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 C
5. Jack Ramsey Junior 6.0 D

Left Wing

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


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


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

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»

First Blackhawk Exhibition Features Many Prospects but Few Keepers

by Bill Placzek

Brian Sutter chose many new faces the reward of playing in this game. Forwards included in the lineup were last season call-up Tyler Arnason in a new role as a left winger, prime prospect Mikhail Yakubov, Brett McLean, Brandin Cote, and journeymen Shawn Thornton and Louis DeBrusk. On defense, the hometown fans were treated to a generous dose of Kent Huskins and Nathan Dempsey.

All played well.
Yakubov saw action early feeding Serge Berezin a neat drop pass, and showed signs of NHL finesse, moving effortlessly, and displaying NHL passing and a nice hard shot.
At this point it is difficult to compare his style, but it is clear he has more to learn but hard to not be excited by his future potential. He knows where to set up and wants the puck. His size only acts as another reason to try and rush him to the parent club early. He is not the dominant face-off center the Hawks are looking for to improve the team, but certainly has lots of offensive zone moxy that every team desires.
Centre Brandin Cote flew around and showed he had an offensive game. Despite his play, he looked like a guy destined for the farm.
Centre Brent McLean had many eyes centered on his play in the game. An above average face-off man in the AHL, the Hawks wanted to see what he could do in the dots and on the penalty kill. He certainly didn’t disappoint the fans, as he played hard, won face-offs and assisted on the short handed goal and scored the game winner.
McLean just doesn’t fit the role as a rough and tumble utility guy on Read more»

Signing Ruutu

by Bill Placzek

Tuomo Ruutu was here visiting the USA but not for pleasure, it was strictly business.

Hockey business.

During the week of August 3rd through the 10th he played on the Finnish entry of the 2002 Hockey Summer Challenge (U20) in Lake Placid. Three teams participated, a USA White team, a USA Blue team and the veteran Finnish team.

The 2002 USA Hockey Summer Challenge is the tourney that marks the culmination of the U.S. National Evaluation camp that brought 45 American hockey players together to show their abilities and audition for spots on 2003 U.S.National team.

The tourney seats were loaded with scouts from every NHL team.

What they witnessed was Ruutu, bullying his way through the opposition, controling play, leading the offense and disrupting the offensive plays of the other team. Nasty aggressive hockey bullying is no new style for Ruutu, whose heart is similar to the players we all make our fan favorites because of the way they juice up the games.

In the Ides of July, Blackhawk G.M. Mike Smith tried to negotiate a North American contract, but Tuomo Ruutu’s agent asked for a signing bonus besides the highest salary attainable under the NHL rookies salary cap.
This bonus became the bone of contention that to this day, are separating the two sides. Smith flat out says he doesn’t do that! Never has,never will. And Ruutu’s agent started his asking for a $3 Million signing bonus based on individual performance.

Based on his performance in this tourney and his previous performances, there wasn’t a NHL G.M. who wouldn’t add a $1 Million bonus to g Read more»

2002 NHL Draft Adds Character to the Indianhead

by Bill Placzek

The all nine players selected by the Chicago Blackhawks have one common ingredient: character. In a draft labeled as one with few players whose abilities have developed enough to project big league success, the Blackhawks scouting staff may not have come through with a gaggle of gems but have come up with team players who shine like gems.

There is no denying the fact that at this juncture, the ownership may care little if they fill their building. They do care about holding the line on salaries and the draft is an essential element in doing just that. If you draft potential NHLers, you bring them in at a lower rate than acquiring established players.
So as a salary cap looms, the Hawks have tried to ferret out as many guys that will put team over all else.
At this point, no one can put a can’t miss or potential star tag on the vast majority of the talent taken after the first dozen, although everyone likes to project the drafted as the “next” as the draft is a way to sell your fans on the future.
The Blackhawk draft was no different. They went in with strategies (add defensemen, try and trade down when lots of their listed players were available as the picks approached) and hoped that the future would prove them correct.
Picking 21st overall, few of the Blackhawk picks were established stars with their teams, and only a few are names the casual amateur hockey fan would even know of.
With pick #21 the Hawks got what may amount to a huge Christmas gift in the form of Anton Babchuk. They wanted big players and Read more»

Is Michigan State’s Defensemen Duncan Keith a Future Blackhawk Winger?

by Bill Placzek

No one doubts how well the almost six foot Duncan Keith his skating. He gets going quick and out- distances the guys around him. At Penticton Jr A he had a hefty 64 assists to go with his 18 goals, so he certainly displays skill, touch and instinct to carry the biscuit, jump into the plays from the defensemen position.

The question is would he actually be able to make it as an NHL defensemen at his size and strength. He doesn’t project to grow past six foot.
Could general manager Mike Smith have drafted him with the idea of him converting to a wing?

That might be very possible, for he certainly has pure speed and agility to create as an winger. He has not yet adjusted to the less free wheeling style of collegiate and has trouble with handling traffic as a college defensemen.

Sometimes players are chosen for their character, skills, and determination, and can be projected to another position as possible pros.
I wonder if that is what Hawk general manager Mike Smith had in mind by making him the Hawk second round pick.

I realize that the undersized defenseman has chiseled a place in the new NHL transition game and that this young man has the tools to be a Ballard/Bouwmeester type offensively creative player. I also understand you cannot teach speed, and Keith has an abundance of it. I just don’t know if he can make it on the backline. Steve McCarthy is an early defensemen pick we are already waiting to see handle the big men in the NHL. Can the Blackhawk defense have room for two? Or was he picked to play elsewhere Read more»

Related Articles