Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Nick Schmaltz poses for a photo with team officials after being selected as the number twenty overall pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Every year in August, around 45 American born prospects are flown to Lake Placid, New York to attend the US National Junior Evaluation Camp. This year, 42 total players were invited including four Chicago Blackhawks prospects. Tyler Motte, John Hayden, Anthony Louis, and 2014 first round draft pick Nick Schmaltz were all invited to participate. The preliminary cuts were made Tuesday morning to trim the team down to 27. Before, teams were broken up into Blue and White teams. Schmaltz and Louis played on the White team together, while Hayden and Motte played on the Blue team.
When the final camp roster was announced on Tuesday though, all four Hawks prospects remained.
Motte started off the first scrimmage well which pitted the Blue team against the White team. He netted the second goal for USA Blue, and later in the same period he set up John Hayden for a nice power play goal and earned an assist. Motte is currently tied for second in the camp in scoring with three total points.
John Hayden looked like he was still riding his success from the Blackhawks Prospect Camp held earlier this summer. He scored a goal in the first game, and looked pretty good all around. He also added an assist in the scrimmage against Sweden.
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Nick Schmaltz had his name called quite a few times during the first three scrimmages. Some was good, some was bad. A few turnovers here and there led to some good chances for the other teams. He only recorded one assist in the stat column, and that was by setting up fellow Hawks prospect Anthony Louis.
Before the final camp roster was announced, if you had to ask me which Hawks prospect I thought most likely to not make the team, it would be Anthony Louis. Not because he was the lowest drafted of all the Chicago prospects, just because I didn’t see him creating the biggest impact in the eyes of the coaches. Other than the goal set up by Schmaltz, and an assist in the third scrimmage, not much else was seen of Louis. He did make the cut though, and now all four Hawks prospects will play together on the final camp roster.
I’m not sure how the coaches are going to decide to use the four prospects. It would be really cool to see them to go to the line that worked so well during the Blackhawks Prospect Camp scrimmages of Hayden, Schmaltz, and Louis. I wouldn’t mind seeing Motte play alongside Schmaltz and Hayden, but right wing is not really his natural position. Motte did not attend the Prospect Camp.
The final camp roster will play three more scrimmages concluding Saturday against the Czech Republic.
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