Chicago Blackhawks Future Friday Profile: Vinnie Hinostroza
By Mario Tirabassi
Prospects As Important As Ever For 2016-17
As the Chicago Blackhawks move into the summer and look ahead to the 2016-17 season, one thing is evident again as the calendar turns to June and July: Chicago is salary-cap crunched. With Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and head coach Joel Quenneville addressing the major need for growth from within the organization, the future of the Blackhawks may be in the best shape it has ever been in during Bowman and Quenneville’s tenure’s.
With that, Blackhawkup introduces Future Friday Profiles, an opportunity to dig into the prospect system and see who is the future of the Chicago Blackhawks starting with Illinois native, Vinnie Hinostroza.
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Hinostroza Looking For Second Year Surge
During the 2015-16 season, Vinnie Hinostroza had one of the best rookie seasons in the Rockford IceHogs franchise history. Not only did Hinostroza top the 50-point mark, he tallied the most points by an IceHogs rookie since 2012-13 when Adam Clendening scored 46 points with Rockford.
A sixth-round pick by Chicago in the 2012 NHL Draft, Hinostroza made his NHL debut this season on October 17, against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Playing a total of seven games at the NHL level this year, Hinostroza shows a skilled set of hands and tremendous puck control. He uses his speed to his advantage and has a high-end scoring touch as seen with the IceHogs and in his time at Notre Dame. Hinostroza played in 66 games for the IceHogs, scoring 51 points (18 Goals, 33 Assists) and looks to be a key factor at the Center position for the Blackhawks in the long run.
Check it out: Blackhawks Heading To The World Championships
Hinostroza Playing For Team USA
While both the Blackhawks and IceHogs were bounced from their playoff runs much too early, Hinostroza will continue playing hockey through May as he is with Team USA at the World Championships in Russia this month. He, along with teammate Tyler Motte, will be the only Blackhawks representing the United States, but in total, six Blackhawks players will be competing at the World Championships this month.
“Anytime you wear the USA sweater it’s truly a privilege,” Hinostroza said last Friday. “I’m excited to represent my country and go over to Russia. It’s always any player’s goal to keep improving and getting better. During my first year in the pros I think I improved a lot and I feel like this is just another step I need to take to getting to the final goal of playing full-time in the NHL. I’m really excited for the opportunity. I just want to make the best of it.”
Hinostroza will more than likely need another year under his belt before making a large impact for the Blackhawks at the NHL level, but don’t be surprised if he plays upwards of 20 or 30 games with the Blackhawks next season. The only thing holding him back at this point would be the physical aspect of playing at the NHL level. Standing 5’10” and weighing in at 180 pounds, Hinostroza could use another year with the IceHogs to get his body ready for a full-time NHL gig, but his skill set is ready for the jump.
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