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

About Prospect Scores and Probability

Prospect Criteria

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


League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Antti Raanta Pro 7.0 C
2. Mac Carruth Pro 6.5 C
3. Matt Tomkins NCAA 6.5 D
4. Ivan Nalimov Europe 6.5 D

Right Wing

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Mark McNeill Pro 7.0 C
2. Ryan Hartman Pro 7.0 C
3. Chris Calnan NCAA 6.5 C
4. Matt Iacopelli Junior 6.5 D
5. Jack Ramsey Junior 6.0 D

Left Wing

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Jeremy Morin Pro 6.5 B
2. Garret Ross Pro 6.5 C
3. Matt Carey Pro 6.5 D
4. Tyler Motte NCAA 6.0 C
5. Anthony Louis NCAA 6.0 C
6. Fredrik Olofsson Junior 6.0 C


League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Teuvo Teravainen Pro 8.0 C
2. Nick Schmaltz NCAA 7.5 D
3. John Hayden NCAA 7.0 D
4. Alex Broadhurst Pro 6.5 C
5. Phillip Danault Pro 6.5 C
6. Vince Hinostroza NCAA 6.5 C
7. Drew LeBlanc Pro 6.5 D
8. Beau Starrett Junior 6.5 D
9. Dylan Sikura NCAA 6.5 D
10. Joakim Nordstrom Pro 6.0 B
11. Luke Johnson NCAA 6.0 C


League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Ville Pokka Pro 7.5 C
2. Adam Clendening Pro 7.0 C
3. Stephen Johns Pro 7.0 C
4. Michael Paliotta NCAA 6.5 C
5. Klas Dahlbeck Pro 6.5 C
6. Dillon Fournier Pro 6.5 C
7. Carl Dahlstrom Europe 6.5 C
8. Sam Jardine NCAA 6.5 D
9. Nick Mattson NCAA 6.5 D
10. Trevor van Riemsdyk Pro 6.5 D
11. Luc Snuggerud NCAA 6.5 D
12. Viktor Svedberg Pro 6.0 C
13. Mathieu Brisebois Pro 6.0 C
14. Robin Norell Europe 6.0 C
15. Andreas Soderberg Europe 6.0 C
16. Robin Press Europe 6.0 D

Blackhawks: Predictions of 2003 Selections

by Bill Placzek

Although currently missing draft picks in the third and fourth rounds, the Chicago Blackhawks hold 10 (possibly 11) picks in the upcoming 2003 NHL entry draft.

Past history shows General Manager Mike Smith may use high picks #14, 52, and 59 to trade down and acquire picks in the missing rounds.

Every year I make my predictions on who the Blackhawks will pick, using their present draft slots as my guide. Here are the 2003 predictions.

In the first round, the Hawks are scheduled to select in slot #14. There have been sound bites to the press about getting a NHLer in a trade for this pick. But trading out of this slot would be a bad move, because a selection at #14 will provide a strong future prospect in this deep draft as long as the Hawks organization doesn’t lock on to a specific position.

Defense may be the target in the first round, because by the time the Hawks make their second pick, there is a real drop off in the pool.

Dion Phaneuf is the defenseman they may have in their targets. Although he doesn’t at this point in time project as a no. 1 defenseman, he possesses all the qualities the Blackhawk team needs. Former Hawk and present Red Deer Coach Brent Sutter will attest to his toughness, leadership, restraint, and good shot.

This selection would not be a cure-all. At this point Phaneuf may not even be the best defender in the WHL, but he is a solid prospect in an area the Blackhawks need improvement.

Someone may select Phaneuf before the Hawks, however, in which case G.M. Smith could pass on the available forwards and take, Read more»

Chicago Blackhawks 2002-03 Rookie Review

by Bill Placzek

The 2002-2003 NHL season saw eight new faces slip in and out of Chicago. Below is a review of how each rookie found ways to show off their wares to the parent club.

Tyler Arnason was called up during the 2001-02 season to see if his gift as an offensive play-maker could continue at the next level. At the end of that season he showed clearly had a quick burst up ice, a gift for seeing ways to exploit defenses, and a nose for the net. Although not a speed guy nor a ballerina on skates, Arnason showed he could pot goals but needed to work on his defensive game, not any different than many young players getting a chance in the NHL. His 2002 training camp continued to make the management see him as a guy they were unable to send down because he could get the goals the Blackhawks sorely needed.

The thinking at the end of the 2002 season was to try and play “Arny” with at least one vet who could help advise him on his area of deficiencies while they shared ice and similar game experiences. Injuries to Daze and other Hawks made scoring a priority, so Arnason was thrust into situations with players who were also not as concerned with the defensive side of the ice. Early on Arnason lead rookie scoring and the Hawk press staff started trying to market him as the next best hope. His production was very good scoring 19 goals and 20 assists but he continued to be unaware of defensive responsibilities and was part of the same break-downs as the season ended as when it started.

Based on Arnason’s potential the Blackhawks traded away another offensive only p Read more»

Two rookies remain on roster

by Bill Placzek

After very stirring performances by Hawk prospect Brent McLean, he was sent down to Norfolk with promising Mikhail Yakubov, Igor Radulov, Kent Huskins and Steve McCarthy, as each will be asked to get just a little bit better before they are given jobs.

Tyler Arnason, along with Shawn Thornton and journeymen Garry Valk will fill the spots vacated by the losses of Daze and Fleury. One of these two may be returned to Norfolk when the missing veterans return.
Arnason scored 3 goals and an assist in 21 games last year and had an impressive camp offensively, earning a spot based on his continuing improvement and ability to play the wing.
Son of a former early draft choice, Chuck Arnason, of the Flin Flon Bombers #7 overall to Montreal in 1971, Tyler worked hard to get in shape to compete for a chance to stay on the major league roster and had good preseason outings. His strength at this time are his offensive value.
Big Shawn Thornton was acquired for Marty Wilford, probably the best defenseman on many a Indianapolis Ice team. Toronto wanted the older veteran minor league defenseman and gave the bigger, low scoring Thornton in trade. Thornton is a few months older than Arnason, and his game is along the wall. He has showed he also has some play making ability, and although he may be just a temporary fill, good showings will only help his cause. When the injured Hawks return, he may be the first one sent down.

Why did the Hawks sent down McLean because of his value as a steady face-off man at all previous levels of development. Read more»

Blackhawk’s Third Exhibition an Open Affair

by Bill Placzek

The second meeting with the Dallas Stars and third preseason exhibition started with the non rostered players now seeing there is a new opening at forward with the Daze injury (Out a minimum of six weeks) and many took advantage of it in the Blackhawk 2-0 victory.

Of the marquee prospects, only Mikhail Yakubov didn’t come with a strong overall game at centre. Certainly his inexperience at the position was apparent although the over all talent is present in this big forward who might have helped management agree that Norfolk will help him get ready to be a NHL prime time player.
Mike Leighton had two very good periods only marred by goals scored on three successive penalties and two man advantages. He looks like a prime candidate as an NHL starter after a year of AHL seasoning and a back up role. He is big, cool under fire, and a leader on the ice. Experience seems to be what he still needs to acquire.
Can one of the trio of Huskins (not suited), Dempsey, or McCarthy usurp utility defenseman Steve Poast, a Sutter type player who ended strong last year when the rest of the defense petered?
Defenseman Nathan Dempsey played on the penalty kill and assisted on a pair of power-play goals by Kyle Calder, as he heightened the competition for the last defensemen slot. Steve Poapst and Steve McCarthy also played well but neither was on the penalty kill. Lyle Odelin used every opportunity to dish across to the left point so McCarthy could let them go but none found the inside of the net.
The big question to prospect watchers is who wil Read more»

Exhibition #2 Displays More Future Hopefuls

by Bill Placzek

Kent Huskins returned to the ice versus the Dallas Stars for his second consecutive game and again play very well both defensively and getting the puck to the forwards. He sent a long perfect pass springing Steve Thomas on one attempt and did nothing to hurt his attempts at finding a place for himself on the parent club.

This was the first game played by third year pro prospect Steve McCarthy, Igor Radulov, and newcomer left wing Travis Moen.
McCarthy played to his strengths carrying and passing the biscuit, but really didn’t excel in those strengths. Although he did not embarrass himself in the defensive zone, he didn’t challenge attackers or neutralize well and his passing wasn’t at its best and in general didn’t have a very good game. Besides, he wasn’t a factor on the score sheets, so you have to wonder if a continuation of his career in the AHL can be of any benefit to improvement in his game.
Chicago media are trying to make his two way contract (with a hefty NHL side) the reason why he would be sent down. I refuse to believe that NHL teams don’t man the parent club with their best players despite contract size. He will always be a smaller defenseman who will rely on using angles and his skating abilities to take out attackers. His strengths must come from his handling the puck. He has bulked up and gained muscle. The bottom line is all the parts must come together while on the ice to make a team.
The Blackhawks must decide if his offensive abilities fit with a defense that already carries defensive liability offenseman Phil Hous Read more»

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