out the obvious.

  • June 30, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Gou, if TT is ready, those are the lines I would go with as well…I just don’t know that his body can handle an 82 game regular season plus gruelling playoffs weighing in around 175 (and that’s IF he hits the weights this summer). The Hawks would be better to address the 2nd line Centre situation and then have TT FORCE his way into our lineup somewhere based on his play in Rockford…this way he wouldn’t have to play the whole NHL season, plus he wouldn’t have the pressure as the 2nd line Centre.

  • June 30, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Sr. Brad says:
    A CDN hockey site this morning said that the Hawks were poised to trade Sharp….

    GASP……. NNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

    From all the lady Hawks fans…….. (& some of yesterdays parade participants)

  • June 30, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Thanks Peter, I agree that losing Sharp is tough, but replacing him with Stastny gives us more value and strength down the middle…

    Wall, with Bollig traded, our Cap space went to $1.4 million…if Nordstrom is added to take that space ($625,000) that leaves $775,000 under the Cap…so if I understand it correctly, to add Stastny or Spezza would mean removing Oduya and Sharp THIS coming season, right?

  • June 30, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Sr. Brad and Wall, I still don’t see cap geek accounting for LeBlanc’s one way deal. That is $575K that I think will count towards the cap or am I mistaken that his deal doesn’t have to count against the cap if he spends the season in Rockford (regardless he is making 575K…egads).

    Someone else is probably going to have to leave to just allow the Hawks to have a 13th forward (Rasmussen, TT,…). This is why I see a move occurring. I like the Stastny thought, but then Bowman may have to give up his 2 million cushion going into the season…unless the whole (good) scenario played out by Sr. Brad above occurs.

  • June 30, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Peter- I have been asking myself same question on LeBlahhhh…

    I don’t know why Capgeek- doesn’t include… unless- his salary is exempt from NHL/Cap (assuming he has to clear waivers across the league)… But I don’t really get that one…

  • June 30, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Does SB have any greater leverage moving salaries before announcing a Kane – Toews contract extension? I realize the cap hit does not take affect until 2015-16 season. I further realize that we only know the 2014-15 salary cap and are only speculating about the 2015-16 salary cap. Even if contract extensions were agreed to, I still wonder whether SB would move players (salaries) before making an announcement.

  • June 30, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Looks like Stevie Y and Tampa are going to make full court press to get Statsny. Interesting to think about that team with him on board.

  • June 30, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Peter, one way deals don’t affect cap hit.

    Iacopelli is not supposed to be at WMU this year…he is expected to play one more year for Muskegon this season.

  • June 30, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Colorado trades PA Parenteau (2 yrs, $4M cap) + a 5th rnd pick to Montreal for Danny Briere (1 yr, $4M cap).

    Parenteau, 31, had 33 pts last year
    Briere, 37, had 25 pts last year

    Smart cost-cutting deal for the Avs, who need to ink O’Reilly + Stastny (in theory)

  • June 30, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    I just keep asking myself who would want Rosy at $2.2mm? Also, Rosy has some say in the deal as he has a modified NTC. To me that means he might turn down a team that has $2.2mm to spent on a part time player in his twilight. Finally, I suspect the Hawks will give him away AND pay part of his salary. That said, even off the team Rosy gonna cost $1mm IMO.

    Sharp and Oduya obviously have value for many teams in the NHL. Probably the thing that really holds SB back is each has a NTC.

    Hey, I like our chances with the team at hand. A decent year out of Morin and Nordy, we will be a better team than last year.

  • June 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    The idea that a player will automatically use his NTC is over rated. Brian Campbell loved it here and had a NTC and waived it to go to Florida. If the situation is right and the player is respectfully informed about the organization’s decision to move on, most players will waive it and go.

  • June 30, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    I agree Sr. Brad. Picking up a proven center is the answer.
    That being said, can TT play wing opposite Kaner?

    Better to test those waters…

  • June 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    It’s interesting why Sharp doesn’t want to play center. He might save himself a move if was willing to take the 2C role if not he is signing his ticket elsewhere. I guess we may never know.

  • June 30, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Golden, that’s the million $ question…we won a Cup with Sharp as the 2nd line Centre in 2010, and suddenly that’s no longer a good idea??? If Sharp would play Centre I would be more than happy with that, as Sharpie is committed to team defence and is usually well positioned in the defensive zone…and with playing Centre, that’s half the battle.

    Tab, what is our current CAP situation with the recent moves and the new Cap at $69 million???

    Also agree with sarcastic comment aimed at COL…Bizarre move…

  • June 30, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I think if the cap hit is lower then .925 it doesn’t count against cap.

  • July 1, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Rufus, were .711 under the cap.

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