Chicago Blackhawk North American Report

By Bill Placzek

Tyler Arnason Chicago (NHL) 21 3 1 4 4 / 3 0 0 0 0
&nbsp Norfolk (AHL) 60 26 30 56 42

Arnanson is learning example of exactly how difficult a jump to the NHL can be. Arnanson had a dream rookie season in the
AHL, surpassing any timetables set for him by the organization. Quick skating and shooting were what he showed in the AHL
and that warranted a look-see for the parent team. His arrival coincided with the Blackhawks slump around and after the
Olympics. He was played on various lines and with the arrival of Tom Fitzgerald, put with him to cover Tyler’s
ineffectiveness as a defensive player. Certainly should he could burst into playing situations and threaten, but ended up as
a minus three in the limited minutes he played. The Hawks were unafraid of his defensive limitations when the dressed him at
the start of the playoffs,or did they feel they were lacking fire-power with the other rostered players? His situation seems
tied to any movement at the centre position over the summer. Whether they subtract a player there or add a vet will
determine where he plays,as game time experience is what he needs. An unexpected surprising option the team now has.

NHL Grade:

C

Prospect Grade:

A

Steve McCarthy Norfolk (AHL) 77 7 21 28 37 / 2 0 3 3 2

After playing three games in Chicago, management made a wise decision to send McCarthy to Norfolk to play. Despite Chicago
press hype as the real deal on defense, McCarthy’s size limits projecting into any higher than the #3 spot on defense. We
all know he is a gifted puck carrier, disher and shooter, and having coach Trent Yawney work on the defensive side of the
game while he gets stronger will only enhance his chances of being an NHLer at a later date. Moving Spacek freed room for
the type of game he plays, but I would expect you would have to see a Mironov traded before he would be added to the parent
club for 2002-2003.

Grade:

B

Mike Leighton Norfolk (AHL) 52 3114 27 16 8 6 2.14 .920 / 4 238 1 2 0 0 2.02 .927

A perfect example of how the draft can help you in the middle rounds. Drafted while an OHA back-up, Leighton grew to an
accomplished OHAer whose transition to the AHL was an easy one. Cool and able to ignore the goals that have already been
scored on him, Leighton showed brilliance and his future looks bright. Will he become an NHL back-up soon? I think the team
strategy will be bring along slowly. He certainly has added himself to the mix of goaltender prospects improving in the Hawk
system.

Grade:

B

Ty Jones Norfolk (AHL) 55 6 14 20 172 / 4 0 0 0 2

Did nothing to establish himself as an NHL prospect. Although the Hawks felt that Trent Yawney had some positive effects on
him, he sat out many games for reasons more than injuries. Skating and shooting have never been an issue;it is knowing when
to stop skating circles and when to actually shoot that he still needs to learn. Has the organizational clock stopped
ticking for him? Stay tuned.

Grade:

F

Kent Huskins Norfolk (AHL) 65 4 11 15 44 / 4 0 1 1 0

After a solid college career Kent Huskins didn’t embarrass himself in the AHL. He is working on his strength and has the
tools to be given a chance to play in the bigs. No team rushed their defensive prospects, no matter what their age is. An
outstanding training camp would certainly get his more minutes in the NHL to prove his meddle.

Grade:

B-

Dmitri Tolkunov Norfolk (AHL) 51 1 18 19 20 / 4 0 0 0 2

Had another good year as a minor league defensemen and continues to show good skills. When it was time for the Blackhawks
to reach down to the farm for depth during injuries he was passed over for Vladimir Chebaturkin, who plays a more physical
game. Maybe that will be the signal to Tolkunov to start bringing his A game to camp.

Grade:

C+

Mikhail Yakubov Red Deer (WHL) 71 32 57 89 54 / 23 14 9 23 28

No one expected Mikhail Yakubov who warmed the Russian league bench the season before to come into the Western league and
emerge a scoring machine. Granted he went to Red Deer team that was already a good one, but he fit in well with linemates
and they all played to each other’s strengths. Despite Red Deer’s missing a Memorial Cup berth, no one would have expected
Yakubov to lead the scoring on the team, up until, and including their last playoff game. The Blackhawks are an organization
crying for more scoring.speed and size. Two preseasons before, they rewarded Ty Jones with a stick around as the season
began. If this guy could erupt in September-October, you may see him filling a major league slot, solely based on his
combination of speed, size and savvy. I know that is a stretch but there is major upside if he continues showing up.

Grade:

A

Igor Radulov Mississauga (OHL) 62 33 30 63 30

Although the Mississauga players continually complained that coach GM Cherry’s practices were useless and antiquated,
Radulov’s nature abilities helped him to have a more than adequate first year of North American hockey albeit at the Junior
level. His more than a point a game pace with the rotten Ice Dog team placed him third among OHA rookies. He was signed and
now will have to make to tough transition to the pro game where players are stronger and easily able to slow skilled guys
down. Again terrific upside if we can be patient.

Grade:

A

Matt Keith Spokane (WHL) 68 34 33 67 71 / 11 5 5 10 16

The Chicago Blackhawks were only able to draft Keith so late because many teams saw him little or were afraid that his
injuries would be a deterrent to him continuing to play his game. No one expected Keith to crash and bang his way to almost
a point per game through-out the Western league season and playoffs.

Grade:

B+

Brent Maclellan Rimouski (QMJHL) 67 7 23 30 165 / 7 0 0 0 4

Brent thought that in the season before last he dropped off due to the fact he stopped concentrating on D and tried to be a
playmaker. He has improved his offensive talents while progressing as a huge crease clearer and hitter.

Grade:

B

Adam Berkhoel Denver (WCHA) 18 1026 12 4 1 1 2.34 .917

Is enjoying an incredible college career in a quality program. The word again slowly but the future looks bright for this
goaler too.

Grade:

A

Mike Souza Norfolk (AHL) 66 20 11 31 58

Third rounders are never a guarantee, but one hopes that when you make a selection thereabouts, that results eventually are
a major leaguer. So Souza has been a great team guy, a good checker, but hasn’t showed the same scoring prowess he displayed
when paired with Jason Krug at University of New Hampshire. Has developed into a solid player at the AHL level.

Grade:

C+

Yorick Treille UMass-Lowell (Hockey East) 30 10 16 26 24

The French born Yorick Treille was excused from the University of Mass-Lowell Riverhawks to represent this country in the
Olympics. A shifty skater with a long stride who plays a hard working style that unearths pucks in the corners and along the
wall. He is a decent passer and playmaker, anticipates well and plays well in traffic. Having graduated and signed, expect
him to soon start as a minor pro trying to vie for a major league spot. May eventually fill a need at 3rd line forward.

Grade:

A

Scott Balan Saskatoon (WHL) 27 1 10 11 40

Balan definitely has the ability to develop into a major league defenseman. We can pigeon hole him as a #5 or 6 guy , but
all that is jumping the gun. His knee injury this last season limited his playing time and he will have to play in some pro
league somewhere to develop. I question if there is room for him in Norfolk unless decisions on other players presently
playing defense there are made. Maybe he will be sent elsewhere but his career hinges on experience and his knee remaining
robust.

Grade:

Incomplete

Adam Munro Erie (OHL) 43 2277 24 13 1 3 3.37 .893 / 6 361 4 2 0 0 2.83 .918

Did not have the same year he had in 2000-01 but when teams lack talent is when the better goalers lead by example. Munro
still has much developing of his game. He did post more wins than losses in both regular and post season play, and seemed to
come on as the year closed. He is a talented player at a position where the Hawks will be willing to let his game improve
with time. Next season will have to be a break-out year to warrant his first round selection.

Grade:

B-

Craig Andersson Norfolk (AHL) 28 1568 9 13 4 2 2.95 .886 / 1 21 0 1 0 0 2.83 .938

Andersson arrived in Norfolk and had to take a back seat to the superior play of Mike Leighton which allowed Andersson to
only get into 35% of the season games and part of one play-off game. He certainly will continue to develop so his chances
will improve as his play improves. I don’t think anyone is counting him out of the Blackhawks plans based on this last
season.

Grade:

C+

Michael Ayers New Hampshire (Hockey East) 20 1129 14 3 1 1 2.44 .915

Ayers posted 14 victories for New Hamphire and seems to be developing quite nicely at this point. Another late goaltender
pick that may help the Blackhawks down the pike.

Grade:

C

Peter Flache North Bay (OHL) 59 7 8 15 92 / 4 0 2 2 8

Did improve over previous point totals but this big guy was drafted with the idea of him being a big disrupter. So far he
has not reached agreement on a pro contract with the Hawks and may opt back in if they low ball him money wise (which seems
to logical since his numbers do not warrant a blank check) or if he wants to try and play with his bother in Edmonton’s
system.

Grade:

C-


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