Blackhawks Prospect Represents USA Hockey

By JoHannah Lowder

June 22, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; General view of the stage prior to the 2012 NHL Draft at CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

The NHL lockout is not deterring passionate hockey fans from enjoying their favorite game. They are exploring all other avenues of hockey, from the AHL to European leagues and college hockey. We know that’s not what we really want. We want our teams, our Chicago Blackhawks boys to be the ones wowing and, yes, even disappointing us at times. But in the meantime, there are reasons to get excited about the future of hockey.

I have personally been exploring USA Hockey. While Canadians are very proud to call hockey their sport, their creation, their pastime, I am drawn to the Americans that have played a huge role growing the sport in our country. The connection between sports and patriotism in the United States is obvious as the National Anthem is played before every game in the nation anywhere ever. Combining the greatest sport with American patriotism is the perfect outlet to display a passion for both.

The latest USA Hockey news is some of the more positive hockey news to come out in a while, especially for Blackhawks fans! In an obscure tournament that would not normally be on many people’s radars during the NHL season, USA Hockey competed with five other teams from around the world in the 2012 World Junior A Challenge held in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The Blackhawks’ 2012 sixth round draft pick Vince Hinostroza was chosen to be team USA’s captain and led his team to the gold medal, earning tournament MVP along the way. The 18 year old forward had 6 goals and 2 assists in 4 games in the tournament. More importantly, he is an American from Bartlett, IL, and a Chicago Blackhawks prospect!

Hinostroza is currently playing with the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL, hoping to one day have the opportunity to play for his home team in the NHL. For now, he has made Blackhawks and American hockey fans proud. Hopefully we don’t have to wait until Hinostroza is ready to make his NHL debut to see our Blackhawks on the ice again!

What do you think: How have you been enjoying hockey so far through the lockout?

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