Photo: After trading away much of its defensive depth, Chicago Blackhawks prospect Ville Pokka represents the top of the team’s minor league depth chart (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
The Rockford IceHogs had a stellar 2014-15 season, making the Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009-10. Despite being eliminated by the Grand Rapids Griffins, the IceHogs made tremendous strides, which have carried over to this season. At the time of this writing, the IceHogs sit atop the Central Division with a 27-10-3-4 record.
Photo: Chicago Blackhawks prospect Ville Pokka is on track to bolster next year’s team (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
The 2013–2014 season was not kind to the Rockford IceHogs. Inconsistency with scoring and goaltending led to a 35-32-5-4 record, resulting in Rockford missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season.
Photo: Stephen Johns is one of Chicago’s many hulking defensemen who likely have a future in the NHL (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
For years, one of the key concerns plaguing the Chicago Blackhawks was the lack of a quality second-line center. While general manager Stan Bowman is hoping his big free agent acquisition, Brad Richards, is a temporary solution for the 2014-15 season, the answer for future seasons may come from within the organization. Bowman and Co. have taken it upon themselves over the past few years to draft a plethora of centers.
Photo: Yale forward John Hayden, #21 right, got off to a slow start in 2013-14, but doubled his freshman year point total with eight points in the final nine games of the season (courtesy of Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
The Chicago Blackhawks had several prospects make an impact at the NHL level in 2013-14. Those players, along with others that stood out in the CHL, NCAA, and international levels, are featured below in this season’s prospect awards.
Photo: Wisconsin freshman Jedd Soleway, a top-nine and power play contributor this year for the Badgers, fits the Phoenix Coyotes mold of big, hard-nosed forwards (courtesy of Dan Sanger/Icon SMI)
The Phoenix Coyotes have made a habit of hoarding big, physical hockey players throughout all levels of their organization. This trend holds true in their pool of college hockey prospects. It is a player-type they clearly value.