What To Make Of Chicago’s Next Generation?

Earlier this weekend, The Sporting News offered their rankings of NHL organizations’ prospect depth. After a couple drafts that many have felt were strong, the Blackhawks showed up an intriguing 23rd overall.

Here are their thoughts on the current state of the Hawks’ system:

The Blackhawks’ season was the hockey equivalent of a cold shower, as they missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. Little by little, however, they’ve drafted and developed NHL-caliber players, albeit none of their current kids are on the level of a Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews. The strength of the Hawks’ farm system lies within the defense, which is led by four blue-chip rearguards acquired with their top two picks in each of the last two drafts. Swedish wunderkind Adam Boqvist highlights this talented group of defenders for his obvious flair and blistering shot. But don’t overlook playmakers like Nicolas Beaudin, Ian Mitchell, Henri Jokiharju and Ryan Shea. All four can run a power play, and the law of averages says at least one of these kids will be worthy enough to one day replace Duncan Keith.

Their top ten Blackhawks prospects were:

1. Adam Boqvist, D
2. Dylan Sikura, F
3. Andrei Altybarmakyan, F
4. Henri Jokiharju, D
5. Jake Wise, C
6. Ian Mitchell, D
7. Nicolas Beaudin, D
8. Carl Dahlstrom, D
9. Anthony Louis, C
10. Ryan Shea, D

These rankings came at the same time The Athletic published a confidence study of NHL front offices – in the eyes of the fans. Not surprisingly, the Blackhawks did not grade well; after missing the postseason for the first time in a decade, many have been critical of the job done by Stan Bowman and company of sustaining the team’s championship window since last winning a Stanley Cup championship in 2015.

Chicago ranked 25th in this poll. Here are the comments from their polls of the public and fans:

“Chicago’s front office may get a lot of flack for trades like Panarin for Saad and handing out contracts like Seabrook and it is all deservedly so. The issue with how people perceive Chicago’s front office is there is not enough realization to how well they have drafted over the past few years.”

“Stan Bowman has entirely lost the plot and has no idea what he is doing. Bad trade after bad trade.”

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. It was only a few years ago that the Blackhawks organization was seen as the class of the league, but the team has really fallen since then after two quick playoff exits and not making it last season. The team used to expertly navigate their impending salary cap doom caused by their talented depth, but lately it’s been a series of questionable decisions made to get out of the team’s loyalty-based self-inflicted cap hell. That loyalty has also been at the forefront of the team’s failed “bringing the band back together” experiments. Still, some credit has to be given to the team’s recent drafting record, finding an abundance of quality NHL talent despite a lower than average draft slot.

That piece did not rank the Blackhawks top prospects, but Scott Powers updated his rankings after the prospect camp in July. Here are his top ten:

1. Dylan Sikura, F
2. Henri Jokiharju, D
3. Adam Boqvist, D
4. Ian Mitchell, D
5. Gustav Forsling, D
6. Nicolas Beaudin, D
7. Artur Kayumov, F
8. Jake Wise, C
9. Victor Ejdsell, F
10. Max Shalunov, F

So what do we make of the future of the Blackhawks?

Defensemen figure prominently in both top ten lists. The name many have focused on since the draft is Boqvist. Corey Pronman of The Athletic spoke to Tomas Monten, Sweden’s coach for the U20 roster about a number of topics, starting with Boqvist. Here’s a selection of the interview:

Corey Pronman: Adam Boqvist  was the best defenseman at the U18s and a top 10 pick. What are your thoughts on what he brings to your team?

Tomas Monten: He’s a skilled offensive defenseman. If we don’t have Timothy Liljegren [the 17th overall pick by Toronto in 2017] or Erik Brannstrom [the 15th overall pick by Vegas in ’17), he’s our No. 1 defenseman on our power play and offensive side. We’ll see how he looks. He’s one year younger [than the age group] but still he was with the U20 team in November last year and was in the run for the world juniors last year. Hopefully he can use that experience and try to lead this team in an offensive way.

CP: Historically for guys who have been very high picks out of Sweden, it’s unusual they have played their entire season at the junior level. Where do you think his development is in terms of his all-around play and his ability to play at a faster pace?

Monten: Last season was up and down for him. He played a lot of junior, didn’t play a lot of senior games, but he was really good when he played on the national team both at the Ivan Hlinka and the Under-18 World Championships. He’s going to London, we’ll see how it goes, it will be a little different for him. I don’t know how good London is this year, but my understanding is they always have a top team.

CP: Pretty much.

Monten: He needs to get stronger, he needs to get faster for the smaller rink and he needs to work on his defensive side of the game. He’s a skilled defenseman, though, and he needs opportunities to work on his skills and use his skills, and he’ll get that in London.

Personally, I love Mitchell’s game; he’ll be back at Denver this season but could be a contract candidate in April. With the depth of the system, Chicago will have options on the trade market before and during the 2018-19 season. Shea made the top ten for The Sporting News but ranked 49th on Powers’ list, which is interesting.

The forward group is where many fans see an immediate need for an injection of quality players under affordable team control and the top end doesn’t appear to be there. Dylan Sikura appears to be set to join the NHL roster to open the season and, if the optimism and confidence of the front office (echoed by many like Powers) is to be believed he has the potential to be an impact forward soon. He could join 20-year-old Alex DeBrincat, who is coming off a 28-goal rookie campaign, in the top six this year.

The interesting name missing from Powers’ top ten is Altybarmakyan (he came in at 11). Powers has been out in front of the 19-year-old as a prospect with a high ceiling from the jump; he’ll play in the KHL again next year.

One name that’s jumped up on most radars since the draft is Wise, the Hawks’ third round pick (#69 overall) this summer. He’ll play at Boston University with Chad Krys this season and looked really good at prospect camp.

There are some good reinforcements coming to help Chicago in the future, but the issue is filling the gaps in the coming season. Up front, Sikura, Ejdsell and John Hayden figure to be in the mix for the NHL lineup with Ejdsell and Hayden bringing some much-needed size. Forsling, of course, will miss his chance to make the NHL roster out of training camp because a wrist injury will sideline him until November. It would appear that injury will open the door for Jokiharju to get a long look in training camp.

If/When Shalunov comes to the NHL continues to be a wild card.

The good news is the Blackhawks do have some solid players in the organization and they’re deep on the blue line, which should help their ability to make trades in the coming year.

But the logjam with adding veteran free agents over the last two years continues to limit the coaching staff’s ability to give young players a long look. Vinnie Hinostroza, who had a nice season last year, was traded out of town this summer and the Hawks brought in Chris Kunitz to do something.

The next generation coming to Chicago could be good. But how the 2018-19 season plays out might determine if Bowman and/or Joel Quenneville are around to coach the prospects.

Featured Image: Scott Powers / The Athletic

95 thoughts on “What To Make Of Chicago’s Next Generation?

  • August 6, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Jokiharju, Mitchell, Krys, Karlson, Gilbert, Hillman, Dahlstrom, Forsling, Gustafsson, etc…. there are others I am omitting.

    I will reiterate I would have drafted Wahlstrom @ 8, Veleno @ 27 & Wise where they drafted him. Re-load up front w/ guys three forwards virtually locked in to play top 9 roles for a long time and a lot quicker than the D-men they drafted this season. A sniper (Wahlstrom) & two centers which the Hawks badly are in need of.

    Good day.

  • August 6, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Interesting to see Altybarmakan come up sp far in rankings, wonder how probable it is he comes over next year. I believe he will still only be 20 or 21 at that point.

    Defintely going to have some real good trade bait in next couple of years with all those young defensemen. Hope taking a high risk on Boqvist pays off the huge dividends they are banking on.

  • August 6, 2018 at 9:59 am

    See Nalimov signed one year KHL deal, hopefully has a another good year and can be signed next year. Should help long term goalie situation look brighter if that were to happen.

  • August 6, 2018 at 10:08 am

    To summarize.

    Defense: a lot of prospects but all either small PMDs or bottom pairing. No studs who can eat minutes and play all situations.

    Forward: some possibilities. No real power forwards (maybe Shalunov but I think he is more about skill than mucking). Thin at centre (although Wise was a nice pick).

    Goalie: next to nothing.

    The mid 20 org ranking appears warranted.

  • August 6, 2018 at 10:20 am

    I really like the Boqvist pick still over the 2 defenseman in Dobson and Bouchard. Wahlstrom would have been nice but I think Boqvist was a smarter pick.

    Watching the summer World Junior showcase has been interesting. Mitchell and Beaudin have looked good for Canada playing against Finland and the USA. Boqvist looked great against the USA and Canada especially on the powerplay.

    Watching Oliver Wahlstrom play for the USA hasn’t impressed me as much as I thought he would. I was a guy who wanted the Hawks to draft Wahlstrom, but after watching this tournament I believe Bowman actually made the right choice with Boqvist. Guys like Tkachuk, Farabee Quinn Hughes, and Jack Hughes have all looked better than Wahlstrom. That’s just what I’ve seen from watching the tournament.

  • August 6, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    There just aren’t a lot of impact players in the Hawks system right now. The players with the most talent are at least several years away. Realistically this can probably be a top 10 system if several guys continue to progress. The Hawks are really in a tough spot the next few years, their pro talent is aging out quickly and their prospects are a few years away. Their goaltending is shaky at best and their forward prospects are limited. There just isn’t a lot to get excited about going into this season. However, besides the blueline, there are a few guys to keep an eye on.

    Andrei Altybarmakyan & Max Shalunov are two intriguing prospects. I still have faith in Fortin and I think Dominik Kahun will surprise and make the club and produce about 30-40 pts this season.

  • August 6, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Iceman I see where you are coming from about this draft but this team has many needs. Yes they won 3 Cups but along the way the farm system got left behind by trades at the deadline. Stan rolled the dice and now they pay the price for bad deals and success. This will not be a quick fix, that’s why a change at the top may happen this year. It’s wait and see time.

  • August 6, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Looking like what Bowman hopes is the next generation goalie Nalimov may get his audition as next seasons backup heir apparent. But he has to show last season wasn’t a fluke with one more good year in KHL.

  • August 6, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    I am somewhat dismayed by Bowman’s recent fascination with undersized puck moving defensemen. I think we have cornered the market on them. It would be nice if any of these guys could actually be good at, um, defense.

    I think the Hawks are stuck where the Bulls were a couple of years go. That is, are they going to try to compete with stars like Butler, Rose, and Gasol or are they going to seriously rebuild? In other words, they have to pick a lane. The Bulls finally picked a lane and fans are getting interested again. I realize that the non-movement clauses of cap eaters like Seabrook are a problem, but Bowman has to be creative.

  • August 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    If you are dismayed by Bowman’s recent fascination with undersized puck moving defenseman you should be pissed at the majority of the NHL…. or paying attention to trends. Either way. Whatever does it for you.

  • August 6, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    I thought Nalimov requested a trade? Did something change? Based on that, why would anyone expect him in the fold?

  • August 6, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    200FG… some good posts…

    Anyone know details on Nick Nordgren injury???

    I was really High on this kid as potential Steal/sleeper Pick by Hawks… puts up some really solid #’s and by all accounts– plays really smart 2- way hockey… finisher in WJC type hockey!!!

    anyone have details? Hope it’s not career threatening!!!

    Re: Altybarmakyan and Kayumov… pretty high on both… loved to see Old-school/Off-season workout pushing old Car in fields…

    Sikura- is gonna be a good one… High skill/High IQ/Makes fast decisions… ONLY weakness… is strength… but hey TT had similar weakness… and He is pretty good player… not perfect for Cycle style Hockey… but- I think Q/Hawks are slowly accepting that the “Cycle-style Hawks from 2010” are no longer here!!! Hard to Build that team in Cap world… easier to find Quick/PMD with aggressive /quick Forwards (like Vegas… Pens style) in today’s Cap world

  • August 6, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Mox he apparently rescinded his trade request and his agent says him and Bowman on same page now.
    Wall Soderlund at some point and Highmore this season are 2 forwards too who can be a part of the roster.

  • August 6, 2018 at 4:16 pm


    I think that the whole NHL is moving to the new age of smaller pmd who can skate and are offensively gifted.

    Almost every team is steering toward this style of play since it has proved to be effective with teams like the Pens, Vegas, and even the Caps had a lot of smaller defenseman this past playoff run.

    The NHL is getting faster and the Hawks are staying right with the rest of the league. In a few years we’ll have one of the fastes teams with our 4 top dmen prospects in Boqvist, Beaudin, Mitchell and Jokiharju. Along with 8, 88, and 12 up front with Sikura and Wise.

    The Hawks will be a dangerously fast and offensively gifted team in 2-3 years. The only problem is a certain solution to replace Crawford in net…

  • August 6, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Also forgot to mention whoever we get in this upcoming draft since I’m pretty certain it will be at least a top 7 pick.

  • August 6, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    The Summer Showcase that just wrapped up Saturday gave me a look at some of the Hawks prospects. Canada and US had split squads so not all of the players played in every game, but I was able to a few of them enough to get these impressions:

    Boqvist – the skating and skill is obvious to see but it’s probably likely he will need some time in the AHL after spending the coming season in OHL/London. I’m not saying he can’t be ready for the NHL in 2019/20 but 2020/21 is probably more realistic.

    Mitchell – not bashful about shooting the puck. He looked pretty good at making a first pass up the middle but I was less impressed with the rest of his game. He looked less of a difference maker than I was hoping.

    Beaudin – kinda the opposite of Mitchell in that he looked reluctant to shoot and seemed to pass up some shot opportunities to make a pass. His skating and lateral was very good though. He was often paired with Mitchell and they both got caught flat footed in the o-zone and got beat up the middle for a goal, but other than that seemed to do well in the d-zone.

    I didn’t see enough of Wise, Barratt, and Ess to form an opinion.

    The most pleasant surprise to me was Entwistle. He’s big (6’4″ ?) but looks pretty slender so he’ll probably fill in some over the next couple years. What was pleasantly surprising was he looked pretty agile and quick on his skates. He was on a line with Arizona 1st round pick Hayton (#5 OA) and that line was probably the best line for Canada when they beat Sweden Friday night. What I thought was a throw in on the Hossa/Hinostroza deal may actually be a pretty good prospect.

  • August 6, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I take some of the prospect assessments put out by national publications with a grain of salt. Much of the time they’re using dated material or just pulling opinions out of their posterior in order to meet the requirements to publish something. I give a lot more credence to local guys that actually follow the team – like Scott Powers or Chris Kuc. Plus, I’m not always sure what criteria is used to rate/rank prospects. A guy like Anthony Louis has the skating/speed/skill to check those boxes but he makes Alex DeBrincat look like a big guy. Does the Sporting News really think Anthony Louis has a better chance at an NHL career than about a dozen other Hawks prospects that were left off their list?

    About the only thing these national rankings are good for is if they happen to hit upon your confirmation bias, at least in my opinion.

  • August 6, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    It seems to me the closer the player is to NHL ready the easier it is to rate them – kind of a no brainer “duh” statement, I know, but bear with me. Using Jokiharju and Boqvist as an example – I would say it’s easier to rank Jokiharju above Boqvist because Jokiharju is very close to being NHL ready so it’s less of a gamble to predict NHL success for him – he has closed to gap between potential and realization more than Boqvist has. I actually think Boqvist has more potential then Jokiharju but he’s farther away from realizing it so it’s more of a gamble to bet he will.

    The reason I belabored that point is because it matters in ranking players. Do you rank a player solely on potential or do you also factor in how far they’ve advanced in realizing that potential?

    Another example is Fortin. His potential is probably higher than most Hawks forward prospects but he still very far away from realizing that potential and may never do so. Two years ago he wowed everyone and he was being rated one of the best Hawks prospects. Now he is barely more than an afterthought even to die hard Hawks fans, let alone national writers.

  • August 6, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Have been critical of Bowman but think he made two good picks in Round 1 and a steal nabbing Jake Wise in Round 3. Disagree with Iceman about drafting forwards in Round 1 because they develop quicker. Yes, we need forwards badly, but if both d-men were best available, with more upside, then take ’em. In the next three years, watch a great new d-corp headed our way.

    I recently posted that the upcoming season will still be a transitional one, but am confident that by season’s end at least a couple of young d-men and a couple of forwards will be in a Blackhawks sweater for years to come. We will be back in the playoffs in 2019-20 (assuming we get the G situation settled).

    Bowman’s possible best trade: Hartman for Ejdsell and Beaudin (Preds going to feel robbed). Entwistle may be another good trade.

  • August 6, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Iceman, I like that way of thinking.
    One thing we have to do is get another Duncan Keith.
    Were prob not/only one team will, get another Linstrom or Keith, they do not come around very often.
    Still we need another Duncan Keith.

    This draft might be the only draft we draft in top10 for a long time. Its been what 10 yrs since we did last and who knows when again. Maybe next draft and then we go long time again.

    So, on a rare deep draft, we took the best Defenseman that could be that drafted top pair D we have to have. Have to.

  • August 6, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    I always have prospects by how good there going to be.
    You can tell more when there close and first couple yrs then prime yrs, sure.

  • August 6, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    I like the points that you make about how you rank prospects. Personally I would rank Boqvist as our best prospect above Jokiharju just due to his projection in the future.

    Though I do understand that ranking by potential may be less effective than distance from the NHL, I think taking into consideration a players NHL comparable to rank Prospects is important and has to who is given opportunities to play. Since Boqvist’s projection is Erik Karlsson like, I would rank him as the top prospect.

    Great points about ranking and I think it’s tough to find that line between the players projection vs how NHL ready they are when ranking prospects.

  • August 6, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    200FG, I liked your posts as well.
    Wall, Re: Altybarmakyan and Kayumov… pretty high on both… loved to see Old-school/Off-season workout pushing old Car in fields…
    He ends up being a good player, after doing that.
    Blokes a legend.

  • August 6, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    I agree with ER regarding prospects. Remember the old hockey’s future. Granted the writers were essentially local homers and not NHL scout types. Regardless. They’d rank prospects based on talent but give a grade for likelihood of meeting the ceiling as well. When you rank prospects I think it’s up to the individual as to what they value more. Where the player is at now. Their ceiling. And probability of success. Joe Veleno and Sean Day were given exceptional status. But 3 years later… Not so much. Why the fall from grace? How quickly guys mature physically. Buck Showalter used to say they wouldn’t draft players with beards.

    Boqvist is 17. His shortcomings aren’t really mental. They’re physical. He’s a high ceiling low floor type. He could be great. But if his body never matures, he’s not going to make it. If you look at his body vs his countryman in Dahlin. It’s man vs child. I remember Duncan Keith had similar criticisms and he turned out alright. Give the kid time to grow.

    As a rule, you take the best player available. If things are equal then need is acceptable. These prospect gurus are in the hype business. If they’re critical at all, people aren’t reading. No readers…no job.

    Who remembers the talking penis with glasses that is Pierre McGuire gushing over Mark McNeil?

  • August 7, 2018 at 1:56 am

    Ernie – the talking penis with glasses – brings back laughs. McGuire is still a talking penis. What a shmoe that guy is.

    Yeah, I remember the HF rankings that included a “probability grade”. I don’t remember what they called it but that’s basically what is was. Combined a rating for talent and the probability of getting there. It was kind of neat because there could be a guy whose talent level was that of a bottom-6 guys and he’d have a probability rating of “A” because there was do doubt he was going to hit his ceiling as a bottom-6 guy. Then there would be a guy whose ceiling was a #1 center but his probability rating was like a “C” because he probably wasn’t going to hit his ceiling. It was pretty interesting.

  • August 7, 2018 at 9:06 am


    I absolutely agree with both your assessment of McGuire but more so with your comment about ranking and rating players younger and further away from the NHL. Personally, I miss NHL futures I thought that was about the best prospect website. Speaking of that site here is their top 5 Chicago Blackhawks prospects LOL

    Top 5 Prospects: 1. Marko Dano, C; 2. Nick Schmaltz, C; 3. Ville Pokka, D; 4. Artemi Panarin, LW; 5. Mark McNeill, RW

    For example, most national rankings have Boqvist somewhere between the 10-15 overall prospect and that’s including 2 or sometimes 3 years worth of prospects. So if Boqvist keeps getting better expect him to be ranked “higher” as he gets closer. The thing is to remember about Boqvist is he is only 17 (turns 18 this month). A year with Dale Hunter in London will help him out a lot.

  • August 7, 2018 at 9:08 am

    The NHL is faster? The NHL is faster and bigger. Again, the Hawks winning the CUPs were big skilled teams with one superstar KANE under 6 feet tall. Brain Campbell, Shaw, Teuvo….not many more. And if you watched the Capitals, same deal.
    So when you see Anthony Louis or Sikura as a top prospect, a 6th round pick who barely weighs 160lbs, and the dmen are all very, very smallish, you need to question what Bowman and the BRASS were thinking. More so, why Bowman drafted smallish BOQVIST, JOKI, BEAUDIN and MITCHELL the last 2 years instead of finding some balance and fill the need on the wing and draft an elite skilled scorer with speed? Draft 2 dmen and 2 wingers, that would have been a smart solution for the future.

  • August 7, 2018 at 9:16 am

    That’s the thing that people need to remember about BoQ is hes 17, basically a 19 draft prospect. So hes that good based on other top players same class. Teravainen.

  • August 7, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Penis with ears, was another one of, that guy, best moments.

  • August 7, 2018 at 10:19 am

    EB good stuff and agree predicting 3 ir 4 years away is not an exact svience by any stretch.

    By the 20-21 season rolls around, the 3 russian forwards should be here with one or both of Altybarmakan and Kayumov having a year under their belt over here. Other forward pickups and prospects like Soderlund, Barrett, Wise, Entwisle, Kahun, Ejdsell and Nilsson will have had an opportunity to show thsemselves, plus any other in minors or signing as well. Sikura ,Schmaltz snd Debrincat be at the top of their game.
    The defense be starting to show some of the youngsters Jokiharju, Mitchell, Krys, Shea and young guys on elcs now. Probably Boqvist for sure and Beaudin still a year away.
    Nalimov hopefully will have had a year under his belt to show he can be a number 1 goalie in this league. So patience is the main thing now.

  • August 7, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Does 2 inches really make that much of a difference? 5’11-6’1. Probably a good question for your significant other.

    Lets look at leading scorers from last year

    2. Giroux-5’11
    3. Kucherov- 5’11
    10. Crosby-5’11
    13. Marchand- 5’9
    16. Gaudreau-5’9
    20. Panarin- 5’11

    7 others were 6′ or 6’1.

    6’1 and you’re a power forward. (Hall, Saad)

    5’11 and you’re small. ( Panarin, Kane, Sikura)

  • August 7, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Look, before we send SB and Q to the train station, think about it this way. Let’s go back 10 or 12 years. God says to you take your pick: A) for the next 10 years you can have an exciting but not great team, no Cap crunch…but no Cups OR B) You will live in Cap hell but win 3 Cups and play in 5 WCF….but you must suffer through a 3-5 year retooling cycle.

    Which would you choose? I’ll take the latter.

  • August 7, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Some men are longer then others. (Hamish)
    Your mothers been telling stories about me again, eh. (Campbell)

  • August 7, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Hull65 is a meathead who still wants Lucic

  • August 7, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    I can’t hear ya, I got two rings in my ear, one in my left nostril and getting ready to put one in my right nostril.

  • August 7, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    I think league with all the bad press and lawsuits around concussions, feels it’s in their best interests to move away from the big phtsical hard game. So doors are opening for smaller, skilled, faster players. To help the leagues image around that issue is no doubt part of the reason for this trend. So Bowman may be well ahead of the competition in this regard and not lagging behind as alot people seem to believe. As Ernie pointed out the line to being considered a small player is decreasing.

  • August 7, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    I don’t think the league is trending this way due to concussions. The league is a copycat league and collectively has seen teams win with smaller faster players. They saw the Hawks go after a guy like Chara with speed and he couldnt keep up. They’ve seen the success of teams like the Lightning and have realized speed on all 4 lines is more valuable than John Scott. It would be tough to find enough skill to fill 4 lines, but what teams have realized is you can find 4 lines of players that can skate.

  • August 7, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    There are a lot of comments made here about size trends in the game without any supporting evidence, so here’s a link:


    Average height is stuck at 6′ 1″ and hasn’t changed in a long time (it’s still same for 2018 even though data in link only goes to 2015).

    Average weight peaked in 2003/6 at 206.3 pounds and has fallen over 5 pounds since then (it was 200.7 pounds in 2018). For 2018 there were good heavy teams (Washington at 205.1) and good light teams (TB was 193.9, despite having a huge defense). There were also bad (and stupid) heavy teams such as the Blows (206.6) and bad light teams like us (196.5).

  • August 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    12 lbs and 2 inches. Big effing deal! Nicely done Jordy

  • August 7, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Oh Ernie money talks I am quite sure it doesn’t go unnoticed by a long shot.
    Jordyhawk its talked about alot more than just here.

  • August 7, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    OK, so now that I bloviated about this, that and a lot of stuff in between, it’s time I stuck my gut out and told you what “its” thinking. I’m just going to be simple and list the guys I think will be contributors for the Hawks some time in the next few years.

    Sikura, Jokiharju, Forsling, Hayden, Boqvist, Wise, Kahun, Shalunov, Beaudin, Mitchell, Entwistle, Ejdsell, Hillman, Gilbert, Delia, Nalimov, Fortin, Kayumov, Barratt, Soderlund, Peeters, Altybarmakyan, Carlsson, Nordgren, Krys.

    That’s 25 – lucky if 1/3 of them contribute in any significant way.

  • August 7, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Do we have or can come up with the top 25 from before/up to 2009 and 2010. How many of them were good.

    This is the first time we have had a wave of young players like 2009 and 2010 at the same time. Every yr since its be 1 or 2 or a few, not a wave like this.

    Not comparing individual players, we had 2/7/10/19/88 then add the wave. Now we have a core then add this wave.

  • August 7, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Nice Ernie but what are the stats of the other under 6 feet tall players playing alongside those scorers you listed? We have Kane as the superstar, maybe one more on offence and one on defence is enough, and hopefully they are built like a rock (Sidney Crosby or Marchand). Not like DROUIN or NYLANDER? Especially not like SIKURA.
    Anyway, moving on to the Hlinka Gretsky tournament. All those teams carry 3 goalies on the roster, none from the Blackhawks? Question: who was the last goalie Chicago had at this tournament or the World Juniors? Maybe our GM has an answer?
    RIP Mr.Mikita! A true legend!

  • August 7, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    And of course, no forwards in this tournament either except for Entwistle who is not a starter. Very poor drafting once again but Bowman always gets a pass by the Chicago media and some of its fans.

  • August 7, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Hull65 the Hlinka Gretzky cup is an under 18 tournament. Players aren’t eligible for draft until their 18. Almost all if not all in that tournament are undrafted.

  • August 7, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Marchand is 5’9 180
    Drouin is 6’0 200
    Nylander 6’0 191

    Open mouth, insert foot…again.

  • August 7, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Bowman gets more criticism than is probably deserved. Usually from the clueless idiots that live in a vacuum.

  • August 7, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    Peter Leblanc, Simon Danis-Pepin, Igor Makarov, Jack Skille, Evan Brophey, Mike Blunden, Adam Hobson, Billy Sweat, Akim Aliu, Kyle Beach, Shawne Lalonde, Johnathan Carlsson, Ben Smith, Dylan Olsen, Brandon Pirri, Byron Froese, Marcus Kruger

    Patrick Sharp,Brandon Bochenski, Versteeg, Ladd, Eager, Tim Brent,Pascal Pelletier

    The 06,07,and 08 drafts are really really bad when you take out 19 and 88.

  • August 7, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    Sorry, my mistake not the Hlinka tournament but the pre-World Junior exhibition that just ended.

  • August 7, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    I know core isint 25 anymore.
    When you look at the prospects then. Buff/Burr?
    The group of prospects we have now compared to the draft yrs before 2009 and 2010, we have a much better wave of prospects now.

    Its a good perspective of what we had then and who we have coming now.

  • August 7, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    I focused on transactions and drafts 05-09. By no means was that a ranking. But rather the the prospects that played a fair amount of games in the AHL or a few NHL games. Here’s picks of consequence from 02-04.

    04- Barker, Bolland, Bickell, Dowell, Brouwer, Adam Berti, Petri Kontiola
    03-Seabrook, Crawford, Michal Barinka, Lasse Kukkonen, Mike Brodeur, Byfuglien, Chris Porter
    02- Babchuk, Keith, Matt Ellison, James Wisniewski, Adam Burish

  • August 8, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Good stuff Ernie, not really great at all behind 19 and 88 was there from 06 to 08 drafts. 03 to 05 drafts considerably more productive.
    3 things you can’t predict until it happens with prospects are 1) how will injuries affect their development 2) when their comfidence gets rocked can they overcome it 3) what type of chemistry will they find with linemates or d pairs.
    Just look at Rutta and Forsling , paired up early last year showed good chemistry and promise together. Then both had their seasons undone by injuries and confidence issues. None of these prospects are in the 19, 88, 81, 2 category as yet anyways so finding chemistry goes a long way to making their mark.
    I like reading posts from the guys who go watch the camps, ncaa, juniors, tournaments etc. on what the players show and how they are doing but just mean theres still an unknown there too.

  • August 8, 2018 at 7:38 am

    Just because we’re high on them now really doesn’t mean anything. Look at Petri Kontiola. 68 points in 66 AHL games as a 22 year old. Out scored Brouwer, Bickell, and Versteeg. Yet only played 12 NHL games.

    To Ian’s point, look at a player like Dillon Fournier. Twice was the top pick in a QMJHL draft and was forced to retire at 22 due to injuries.

  • August 8, 2018 at 9:20 am

    At the Summer World Junior showcase the Hawks had a lot of prospects playing.

    Entwistle, Beaudin, and Mitchell for Canada. Entwistle scored at least 2 goals that I saw (could be more). Beaudin and Mitchell looked solid but could’ve been more solid defensively.

    Boqvist in Sweden. Boqvist looked great on the Powerplay where his shot and vision were on full display and it was easy to see why offense is his strongpoint . Boqvist looked calm and composed while skating the puck up the ice and his hands were exceptional.

    Evan Barret and Wise were both on team USA. (Though I don’t know if Wise played a game I think he was just with the team but I could be wrong)

  • August 8, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Forgot to mention that Mitchell and Beaudin were both above average in the offensive zone, but in the defensive zone Beaudin played a very smart defensive game. Mitchell on the other hand played more physically defensively but was not as effective as Beaudin.

    Also Boqvist defensively. I don’t think he was in the ice for a single goal against all tournament, but he obviously isn’t an above average defender. His play positionally was very good and his skating helps him a lot in that. However when it comes to boardbattle and battles in front and around the net he is definitely not at his best.

  • August 8, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Yea, its hard to say for sure. It does look like we have a much better group of prospects now then then.

    Guys like, wether draft or trade, 10/16 are really equal to guys like 12 and 20.

    Looking at the propects and not those kind of guys, cancelling each other equal/same. We have a better group now coming.

    Wont really now until around the 21 season.
    Looking good though. For a Calvary.

  • August 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    I look at BoQ like the Hughes guy. There in the same class age wise.

  • August 8, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Hughes and Boqvist are 10 months apart.

  • August 8, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Mean that BoQ is 17 and not far from being in 19 draft.

  • August 8, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Right, older Hughes could be in the 17 draft/by a mth.
    I meant it like J. Hughes.

  • August 9, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Thats true Mo getting Boqvist this year is comparable to being able to draft one of next years players a year early. So his development by giving him an extra year seems reasonable in that context.

  • August 9, 2018 at 6:45 am

    Another thing available to Bowman this year is being in a favourable position when teams are forced into risking waivers on young prospects who are no longer exempt. With last seasons finish being the deciding factor of who gets first dibs when training camps break, maybe find a future gem there be a possibility.

  • August 9, 2018 at 10:56 am

    He gives guys a try even if there not what we’re looking for/donot know without trying, like 13 and 91 and others. If there good for our roster, then will run them through the Technivorm.

  • August 10, 2018 at 12:31 am

    Bowman cannot afford Kane, Toews, Keith and Seabrook to play with a roster that is weaker than last year. Rumours will fly and these vets will be unhappy losing on most nights.
    This is why if Bowman wants to buy some time for his prospects (lack of especially up front), he needs to sign a free agent or make a trade for a top winger to play alongside Toews and Debrincat.
    ? Toews Debrincat
    Saad Schmaltz Kane
    This can get ugly very fast !

  • August 10, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Bowman traded his second best offensive threat for a guy he thought could help Toews produce. After Kane (and possibly 12/8) there are a ton of question marks.

    Can Toews and Saad produce better than last year, can we get more depth scoring from guys like Hayden. I don’t think Toews is a number 1 center anymore so we have to find one through the draft. Having a worse year than we did last year may be the best thing for this team in order to get a top line center/winger with a top 5 pick.

  • August 10, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Getting Saader back was to have a better two way player.
    Panarin sign as ufa, we got both players.

    When were on two transitions yrs,
    That’s being creative.

  • August 10, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Thats right Mo, Saad was to fill void left by Hossa. With Debrincat having sniper ability and Schmaltz and Kane having chemistry, Panarin it was felt was easier to replace with what was available.
    I think one of the big issues this season is seeing what some younger players have to offer and finding who the keepers are for future. Showing improvement over last season by being more competitive will be a big part too.

  • August 10, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Saad is not and will not be as good as Hossa. One of the reasons Bowman traded for Saad was because Toews wined to Q after the Nashville series. Also, if you couldn’t tell Panarin isn’t easily replaced, no one but Kane was a 70 point player, no one was even close and that’s what Panarin did. Panarin put up points.

    We still don’t know if we’ll get Panarin back. We might not have the cap unless a contract like Seabs is moved. Saad is an OK 2nd liner who is solid defensively but was supposed to really shine in the physical, tough and speedy playoff hockey, but since we lost 75+ points in Panarin we didn’t even get there. I know a lot of that is Crow not playing and an off year defensively, but at least Panarin could get us to the playoffs.

  • August 10, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    One year does not and never will determine how a good or bad a trade is. So assuming cut dried you know exactly how good or bad or how early 20 year old players are going to perform for the next 10 years is foolish. I don’t know what Toews really said or didn’t say but a lot of people on here and maybe under another name yourself hollered loud for Saads return and railed against Panarin until the grass looked greener back on the other side of the fence.

  • August 10, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    My initial reaction to the Panarin/Saad trade was I didn’t like it, but it was done so I rationalized as best I could. The rationale was Saad wouldn’t score as much as Panarin but if Saad could revitalize Toews the net difference in scoring would be mitigated – plus Saad would give you better defense and was signed for 2 more years than Panarin.

    Then – instead of Saad lifting Toews’ play, Toews dragged Saad’s play down. Or so it seemed. So now the trade looks like horse dung. But, it has been only one season so if Saad can get back to being a dynamic 50+ point scorer and Toews can recapture some of his past and be a 60+ point scorer – the trade won’t look nearly as bad as it does right now.

    I’ve been a big proponent of playing DeBrincat with Kane as I think they would make the most dynamic scoring duo the Hawks could put together. However, Q has mentioned playing Saad with Kane and while I still prefer DCat with him – that move should help Saad score more. That would put DCat with Toews and then it becomes a challenge to find the third guy to play with Toews and DCat. Sikura has top-6 skills but having 2 lightweight guys with Toews whould probably result in Toews being beaten down by mid-season as he would have to do the bulk of the heavy work. I don’t really see Hayden as a top-6 guy because his skating isn’t great and neither is his finishing ability but maybe playing a banger and puck retrieval type role with Toews and DCat might work fairly well (or maybe Ejdsell?)


  • August 10, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    No one in the league will be like Hoss.
    Saader is, when he plays as good as he really is, one of the better two way players.
    He has the most important size, that’s such a big deal. We do need some.
    The whole wraps around getting a player like 81 and 4 back.
    Its not that were not as good as before, its that were missing two fricken good players.

    Young wave will come and well be deep again.
    We do however need to get two top notch player, that are like 81 and 4, back to be where we want to be.
    We will.

  • August 10, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Were looking to win the playoffs, not make it.
    20 has won the playoffs 2in3 yrs/with 81.

    20 can win the playoffs again/with 72.
    We have to wait until the young wave is ready, anyways.

  • August 10, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    I wrote this after the Hawks won the Cup in 2010. I wondered if by the time the Hawks won the Cup again the players on the 2010 team would be like ghosts of the past like the players from the previous Cup winning teams were. Obviously the Hawks won twice more since I wrote this but it’s probably more apropos today than it was back then because back then the core still had the promise of youth going for them.

    I was reminded about this with Stan’s passing and how now he really is a ghost in our memory.

    Our heroes strode with swagger, daring anyone to stop
    The legend ever larger, the foibles quickly dropped
    Their exploits told with fury, more fabled than Aesop
    Each one with fewer steps to reach the mountain top

    They are to live forever, these immortal men of yore
    Each soliloquy of praise, raised together into lore
    So grab the glimpse so fleeting, and hold it to your core
    And see them ever standing on River Mystic’s shore

    Will it be we are but left to stir the sleeping past
    To recall fading memories of things we hoped would last
    Those grand illusions broken, the dye already cast
    The precious days of glory gone, receding ever fast

    But Autumn’s crest will rise again like raptor on the wing
    A feather for each legend’s ghost, whispers hallowing
    New warriors called to honor will soon be gathering
    Committed to the Indian, their stories we will to sing.

  • August 11, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Well written with insight EB you have talent.
    Looks like everything is pointing towards 20-21 season for a strong contending team again. Possibly a run in 19-20 or 21-22 if stoppage ends year before. Toews, Kane and Keith still have a fews years left at that point.

  • August 11, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Larkin signed for 5 at 6.1 aav. Good comparative for Schmaltz. I’d try to get a deal done before the season starts. 5.5 aav sounds about right.

    The Lightning have 2 contracts coming up. The first being the massively underpaid Brayden Point. Current hit is 686k. His ask should be 6.5aav. They also have Kucherov’s new deal kicking in to give him a 4.75m bump. Ryan Mcdonagh gets a 2m bump. They have 3 UFA D expiring and 2 Rfa’s at the end of the year. Dotchin looks like a player. They still have Callahan at 5.8 for 2 more years. And have 1.8 of dead money for the Matt Carle buyout.

    Look for Tyler Johnson or Ondrej Palat to be for sale. Johnson has 6 years at 5m aav. Palat has 4 at 5.3 aav. This might be the last chance the Lightning have flexibility to do something. As soon as Callahan comes off the books, Sergachev needs new ink.

  • August 11, 2018 at 9:53 am

    EB I like your thinking about moving Saad with Kane and DCat with Toews. I agree a bigger body would be needed on the first line. Also if number 20 could get some of the nastiness that our old number 20, now a pilot, had to rub off on him. My picks would be Dustin Brown or Bobby Ryan. Only if LA and OTT pick up half the money. I would also take Wayne Simmonds for a year. This would give us some size and talent on the first line. For all three players I think the fresh air would rejuvenate them.

  • August 11, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Ryan at 50% retained was talked about a mth or so go. Would be good/good player.
    Noone is getting 8/12/the Four Horsemen/certain others.
    So would have to be a Skinner deal.

  • August 11, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Not saying 8 isint like Larkin/other future top players.
    It doesn’t help us when a shit team like Red Wings have/can use extra caphit to a good player/and certain other, when they want. To get a guy a better deal then he would get on a top 10 team.
    8 deserves a good deal, on a Red Wings type quality team get similar caphit. On a top 10 team/or like us getting back to top 5 roster in a couple yrs, get a better caphit for team, like 2/81/others did.

  • August 12, 2018 at 10:30 am

    The fact is no team in this salary cap era can stay on top of the mountain for very long. The Hawks also had a couple things happen – call it reality – the conspired against them being able to stay on top. The first major bite from reality was the economic downturn that occurred immediately after T&K signed their mega-deals. The result was a slowing of revenue and a decrease in the value in currency resulting in the slowing of salary cap growth. The next thing was Bickell’s illness that resulted in players being moved to offset dead cap space. There are other things that could be mentioned but the point is sh!t happens and you deal with it and keep moving – there is zero point in whining and complaining. Besides, we Hawks fans are much more fortunate than fans of almost all other teams – we’ve been to the mountain top 3 times in the last decade. I’d like to be there a 4th time during the T&K era as much as the next Hawks fan, but I will not get caught up in complaining about a bunch of “woulda-coulda-shoulda” stuff.

  • August 12, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Like that game 7 WCF overtime slash on Nick Leddy that led to a goal seconds later?

    I ain’t bitter.

  • August 12, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Because of league BS/deliberate stuff. That offsides on the 3-3 goal. Instant replay league wide after that yr or soon.
    We won 4 in 6 yrs.
    The league did everything they could in their power to keep us from 4 in 6.
    What the history record on instant replays with us the last 8 yrs. 98% percentile. Yea, okaaaay.

    Theres a little bit of bullshit in all of that right?
    (Dazed and confused)

  • August 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Lets not forget. Game 3 was terrible officiating, that gave them 2-1 lead. They should have not ever had a chance to go up 3-1. We still did what we did. And then the league took over with their last two goals. Game 3 was terrible, Game 7 was fixed-in game.

  • August 13, 2018 at 8:12 am

    I am not satisfied with 3 in 6 yrs.
    I am ok if we donot win before 19/88 retire though for everything they already did, dynasty and moar.

    I do want and think we can win the 4th Cup and be there a couple more times after that for a 5th Cup.
    It ain’t over yet, 19/88 can play until 40/maybe with a core that their not in.

  • August 13, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Not sure anyones still reading this thread.

    Talked to a nice lady I know well. She told me Crawford bought a house in COL and asked you think trade. I told her about concussion stuff, and if hes ok healthy wise, hes a top3 goalie and were going to be deep in 2yrs and on. So he would stay if healthy.

    It Doesn’t guarantee anything. her son plays hockey near Crawfords family/QC and they (her son, boyfriend) know him/and family. I asked her to tell her son to ask Trevor, if he thinks hes ok and going to be fine, healthy wise.

  • August 13, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    I’d like to own property in the Rockies…. Going elk hunting in Northern New Mexico next month and plan to look at a few parcels. Wouldn’t read too much into it.

    Fwiw, it looks like it’s speculated that high altitude (less oxygen) would exacerbate both concussion and vertigo symptoms… potentially. But there doesn’t appear to be much study on this.

  • August 13, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    She didn’t tell when he got house, just that he did.
    People like two homes, when you have the money.

    I told her I/we are very interested in what Trevor thinks.
    Prob not going to tell anyone anything secretive.
    When ask Trevor and hes he thinks hes/going to be good, then
    I am going with that.

  • August 13, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    She just mentioned the thinkg on house. Not that that would.

    Its cool though that they know Crawfords family and are friends. Her son will see Trevor some point this wk.

  • August 13, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Keeping fingers crossed for CC’s health.

  • August 14, 2018 at 6:22 am

    Mo its not uncommon to buy a summer home, could be looking at 2 years when his contract up if he retires, where he’d like to live.
    Ward improves backup but having elite goaltending depends on Crawford. Manning should improve the shutdown situation on blueline, while Jokihari will spark offense snd help pp. With 5 of the top 6 spots seemingly filled enough talent should be there to fill other spot. Bottom 6 will be a wotk in progress,

  • August 14, 2018 at 8:25 am

    We can blame the Cap salary world or T & K’s contracts but the bottom line was our GM has lacked vision and has been irresponsible with his trades and no return performance. Keith, Toews, Kane, Seabrook and Crawford deserved contracts (maybe T & K could have been at 9million instead), but the bad trades and the lack of prospects falls on Bowman.

  • August 14, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Yea, we took two 40 game segment steps last yr, even though we wernt good and had that many first yr league and rookie guys/yr before that too.

    We should take big step every 40 game segments going forward until were deep again. Not going to have a 8 and a 12 every yr, overall as a group the prospects to young players are just going to keep coming until were deep and good like that again.

  • August 20, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Hopefully at training camp, Iacopelli, Fortin and Knott play a shift or two with Toews and Debrincat. We need to see who has potential.

  • August 23, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    To say Bowman has made bad trades most recently is a total understatement.
    ‘Giving away’ Vinnie Hinostroza was terrible !
    Plus he has been way too quick to give long term top money contracts without question – including 19 / 88 / & 7. No bargaining at all, just give give give.
    And this article keeps mentioning all the young talent they have that can be used for trades this season! Enough. Accept what ever this year brings but keep the youth. The present is already past tense. It’s too late for this year.
    Keep the youth you have.

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