Thoughts accumulated on a two-week trip that took me through eight states and four provinces. Lots of snow and lots of coffee.
The Chicago Blackhawks enter the 2012 offseason with one of the deepest prospects pools in the league, but that fact does little to make up for two consecutive first round playoff exits. Rather than expecting new faces in Chicago, there will instead be plenty of competition in training camp to decide the team's roster heading into the 2012-13 season.
The Blackhawks prospect pipeline saw plenty of playoff action but only one prospect, Boston College's Kevin Hayes, was able to capture a league championship. Several other prospects, such as Brandon Saad and Mac Carruth, had strong performances but were not enough to push their team towards the ultimate prize. In Hockey's Future's new team playoff update, we take a look around the world at some of the more notable playoff performances by Chicago prospects.
The Chicago Blackhawks maintain one of the deepest prospects pools in the NHL after several years of gorging on draft picks in the NHL Entry Draft. Though the organization may not feature any blue-chip prospects, there are a number of players at each position who could eventually step in and complement the core in Chicago.
Once a defense-heavy prospect system, Chicago has taken steps to fleshing out their numbers on the wings and in net in recent drafts. The blue line is still an area of strength with former first round pick Dylan Olsen currently playing with the Blackhawks and collegiate prospects such as Adam Clendening and Stephen Johns making their mark in the NCAA.
Every summer, a few days after the NHL Entry Draft, another less-heralded draft takes place that may have a comparable impact on the process of shuttling young hockey talent along the path to becoming NHL players.
The CHL Import Draft allows for each of the CHL’s 59 teams to add up to two European players to their rosters. Arrangements are regularly made ahead of time between teams and their targeted players to increase the likelihood of the player reporting. This often leads to an interesting progression of picks, where it is not always the best player available being selected, but the player with the best chance of showing up.