Blackhawks All-Prospect Team – December Edition
Another weekend of losses left me searching for more optimism this fine Monday morning.
Nashville took down the Hawks on Saturday on the road 5-2 and Calgary snuck by with a 3-2 win last night.
I'm at a loss for words right now with this Blackhawks team so this blog is actually focusing on the players that the Hawks own the rights to that aren't on the team; that includes Rockford, CHL, NCAA and Europe.
I've been working on a few prospect one-off pieces, however, I've decided, based on how this season is going, to make this at least a monthly round-up.
What I have laid out below are the best-of-the-best Blackhawks prospects that aren't on the official NHL roster.
The breakdown will be Blackhawks property to form "All-Star Teams" from:
Rockford – top 6 forwards, top 4 defencemen, top goalie
All Non-Rockford Prospects – top 6 forwards, top 4 defencemen, top goalie
From there, I will mash-up the best lineup to highlight who's in the pipeline for the Blackhawks as a whole to give an overall view.
This will also serve as a prospect update; Who's hot? Who's not?
Rockford All-Star Team
Anthony Louis - Tyler Sikura -Dylan Sikura
Jordan Schroeder - Jacob Nilsson - Victor Ejdsell
Lucas Carlsson - Darren Raddysh
Blake Hillman - Carl Dahlstrom
* Dylan Sikura leads the way in Rockford with 16 points in 24 games. He also is shooting… a lot. He is 2nd in the AHL with 82 shots on goal (only 7 behind former-Hawk Brandon Pirri). If he keeps this up, he will be in the NHL soon.
* Tyler Sikura has continued his strong play and leadership role on this IceHogs team. He has 9 points in 19 games and is a +2 so far this season.
* Anthony Louis has been the underdog his whole life. The Illinois native is only 5'7 but has produced everywhere he's played. He's having a strong season and getting himself noticed with 13 points in 24 games and playing in key situations for Derek King. Don't be shocked if he gets a call-up to Chicago at some point this year.
* Jordan Schroeder is hardly a "prospect" at 28 years old. However, his strong play has landed him on this list and with his NHL experience (165 games) and versatility (can play all forward positions) he could find himself playing in the NHL again with the Hawks if any injuries occur. He's battled some injuries himself early on and must stay healthy if he wants another shot in the NHL.
* Jacob Nilsson is more of a role player and took a while to find his grove in the AHL but is starting to contribute more consistently now. He is the 2nd line C on this Rockford All-Star team.
* Victor Ejdsell has to figure out how to be more consistent. If he can get there, he will be given every opportunity to succeed with the Blackhawks. He currently has 11 points in 22 games.
* Lucas Carlsson has been utilized a lot in Rockford this year, recently playing alongside fellow countryman, Carl Dahlstrom. He's not flashy but is a key member to this defence that has struggled to find its way early on this year.
* Carl Dahlstrom is one of the leaders of this IceHogs team and plays a lot. He is a team worst -8 however, that is because he plays so much and this team hasn't been the best to date. He is still one of the best defencemen on this team.
* Colin Delia is proving that last year was no fluke. He sports a 2.35 GAA and .932 SV% in 14 games this year. He and Anton Forsberg will battle it out for the rest of the year for playing time but Delia isn't backing down against the former Calder Cup winner.
Non-Rockford All-Star Team
Brandon Hagel - Phillip Kurashev - Max Shalunov
Josiah Slavin - Evan Barratt - Mackenzie Entwhistle
Nicolas Beaudin - Adam Boqvist
Chad Krys - Ian Mitchell
* Philipp Kurashev was a reach for some in the 4th round (120th overall) in last year's draft. He is making the Blackhawks look pretty smart though with 41 points in 30 games for the Quebec Remparts (QMJHL). That's good for 7th in the league. Better yet, he's been really strong defensively as well and has been solid at the dot with 54.1%.
* Max Shanulov makes this list as he is still property of the Blackhawks. Scott Powers has been following his situation closely and thinks he could be over in the NHL with the Hawks in 2020-21. I have heard as recently as this fall that the Hawks were trying to get him over sooner.
* Brandon Hagel skyrockets himself up the ranks going from unsigned prospect (former draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres) to a Chicago Blackhawks piece of the future. He has 46 points in 27 games in the WHL for Brent Sutter's Red Deer Rebels. He's showed no signs of slowing down and should be in Rockford next year on a full-time basis.
* Josiah Slavin is the captain of the Lincoln Stas in the USHL and is having himself a solid start to his season. Used as the last pick in the Hawks draft but caught the eye of Joel Quenneville and the coaching staff during training camp. He is committed to Colorado College next year and will look to hone his game there.
* Evan Barratt is creating quite a buzz these days. The Penn State feisty centre leads the nation in points and is on his way to an NHL contract soon. I would expect the Hawks to sign him this spring/summer.
* Mackenzie Entwhistle already played himself to a contract after the Hawks acquired him in the Hossa deal. He is the captain of the Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) and can play all forward positions. He is a big body and should be considered for Team Canada for this years WJHC. The will be a roster announcement today from Team Canada of prospective players this year.
* Adam Boqvist is heating up! He has 6 goals in his last five games and he finally looks comfortable on North American ice. He's showing everyone why he was worth an 8th overall selection. He now has 21 points in 20 games. I suspect he will be on this "All-Star Team" for the remainder of the year.
* Nicolas Beaudin is also hopeful for an invite to Team Canada's World Jr. team. He had an injury setback, however, has come back and played a strong 2-way game. He has 20 points in 18 games for the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
* Ian Mitchell has 11 points in 12 games for the University of Denver and is playing a top role they're playing in all situations. He's going to continue to grow his game and is also keeping his fingers crossed for an invite from Team Canada today.
* Chad Krys rounds out the defence as he continues to improve his overall game at Bostin University. He has the offensive skill which includes 8 points in 10 games but it's his defensive side of his game that he's been working on. It's getting there and it will be interesting what the Hawks do with him as he remains unsigned.
* Alexis Gravel has been making Mark Kelley look like a smart man as well. His .910 SV % through 21 games is solid considering how high scoring the QMJHL is. He will continue to make strides and stay on this list as the best non-Rockford goaltender in the system.
Now, as promised, here is a quick lineup of all of these players if one was to make a team out of them.
All Prospect Team - December Edition
Jordan Schroeder - Phillip Kurashev - Max Shalunov
Brandon Hagel - Tyler Sikura - Dylan Sikura
Anthony Louis - Evan Barratt - Victor Ejdsell
Josiah Slavin - Jacob Nilsson - Mackenzie Entwhistle
Lucas Carlsson - Adam Boqvist
Nicolas Beaudin - Ian Mitchell
Carl Dahlstrom - Darren Raddysh
Keep in mind that some of these guys can shift positions but I tried to keep them in their "All-Star" slots as selected.
There you go! Thoughts? Who are you most excited about? Who do you think should have been on this list?
I will be back with more Blackhawks related info this week.
See ya out there,