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.
Teuvo Teravainen is ready to make the jump from Finland to North America, but whether he winds up in the AHL or NHL is yet to be determined. (courtesy of Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
This edition of the Chicago Blackhawks Top 20 ranking includes a handful of new names, led by 2014 first-round pick Nick Schmaltz debuting in the second spot behind incumbent top prospect Teuvo Teravainen.
Photo: Indiana Ice defenseman and New Jersey Devils prospect Joshua Jacobs was the first defender chosen from the USHL at the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
It came as little surprise that USHL prospects once again dotted the seven rounds of the NHL Draft last month in Philadelphia. A total of 18 players were taken from the United States’ top developmental league (excluding the NTDP players), with only one of them being a goalie. Of the remaining 17 players, 13 were forwards. Ironically, the Midwest archrivals Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues each selected three USHL players, more than any other team. Read more»
Photo: The Blackhawks traded up from 27th to 20th overall in order to select playmaking center Nick Schmaltz from the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
The Chicago Blackhawks added nine prospects to the organization at the 2014 NHL Draft, led by Wisconsin native and former Chicago Mission forward, Nick Schmaltz.
Photo: Green Bay Gamblers forward and 2014 prospect Nick Schmaltz will join his brother Jordan this fall at the University of North Dakota (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
The USHL has been churning out top flight NCAA talent for over a decade now and has become more and more important in the eyes of the NHL scouting community. Known primarily as the top league for the development of future NCAA players, an increasing number of USHL grads have seen their path lead to the NHL.