If it weren’t for the selections made in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks would have only one prospect skating at the junior level. In fact, four of their seven selections from this past summer’s draft are currently playing in either the WHL, OHL, or USHL. The Blackhawks typically shy away from drafting players from the CHL, but the 2015 draft saw the organization take a different approach when selecting talent for the future.
As Slovakia prepares for the 2016 World Junior Championship that begins Saturday in Helsinki, Finland, it has become more and more clear that their tournament is all about survival. Let it be clear that there are no Martin Reways, Marko Danos, or Denis Godlas on this team. New heroes will have to be found and then they will have to perform consistently. Read more»
The months leading up to the 2015-16 season saw the Chicago Blackhawks shuffle several players. In terms of prospects, the Blackhawks sent out Stephen Johns, Michael Paliotta, Alex Broadhurst, and Joakim Nordstrom in a variety of trades. Futhermore, Matt Carey, Drew LeBlanc, and Mac Carruth were not extended qualifying offers with the team, though Carruth signed an AHL deal with the Blackhawks’ minor league affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. Defenseman Sam Jardine signed a contract with the IceHogs as well, hoping he can use this opportunity to earn an NHL-contract with Chicago in the foreseeable future.
The 2015-16 season is one of uncertainty for the Chicago Blackhawks. The harsh realities of the salary-cap era were quite evident during the offseason. Brandon Saad (CBJ), Patrick Sharp (DAL), Antti Raanta (NYR), Stephen Johns (DAL), Michael Paliotta (CBJ) and Alex Broadhurst (CBJ) were all parts of trades meant to add flexibility as well as talent to the organization. Furthermore, the likes of Brad Richards, Johnny Oduya and Antoine Vermette have found new teams through the free agency market. In other words, this year’s Blackhawks squad will look different than the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions we saw in June.
As General Manager Stan Bowman, Senior Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelley and the rest of the Chicago Blackhawks brass headed to the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Florida, it was no secret that Blackhawks upper management were about to have not only a busy draft, but a busy summer as well. Read more»