Team Depth Chart of NHL Prospects
Strengths
  • Depth and talent of center prospects
  • Defensive prospects mix size with mobility
  • Overall depth of system is strong
Weaknesses
  • Little depth on wings, particularly right side
  • Lack of an elite goaltending prospect

About Prospect Scores and Probability

Prospect Criteria

Legend of Players' Leagues
Pro
Playing in N.A. Pro (NHL, AHL, ECHL, etc.)
CHL
Playing in CHL (OHL, QMJHL, WHL)
NCAA
Playing in NCAA
Europe
Playing in Europe
Junior
Playing in Junior 'A' (USHL, BCHL, AJHL, etc.)
N/A
Not Categorized Yet

Goaltenders

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

Right Wing

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

Left Wing

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Jeremy Morin Pro 7.0 C
2. Garret Ross Pro 6.5 C
3. Matt Carey Pro 6.5 D
4. Fredrik Olofsson Junior 6.0 C

Centers

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

Defensemen

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. David Rundblad Pro 7.5 D
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. Nick Mattson NCAA 6.5 C
7. Justin Holl NCAA 6.5 C
8. Dillon Fournier CHL 6.5 C
9. Carl Dahlstrom Europe 6.5 C
10. Sam Jardine NCAA 6.5 D
11. Trevor van Riemsdyk Pro 6.5 D
12. Luc Snuggerud Junior 6.5 D
13. Mathieu Brisebois Pro 6.0 C
14. Robin Norell Europe 6.0 C
15. Andreas Soderberg Europe 6.0 C
16. Viktor Svedberg Pro 6.0 D
17. Robin Press Europe 6.0 D

Blackhawks possibilities at No. 21

by Bill Placzek
on

The draft must be treated for what it is: a help three or four years down the road. One cannot necessarily draft based on the parent club’s present needs, as much as the sum total of what the present club strengths and weaknesses are, plus the minor pro affilliate possible prospects, plus the present projection of the prospects still not in the system who have shown they may be the clubs future.
Certainly the present Blackhawk team craves more physical all around defensemen. Drafting at No. 21 presents a problem for any team looking for defensemen as the ones who already look the pro part are scooped very early, usually gone by the picks in teens.
After the top 15, this 2002 draft crop (an elite four plus 11 solid prospect types), seems to be followed by a 50 player group which appears fairly close when trying to weigh one player against the other. The players all have positives and negatives in their game. The teams that make the correct choices with the selections into the early third round will be the ones bolstering their line-ups.
Can the Blackhawks be short-sighted enough to lock their sights on the defense position and ignore the chance to add goaltender and forward prospects? No, simply based on the fact that you can see more if a forward may be able to become an NHL over whether a defenseman making the transition to NHLer.
If Mike Smith was going to lock his sights on the position of defenseman with his first pick, here are the players most likely he will have to choose from:
Russians Kirill Koltsov ( Read more»

A Chat with Adam Munro

by Bill Placzek
on

Holding two number one picks in the 2001 draft, Hawk G.M. Mike Smith chose to pass on Rangers rookie Dan Blackburn in favor of Tummo Ruutu with his #9 overall selection.

While sitting at the draft as it reached the middle of round one, I wasn’t the only one feeling that the Blackhawk’s lack of depth in goal might lead to a ‘tender taken with the second first rounder. But all indications were that goalie might be Jason Bacashihua
would be the guy if a goalie was picked. He played for the Chicago Freeze, in a northwest Chicago suburb, and was rated a late first rounder.
He was in fact picked by Dallas a few picks before the Blackhawks picked.
The Hawks made Adam Munro their pick, surprising Adam and his Dad as much as the rest of us.
Was he a back up choice, or was it Tretiak’s high scouting marks that bumped him into the first round?
A big goalie, Adam presently progressing in the AHL.
Here is Ken McKenna’s interview with Adam:.

Q&A with Adam Munro.

By Ken McKenna.

Hockey’s Future : We’ll start with this season. Erie is on its way to another division title. How do you feel about the teams’ chances of going to the Memorial Cup?.

AM:I feel like we have a good enough team to do it this year. Last year we had a lot of skill, but I don’t know if we had the character there. This year, I think we’ve got a lot of experience from last year, we’ve got a lot of guys back. We probably don’t have as much skill, but a lot more character on this team this year than we did la Read more»

Tuomo Ruutu World Junior showing will bring Blackhawk fans smiles

by Bill Placzek
on

While watching the preliminary round of the 2002 World Junior Tourney, I found myself with the distinct feeling that the Canadian entry was going to win first seed as their play over Russia and other competition was dominant. Two LA prospects, small centre Mike Cammalleri and Rw Jared Aulin along with the likes of Jason Spezza, Steven Weiss, and top two 2002 projected draft picks Rick Nash and Jay Bouwmeester were methodical, smart players who were able to penetrate with scoring chances while never sacrificing defense.

Their game against Team Finland, led by Ruutu, Mikko Koivu, and top five pick number one ranked goaltender Kari Lehtonen showed Canada could be dominated. Ruutu was the main cog at both ends of the ice, with a fine continued performance that have to bring smiles to the Hawk fans everywhere.

Could we trust that Mike Smith and his penchant for Europeans over North Americans was correct this time, when the Hawk “farm” was desperately in need of a future stopper? Compounding our second guessing is the fact Blackburn showed enough to the New York Rangers to keep him around as an 18-year-old back-up and continues to excel at the major league level.

Will Ruutu be a bigger impact to the Hawks? At this point, it would be pure speculation as Tuomo Ruutu must do his military service and will not get a chance for possibly 2003-04 season.

The things we can say are what we see: He is a dominant player at World Junior, a head above the rest. He went where he wanted and did want he wanted to. He was force inside the team game.

Read more»

Bell Chimes In an Answer at LW

by Bill Placzek
on

This year’s training camp ended with everyone viewing a different Mark Bell. The one we viewed this season was more relaxed, confident and a beneficiary of a year in the farm beside teaching coach Trent Yawney. Everybody saw the difference on the ice.

Mark Bell, future Hawk centre certainly would play in the NHL eventually. The question as training camp ended was if he would be able to crack the Hawk line-up there this season, where lack of ice time while dressed for games and press box time when scratched would only serve to dampen his spirits.
Coach Brian Sutter saw an opportunity for Mark Bell to play in Chicago now. But it would be in a job position where his performance each night would dictate if he would return for the next game to play again. And it would not be at the position where he was heir. It would be as the third line LW. Left wing is the position that this writer stated Bell would be better suited for three years ago, but a 3rd line Left wing has to play a much more rigorous game than any centre, and the job is one where being physical is a certainty to success.
So far Mark Bell has answered the call each night he has fought, scored and never been a passenger on a team whose early success is somewhat tied to his success.
Granted, The Hawks good record early on reflect the play of all of the pieces. The emergence of Thibault as an early competitor who can keep teams under three goals has to rank high in the success. And the early sniping by young diminutive forward Kyle Calder and young vet Eric Daze certainly cannot be Read more»

Blackhawks First Exhibitions Show Little

by Bill Placzek
on

The Blackhawks met the Dallas Stars in Monday -Tuesday exhibition games and the fans were treated with some prospect views but little in immediate help. The first game gave first glimpses at the progress of Mark Bell, Mike Souza, and new pros Kent Huskins and Mike Leighton, and amateur Igor Radulov.

Of this group, the guy closest to making the roster is Mark Bell. Mark Bell will be an NHLer player – that seems decided. On Monday night he showed improved speed, positioning and continued aggressive play. He scored after carrying in down the left wing in traffic and scored on a sharp angle almost over the goal line with and hard snap shot.

Prior to this season, Bell seemed a step behind the action and tentative. Tonight he showed controlled aggression, and he came to play. Bell was still at Left wing. He looked disciplined on the wing and made few errors in coverage and on offense.
Mike Souza reminded me of the Mark Bell of a year ago. Souza played well on a 3rd line and played well along the wall displaying good balance and physical board work. He gets were he is going, but just didn’t display quick feet. He just seemed behind the speed of the game in many instances. It moved at bit faster than he anticipated.

Kent Huskins had trouble with the strength of the attacking forwards. He also was unable to compensate for the speed the pro game is played. He can the puck better than he showed. Often, in his effort to speed it up. he was inaccurate. He has good size, used it on occasion, but wasn’t able to handle the stronger NHLers.

Mike Leighton came in and Read more»