Blackhawks In The System: Forwards

A few weeks ago we took a look at the defensemen the Blackhawks have under contract for the 2016-17 season who will be in the mix for a position either at the end of the Hawks’ rotation in the NHL or with the IceHogs in Rockford. In the wake of that piece, Chicago has added at least one defenseman officially (Gustav Forsling) and another (Michal Kempny) appears to be only a press release away from being official.

Those additions would put the blue line list at the following under contract for the 2016-17 campaign:

  1. Michal Kempny
  2. Gustav Forsling
  3. Erik Gustafsson
  4. Ville Pokka
  5. Viktor Svedberg
  6. Carl Dahlstrom
  7. Robin Norell
  8. Dillon Fournier
  9. Nolan Valleau
  10. Cameron Schilling

[Note: we did not include Trevor van Riemsdyk on this list because he was on the NHL roster for the entire 2015-16 season.]

Behind Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and TvR, the Hawks would figure to be looking for two or three players from this list of ten to fill in the roster as a 4-7 defenseman. With Kempny signing a one-year deal, it’s safe to assume he’ll get every opportunity to win an NHL spot.

We posted a list of the pending free agents – restricted and unrestricted – for review. Chicago might look outside the organization as well; we offered a few names that might be considered recently as well.

So what do the forwards in the system look like heading into the summer? Let’s take a stock of the prospects in the Blackhawks’ pipeline. Note: on Tuesday, the Blackhawks announced the signing of Swedish center Martin Lundberg.

One name noticeably absent from this list is North Dakota’s Nick Schmaltz, who is not under contract as of publication.

Ryan Hartman

Ryan Hartman
DOB: 09/20/1994 (23 years old)
5-11  191
2016-17 Cap Hit: $863,333
NHL Games Played: 8
 2013 NHL Draft – 1st round (#30)
2015-16 Stats:
Chicago (NHL)
3 games, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point
Rockford (AHL)
61 games, 15 goals, 20 assists, 35 points

Tyler Motte

Tyler Motte
DOB: 03/10/1995 (21 years old)
5-9  193
2016-17 Cap Hit: $925,000
NHL Games Played: 0
 2013 NHL Draft – 4th round (#121)
2015-16 Stats:
University of Michigan (NCAA – B1G)
38 games, 32 goals, 24 assists, 56 points
Rockford (AHL)
5 games, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points

Vince Hinostroza

Vince Hinostroza
DOB: 04/03/1994 (22 years old)
5-10  180
2016-17 Cap Hit: $717,500
NHL Games Played: 7
 2012 NHL Draft – 6th round (#169)
2015-16 Stats:
Chicago (NHL)
7 games, 0 points
Rockford (AHL)
66 games, 18 goals, 33 assists, 51 points

Luke Johnson

Luke Johnson
DOB: 09/19/1994 (22 years old)
6-0  192
2016-17 Cap Hit: $717,500
NHL Games Played: 0
 2013 NHL Draft – 5th round (#134)
2015-16 Stats:
University of North Dakota (NCAA – NCHC)
43 games, 11 goals, 10 assists, 21 points

Kyle Baun

Kyle Baun
DOB: 05/04/1992 (24 years old)
6-2  209
2016-17 Cap Hit: $625,000
NHL Games Played: 5
 signed as free agent
2015-16 Stats:
Chicago (NHL)
2 games, 0 points
Rockford (AHL)
43 games, 1 goal, 8 assists, 9 points

Tanner Kero

Tanner Kero
DOB: 07/24/1992 (24 years old)
6-0  185
2016-17 Cap Hit: $667,500
NHL Games Played: 17
 signed as free agent
2015-16 Stats:
Chicago (NHL)
17 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points
Rockford (AHL)
60 games, 20 goals, 19 assists, 39 points

37 thoughts on “Blackhawks In The System: Forwards

  • May 24, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Before this year I though Baun may be a keeper-now not much to get excited about.
    A lot of things have to happen to only score once in 43 games.
    Hopefully Motte and Schmaltz can contribute in the next two to three years.

  • May 25, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Overall this list is extremely poor! None of these guys appear to be top 6 players. The Hawks systems hasnt looked weaker in nearly a decade. Stan has done a poor job in drafting players that have become Hawks players. He has hit on players that are now staring elsewhere.
    Toews, Kane, Seabs, Keith, Hammer and Crow, all the Hawks core, came from the Tallon area. Tuevo is the lone holdout if Shaw moves on. My Hawks arrow continues to point down!

  • May 25, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    When 5 of your 6 top six positions are filled year after year you have the luxury of developing your prospects into bottom six roll players with upside. So for the purposes of reality this is a pretty nice list.

    Pretty hard to discount Shaw and Saad. I also look to ‘bust’ players Stan has traded for ‘upside’ players like Pokka and Forsling.

  • May 25, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Leddy was a “bust”?

  • May 25, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Sorry, meant to write Panik

  • May 25, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Iceman’s gonna be mad!!

  • May 25, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    @ Yoda

    I call BS! Its impossible to say if Pokka or Forsling are any good anyways. Clearly CDen was a bust, Leddy is a top pair defenseman on playoff team hardly a bust. If you think this is a nice list of forwards you must be a very optimistic fan.

    I also have a money tree sapling for sale for the low price of 100 dollars. Lets discuss payment options offline.

  • May 25, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Call BS all you like. You missed the point of my post: 5 of the 6 top 6 positions on this team have been filled going on 7 straight seasons. When you have talent like that your prospects need only be bottom six roll players. So, again, given that reality, yes, this is a nice list of players.

  • May 25, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Life in the salary cap era is a slow, grinding, march to the inevitable fall back to the pack.

  • May 25, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    re: cincod1’s comment about the inevitable fall back to the pack…

    Since the 2005 lockout the following teams have won the Cup at least once and, since 2005, have missed the playoffs:

    2006 – Carolina Hurricanes
    2007 – Anaheim Ducks
    2009 – Pittsburgh Penguins
    2011 – Boston Bruins
    2012 – Los Angeles Kings
    2014 – Los Angeles Kings

    You’ll notice only 4 missing years on that list: 2009 (Detroit) and the Hawks’ 3 Cup victories. Consider that when we begin writing obituaries to the Hawks’ so-called dynasty. The Blackhawks, once golfing annually by mid-April, haven’t missed the postseason since 2008-09. Have they been a juggernaut every season? No. But let’s not be so quick to write them – or Bowman – off.

  • May 25, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    re: those noting the lack of depth…

    Motte is going to be a very good NHL player. Hinostroza is going to be a very good, useful player. And a handful of college players – Schmaltz, Hayden, Olofsson – aren’t under contract (yet). Even with the potential defection of Shaw this summer, give the NHL roster a good look. There simply aren’t that many spots available for kids to take over.

  • May 25, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    SSHM- lol … sappling for sale…

    Tab- great facts on SC teams

    Forsling and pokka … yes way better than Nothings!!!! But still not proven. ..
    I get both sides… but lean to Wins… cuz always knew Cden… BuST

  • May 25, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Hey wall, remember Adam Vay? The kid from Hungary. The Wild signed him about a week ago. I didn’t see that till now. We knew someone would sign him.

  • May 25, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    -trade Corey Crawford for a young big first line Forward. (Like Victor Rask)
    -trade for a young Goalie (Like Connor Hellebuyck)
    -re-Sign Shaw for 3 years 9M (maximum)
    -Dump Bryan Bickell and David Rundblad
    -try to add a quality D-men + depth forward
    -sign Nick Schmaltz

    Lineup :
    Rask* – Toews –
    Panarin – Anisimov – Kane
    Panik – Schmaltz – Hossa
    Desjardins – Kruger – Shaw
    Extra: Rasmussen – Hartman

    Keith – Hjalmarsson
    Kempny – Seabrook
    – van Riemsdyk
    Extra: Gustafsson


  • May 25, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Winnipeg isn’t trading Hellebuyck. Especially not in the division.

    Carolina is building for the future. Why would they trade a 22 year old, he needs a contract but Carolina still needs to get to the floor. He’ll probably get something in the 4 range. So you’ll have to trade then sign him to a team you can’t leverage as theyre not up against the cap or an internal budget.

    Dumping Bickell sounds so easy. But someone with some value will gonback the other way if you don’t want crap dollars back. An option for Rundblad is to loan him or keep him in Rockford. Rockford may be the best bet as his offensive numbers may be enough for someone to take a flyer. Or maybe he’s claimed during the waiver process.

    I don’t see Schmaltz as a center in the show. In a previous post I referenced faceoff numbers. Schmaltz at UND had 46.5%. That’s college. Sure he could get better. But that’s not good. So to expect him to be 3c next year is a bit far-fetched. His game is offensive. So why put him in a checking role? More realistically you see Kruger bumped up. And then perhaps a Luke Johnson another signed prospect as 4c. Johnson is a right shot, something I personally think you’ll see more emphasis put on going forward like right shot d. He won nearly 55% of his draws. Craig might be able to direct his game better than I.

    Id love to see Vesey. He has suggested he’ll listen. And if the Hawks dangle winger next to Toews maybe he agrees. So assuming Bickell can be traded(don’t be shocked if TVR is going the other way.) Here’s what I propose.

    Desjardins-Johnson/Kero-Shaw(Hartman if Shaw can’t be retained)

    Hjalmarsson-Pokka (hammer likes right, but he’s up there in turnovers)
    Kempny-TVR(if he’s here)


    Blues lose. Brouwer and Backes pending UFA’s. Unhappy with Tarasenko. Shattenkirk always on the trade block. Don’t envy that position one bit.

  • May 25, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Not including Panarin’s and Rozsival’s bonuses. Assuming Bickell and Rundblad are gone either via trade or waivers. With Shaw at 3 million for numbers sake, and Vesey (longshot) at the .925 ELC max. And using Luke Johnson’s figure as it’s larger than Kero’s. The total cap number for the above roster is…
    68.5745 million.

    That’s obviously without bonuses. We know how crazy Panarin’s are. Kempny if he hits them is at 1.1, he’s in the 700’s now. Vesey’s bonuses could be up to 3.775.

  • May 25, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Mr. Rufus/Snidely’s stellar predictions and analysis continues its perpetual downward spiral. If memory serves correct (I’m pretty sure), as soon as the Hawks were eliminated, Mr. Rufus humbly (ha) advised us all the Stanley Cup Finals would pit St. Louis v. Washington.

    Mr. Rufus, you are priceless. After the Finals’ match up is set, please let us all know who you like, and I will send someone out west to wager on the opposing team.

    Thank you.

  • May 26, 2016 at 4:55 am

    The Hawks have entered new era. We have an aging and shrinking core that is becoming more reliant on a quality mix of complementary players surrounding it. Yet because of the salary cap we can’t keep or go after the proper surrounding mix of players. Losing Shaw is a nut crusher. And looking at this list of forwards in the system is scary bad to contemplate. Other than maybe Motte, none of the names on this list are anything beyond camp competition and career AHLer types. I struggle to see anybody on this list outside of maybe Motte being anything more than a #12/13 type forward in the NHL.

  • May 26, 2016 at 5:06 am

    Hinostroza and Johnson are marginal at best NHL prospects. I would sadly and strongly beg to differ with Tab’s optimistic scouting report of each.

    Any hope of retaining Shaw hinges on dumping Bickell. I would think it takes packaging him with Teuvo to make that contract go away completely. Ernie, I hadn’t thought about the idea of doing same with TVR but that is interesting. While I admire TVR’s work ethic and determination, I am not a fan of his game or upside. He is absolutely NOT a #4 type defenseman and is very replaceable given bis limited gifts and the like. I suppose Kempny and Gustafsson can be the 3rd pairing, but that still leaves a massive hole at the #4 slot on defense.

  • May 26, 2016 at 8:45 am

    RTF, you say TVR is replaceable? I find that funny when we keep seeing Rosy and Rundblad popping up every year. It is like the movie Ground Hog Day. We can’t do better than those two? We aren’t have any luck finding any dependable dmen. I am not a big fan of TVR by any stretch, but he has been more dependable then others that have played. As far as I am concerned our defense 4-7 needs to be blown up and new faces installed. Rosy, Rundblad, and Svedberg need to be gone from the org. They are not answers to anything. I have no issue with TVR as a 5-7 guy, but also won’t shed a tear with he is traded. He seems to be a Q guy though. I believe Gus will play a pivotal role in the coming years unless Q screws up his mind with his version of shock therapy.

  • May 26, 2016 at 8:48 am

    I almost piss myself laughing when people on this board compare Svedberg to Chara. Svedberg is worthless.

  • May 26, 2016 at 9:57 am

    @ Booman

    Both they are both Tall???

    Seriously though until the Hawks move some salary they will continue to need to add guys like Kempny, Luke Johnson and other UFA. The difference now is the core has a ton of mileage. Toews went goal less in the playoffs. Seabs and Kruger(2 core guys) -2 against the Blues. TVR and Rosey -3. That’s your special teams & 3 pair getting you beat. Is +/- the best stat no, but its a simple stat works.

  • May 26, 2016 at 10:05 am

    re: Daigle’s roster & trade comments

    no… really…

  • May 26, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    @Tab, thanks for the stats on SC champs. Not sure if your referencing my quote to validate or disagree?

    Point being, the system is designed to set back the rich and bring balance. The Hawks have been creative and fortunate to hold this off. To those that bellyache, it’s not as simple as reloading via the draft with late first round picks nor signing the top free agent without cap space. These things have to be taken in aggregate throughout the off season.

  • May 26, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Observation from the Blues/Sharks game last night. I had been sitting on the side of Blackhawks need to reload defensively and somewhat questioning Q’s take that the front end needed to be upgraded. Last night I saw the light. While the Hawks need to add some top 4 depth to defense, it’s really about rolling 4 effective lines and puck possession. The Sharks controlled the play, rolling a wave of 4 lines that off set the Blues strong defensive play and neutralized the offensive game that the Blues showed against the Hawks. Watching that game reminded me a bit of the 2010 Hawks team with the balanced 4 line attack. Hoping to see Marleau lift the cup, classy 2 way player.

  • May 26, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I think both SB and Q think very highly of TVR and can’t see him included in a trade. He has barely a year of experience in the NHL and has made huge strides IMO. I expect he will work hard on his strength in the off-season and has a shot to be a solid #4 d-man. He is also cheap which is critical given our cap constraints.

    The Sharks 4th line is reminding me of the Krugs/Shaw/Desi line last year – Playing significant minutes against opposing top lines. I can’t imagine that any Shark fan would have been excited about a 4th line of Spaling,Wingels and Zubrus. This will be our real challenge for next year, finding more stable, productive bottom 6 contributors. As the Sharks are proving it is as much about coaching and fit as it is talent. Mashinter types need not apply.

  • May 26, 2016 at 5:13 pm


    Re aging core

    See DJ sharks

    Thornton 36. Brent burns 31
    Marleau. 36. Vlassic. 29
    Pavelski. 31. Zubrus 37
    Joel ward 35. Couture 27

    Wtf rtf you are off base with your aging core theory!

  • May 26, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    I mean SJ Sharks of course

  • May 26, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Tab was saying the Hawks haven’t fallen back to the pack. Only 2 teams can say they’ve made the playoffs every year post lockout since winning the cup. The Hawks and Wings. You could argue that the wings have become an also ran and if they were still in the central would not have made it.

  • May 26, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    I’m with Tab. The cupboard is not bleak and bare. Just got done watching the Pens win the Eastern conference with guys like Rust, Sheary and Kuhnackel.

    I think the question is which prospects are going to step up and make that jump in October and make the Hawks out of training camp.

    Is it going to be Motte or Hartman ? Is McNeill going to find the next level ? What if hinostroza or Kero outperforms Rasmussen at camp ? Does he start the season as the #4 center. What if this new Swedish forward Lindberg impresses Q with his versatility ?

    What the Hawks lack prospect wise is top end blue chip guys. Having rarely picked in the top 20 in this decade in the draft, they have been forced to mine for gold elsewhere. That’s no secret or great revelation. It’s a fact of life when you’ve been to 5 conference finals in 8 seasons.

    On Luke Johnson. He is a very good hockey player. Tremendous hockey sense. Great positionally. Loves to bang, shoots from everywhere then follows his shot to the net. His skating is suffice. He was an excellent player at Lincoln in the USHL. He was a terrific player at North Dakota. So he has been very good at each level. He will almost assuredly start in Rockford. Hes very stocky and is ready to play against men. He’s not flashy, but he plays north /south big boy hockey.

  • May 27, 2016 at 8:29 am

    @CN Well, said.

    Sitting around the campfire and complaining that the next Patrick Kane is not sitting in Rockford is senseless. The system is designed to slowly put a stranglehold on successful franchises and it is the franchise that is responsible for mining for gold elsewhere. Shoot, I give the team credit for signing the International players they are. Are they good? Who know’s, worth a spin of the dice. Same goes for picking guys like Panik off the scrap heap, some work and some don’t.

  • May 27, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    What do you think we could get for Rufus if we trade him instead of Teuvo? With that wealth of knowledge the sky is the limit, give it a try Stan.

  • May 27, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Red wings do not make playoffs after realignment if they stayed in cambell.

  • May 28, 2016 at 12:09 am

    If we trade RTF, we might get Morin back again!!! Let’s just bury Rufus in Rockford with Bickell and Rundblad.

  • June 21, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Hello, I like reading through your post. I like to write a little comment to support you.

  • June 25, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Crow isn’t going anywhere and it’s insane “trade Crawford” is still a thing. He has proven himself can we forgive and forget his Sophomore slump already.

    Shaw is gone because we don’t have the money for him. The salary cap exists.

    I literally laughed when I read Hossa on third line. Our core is solid and the team has committed to them. We did lose some to the cap again but we have some young talent that will get some looks. I feel like the Hawks had a good draft and everyone should read Tan’s prospects in the system articles. I am excited about the young talent coming up. This team has been very good at developing players into the NHL.

  • June 25, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    *Tab’s sorry my phone has a bad auto-correct.
    Basically we have some good young talent and a great core we can expect to continue to win Cups and stay the team with the most Salary-Cap era cups throughout this generation.

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