Top 10 prospects
Team Depth Chart of NHL Prospects
- Depth and talent of center prospects
- Defensive prospects mix size with mobility
- Overall depth of system is strong
- Little depth on wings, particularly right side
- Lack of an elite goaltending prospect
Legend of Players' Leagues
- Playing in N.A. Pro (NHL, AHL, ECHL, etc.)
- Playing in CHL (OHL, QMJHL, WHL)
- Playing in NCAA
- Playing in Europe
- Playing in Junior 'A' (USHL, BCHL, AJHL, etc.)
- Not Categorized Yet
Two weeks ago, Chicago Blackhawks ownership relieved GM Mike Smith from his duties, named Bob Pulford acting GM, and ordained long time employee Dale Tallon as the soon to be GM. Bill Wirtz followed this move by dismissing assistant general manager Nick Beverley, director of player evaluation Marshall Johnston, director of amateur scouting Bill Lesuk and amateur scout Joe Yannetti. These firings save the Blackhawks money and give them three fewer people they will have to pay during the possible lockout next year.
Beverley's assistant GM post was directly tied to Smith's, but the others, all Smith hires, were not managerial, but an integral part of locating the prospects drafted over the last three drafts. The Blackhawks say there will be no replacements for Johnston, Lesuk and Yanetti except for the fact Michal Dumas has been asked to move back up to his former job as chief scout.
Dumas headed the Hawk scouting department prior to Smith's arrival. Dumas was a Hawk draftee whose career was cut short by an eye injury. His scouting department produced few potential players and was archaic in terms of size and organization. This latest axing puts back to the good old boy network (Wirtz, Pulford, Tallon, and Dumas) which in the past produced few NHL players. It is also one person is replacing three.
Acting GM Pulford was a solid all-around player for Toronto in the 1960's and early 70’s and was brought in as a Hawk coach, then GM, and put out to pasture as a vice president in the organization until being reactivated as the temporary GM two weeks ago.
Six rookies remain on the Blackhawks roster heading into the start of the 2003-04 season.
Goaler Mike Leighton (1999, 6th rd.), drafted by former GM Bob Murray, starts the season as Jocelyn Thibault’s back-up. GM Smith pick Craig Anderson (2001, 3rd rd.) will be waiting for the call to flip-flop after each 20 games with Leighton, as Smith hinted would happen if Leighton falters.
Lasse Kukkonen, the Hawks fifth round pick this past year, has earned a spot on defense, based on his veteran-like play in camp. At 22, he captained the Finnish Karpat team the last two seasons. He adds a third Finn to a team that had none on its roster last season.
Mike Smith said the organization didn’t expect six rookies on the roster, but their play warranted spots on the club. Center Tuomo Ruutu (2001, 1st rd.), right winger Pavel Vorobiev (2000, 1st rd.), right wingerIgor Radulov (2000, 1st rd.) and left winger Travis Moen (2000, 5th rd.) are the other four rookies who made the team out of camp.
Moen is the biggest surprise. He was originally drafted by the Calgary Flames him out of the Western Junior Hockey league based on his 399 minutes of three regular seasons with the Kelowna Rockets. The 6’2” 208-pounder was chosen to be the next generation Hawk enforcer. The Hawks signed him to play in Norfolk last season on coach Brian Sutter’s recommendation when he saw him in the Flames evaluation camps. Moen’s presence may be temporary until WHLer Dustin Byfuglien (2003, 8th rd.) is ready for Read more»
The signing of the Chicago Blackhawks’
- Mathieu Brisebois
- Matt Carey
- Mac Carruth
- John Hayden
- Justin Holl
- Sam Jardine
- Luke Johnson
- Drew LeBlanc
- Anthony Louis
- Nick Mattson
- Ivan Nalimov
- Robin Norell
- Fredrik Olofsson