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Chicago Blackhawks: Training Camp Forwards Breakdown

By Sean Fitzgerald
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The Chicago Blackhawks like so many other NHL teams kick off their training camp this weekend. The Blackhawks will have 63 total players at the University of Notre Dame for a three-day camp that starts today. Among that number will be 36 forwards. In this post, we are going to give out the percentage chance that each player has of making the team out of camp.

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The group of forwards we will start with are the locks:

  • Jonathan Toews, 100 percent: Captain of the Blackhawks will center the first line.
  • Bryan Bickell, 100 percent: Bickell will make the team again this season despite his offensive struggles last year and disappearance in the postseason. Bickell carries a $4 million cap hit to go along with his 14 goals and 14 assists from last season.
  • Marian Hossa, 100 percent: Hossa will be a member of the Blackhawks until he retires.
  • Marcus Kruger, 100 percent: The Blackhawks dealt Kris Versteeg to re-sign Kruger. He is a key penalty killer, faceoff specialist and good fourth-line player.
  • Artemi Panarin, 100 percent: Panarin will not make the Blackhawks based on his play in camp but based on his contract. If Panarin is not in the NHL out of camp, he can go back to the KHL.
  • Andrew Shaw, 100 percent: Shaw returns to a wing on the fourth line and could play some center.
  • Teuvo Teravainen, 100 percent: It is finally Teuvo Time. Many have him penciled in as the third-line center.
  • Artem Anisimov, 100 percent: He is the second-line center the Blackhawks have been waiting for.
  • Patrick Kane, 99 percent: Kane will make the team, but his future with it in regular-season play will be decided by one or a combination of a grand jury decision, a crime investigation settlement or a court ruling.
  • Andrew Desjardins, 99 percent: Desjardins took less money to stay with the Blackhawks and figures to be penciled in on the fourth line.

The next group of forwards features players who are most likely to probably likely to make the squad out of camp. Among them:

  • Marko Dano, 90 percent: Dano was the key piece in the Brandon Saad trade. In 35 games for Columbus last seaosn, Dano scored eight goals and recorded 13 assists.
  • Viktor Tikhonov, 90, percent: Tikhonov is getting another chance in the NHL after a rebirth in the KHL. With SKA St. Petersburg last season, he had eight goals and 16 assists. He might be a third-line player for the Blackhawks this season.
  • Corey Tropp, 75 percent: Tropp has NHL experience with Columbus, and he figures to be in the battle for a fourth-line position.
  • Ryan Garbutt, 75 percent: Garbutt is more an enforcer-type player who figures to be a fourth-line guy.

This next group gets into the prospects with potential to make the team:

  • Kyle Baun, 55 percent: Baun came up for a few games last season, and the coaching staff liked his style of play. Baun scored at the collegiate level and could be a depth scorer in the NHL.
  • Mark McNeill, 50 percent: This should be McNeill’s best chance in recent years to make the team. He had a good year at Rockford last season, recording 23 goals and 21 assists. He has a 50-50 chance to make the team out of camp.
  • Ryan Hartman, 50 percent: Hartman came up for five games last season with the Blackhawks. He figures to get a 50-50 chance to make the bottom-six forwards group this season.
  • Ryan Haggerty, 45 percent: Most people thought Haggerty was being brought in to be an AHL depth guy, but Haggerty had an impressive rookie tournament earlier this month. Can he keep that momentum going?
  • Jeremy Morin, 45 percent: Morin is a player well known to the Blackhawks organization and coaching staff. Will he make the team in spite of his past conflicts with those folks?
  • Garret Ross, 40 percent: Ross has been a Blackhawks prospect since 2012. He has spent the last two seasons at Rockford. He needs to make an impact this camp or he will be Rockford-bound again.
  • Dennis Rasmussen, 35 percent, Rasmussen is a Swede, and the Blackhawks loves their Swedes. This Swede spent one year at Rockford, putting in 13 goals and 14 assists in 2014-15. He is a bigger guy, so that might give him a better chance on a Blackhawks team that is often void of size.

Lastly we have the “no chance” forwards. These forwards will be Rockford/ECHL/OHL bound.

  • Brandon Mashinter, 20 percent: If the Blackhawks want an “enforcer,” Mashinter is that guy.
  • Tanner Kero, 15 percent: Kero is a name to watch because of the numbers he put up in college. The youngster recorded 46 points in 41 games in his final collegiate season. In the AHL, he had five goals in six games during the 2014-15 season. Kero might be this year’s Coach Quenneville shocker.
  • Daniel Paille, 10 percent: Paille is on a professional tryout contract. If Quenneville wants a veteran guy with NHL experience in the bottom six, he will make the team. He had just six goals and seven assists with Boston last season.
  • Tomas Kopecky, 1 percent: Is it 2009? How did he get invited to camp?
  • Radovan Bondra, 0 percent: He spent last season in the SVK, and he will need seasoning in the SVK. He is only 18-years-old and was the Blackhawks fifth-round pick in 2015.
  • Daniel Ciampini 0 percent: He finished up college last year and then spent some time in the AHL with the Worcester Sharks. I expect him to spend time in the AHL again this upcoming season.
  • Chris DeSousa, 0 percent: He figures to be in the ECHL after camp.
  • Jake Dowell, 0 percent: Dowell is an AHL depth guy at this point in his career.
  • Vincent Hinostroza 0 percent: He is the local kid who played last season at the University of Notre Dame. He can show the veterans all the cool spots on campus, but then he is headed to Rockford.
  • Graham Knott, 0 percent: Knott figures to be headed to either the OHL or AHL after the next three days. He was the 54th overall pick in the 2015 draft.
  • Pierre-Cedric Labrie, 0 percent: I think Pierre’s time in the NHL never arrived.
  • Mike Liambas, 0 percent: He figures to be another AHL guy once camp ends.
  • Hayden McCool, 0 percent: McCool spent all of last year in the OHL and was a 2015 draft pick. The Blackhawks will send him back to the OHL after camp.
  • Roy Radke, 0 percent: Radke is an Illinois kid who was selected in the 2015 draft. Radke was the sixth-round pick of the Blackhawks and figures to be back in the OHL.
  • Dan Walters, 0 percent: He is another AHL guy once camp ends.

Have a thought on who does or doesn’t make the Blackhawks roster out of camp? Let us know in the comments section. Check back later today for our take on the defensemen.

Next: Seabrook Named Blackhawks Alternate Captain

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