The Chicago Blackhawks boast the number one organizational rating from Hockey’s Future, so one would expect a full house of prospects ready and willing to show themselves off to the new proud parents.
Camp opened on the ice on Friday June 27th and ends with a mini tournament on July 5th.
Missing were Tomas Ruuttu, Pavel Vorobiev, Anton Babchuk, Alexander Barkunov, Oleg Minakov, and tardy was Brent Seabrook. Seabrook had a high school graduation to attend, his own. He arrived on Sunday. As far as the Russian prospects, the problems were one that their agents should have remediated. General Manager Mike Smith said, “We sent Vorobiev’s paperwork to his agent in November, Babchuk a little bit later but within enough time that they should be here. Can we blame them? No, they are 18-year-olds whose agents should be taking care of these things.”
The Blackhawks want to give Vorobiev a good opportunity to make the squad and the Hawks would like to get Babchuk over for good also. Barkunov was offered a contract last season and Mike Smith felt a good performance in this camp might have solidify his chances of making the club. Oleg Minakov, a good prospect in his own right, missed an opportunity to show off his wares.
Ruuttu, of course, is in the middle of a contract dispute about incentives.
Camp started with three days of conditioning and drills. The players gave a look at their skating speed, agility, maneuverability, and shooting skill.
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