In just one year, the Chicago Blackhawks have seen the top end of the prospect pool experience a transition period. Since last spring’s Top 20, the Blackhawks’ top prospect, Teuvo Teravainen, and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk are now both full-time members of the club, while two skaters, Stephen Johns and Michael Paliotta, were sent out in trades. Furthermore, Philip Danault and Marko Dano, who were featured in the Blackhawks’ Fall Top 20 for the 2015–16 season, were sent out at the trade deadline, and surefire Calder Trophy finalist Artemi Panarin has graduated.
If it weren’t for the selections made in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks would have only one prospect skating at the junior level. In fact, four of their seven selections from this past summer’s draft are currently playing in either the WHL, OHL, or USHL. The Blackhawks typically shy away from drafting players from the CHL, but the 2015 draft saw the organization take a different approach when selecting talent for the future.
Welcome to the November edition of On the Rush. There is definitely a bit of variety in this month’s outing. We have a burgeoning mobile defenseman from the Philadelphia Flyers, a collegiate standout at Harvard, a pair of struggling first round selections from Dallas, two league-leading scorers, and even a Latvian winger out of the lesser known Norwegian league. From the Ivy League to Norway, it is quite an assortment. That happens to be right up our alley here at On the Rush. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty, and take a look at last month’s leaders and trailers from around the prospect world. Read more»
The months leading up to the 2015-16 season saw the Chicago Blackhawks shuffle several players. In terms of prospects, the Blackhawks sent out Stephen Johns, Michael Paliotta, Alex Broadhurst, and Joakim Nordstrom in a variety of trades. Futhermore, Matt Carey, Drew LeBlanc, and Mac Carruth were not extended qualifying offers with the team, though Carruth signed an AHL deal with the Blackhawks’ minor league affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. Defenseman Sam Jardine signed a contract with the IceHogs as well, hoping he can use this opportunity to earn an NHL-contract with Chicago in the foreseeable future.
The 2015-16 season is one of uncertainty for the Chicago Blackhawks. The harsh realities of the salary-cap era were quite evident during the offseason. Brandon Saad (CBJ), Patrick Sharp (DAL), Antti Raanta (NYR), Stephen Johns (DAL), Michael Paliotta (CBJ) and Alex Broadhurst (CBJ) were all parts of trades meant to add flexibility as well as talent to the organization. Furthermore, the likes of Brad Richards, Johnny Oduya and Antoine Vermette have found new teams through the free agency market. In other words, this year’s Blackhawks squad will look different than the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions we saw in June.