Blackhawks Prospects: Big Ten/Eastern College Athletic Conference
- John Hayden – SR – C, Yale University
- 2013 third-round pick (74th overall)
- Hayden returns to Yale as a senior and was named captain of the team this year. To do so, Hayden turned down the entry-level deal the Blackhawks offered him this offseason. He is a large-bodied power forward, listed at 6-3 and weighing 230 pounds, and had his career best season as a junior. So far, Hayden has notched four points through Yale’s first three games. He remains in interesting prospect to watch because of the ELC turndown. Chicago does not want to lose another top NCAA player.
- Jack Ramsey – SO – RW, University of Minnesota
- 2014 seventh-round pick (208th overall)
- The son of longtime NHL defenseman and 1980 US Olympian Mike Ramsey, Jack is a 6-2 winger and has the size and skating ability to be an effective two-way forward. He posted just five assists in 37 games as a freshman last year with the Golden Gophers, but has already shown progress as a sophomore with a goal and assist through the first seven games this year.
- Beau Starrett – SO – C, Cornell University
- 2014 third-round pick (88th overall)
- Starrett’s start at Cornell as a freshman was a bit underwhelming, and he will have to put injuries and frustrations behind him to make the right strides in his development. He brings a large-bodied, physical power-forward presence to the ice, standing at 6-5 and weighing about 210 pounds. He doesn’t shy away from the physicality of the game and uses his frame to create space for his linemates. If his development at Cornell progresses well, Starrett could be a very interesting prospect to keep an eye on.
- Matt Tomkins – SR – G, Ohio State University
- 2012 seventh-round pick (199th overall)
- After a promising start with the Buckeyes as a freshman, Tomkins lost his starting job as a sophomore and didn’t return to that position until this season as a senior. A lot of Tomkins’ problems with rebound control and positioning seemed to be relatively fixed during this summer’s prospect camp, and his start to the season is promising again. In eight games played this season, Tomkins is posting a 2.64 GAA and a save percentage of 90 percent. Nothing that jumps off the page, but the numbers are better than what he posted in his sophomore and junior years. If Tomkins can continue to lead Ohio State in net this year, the Blackhawks could have another promising talent in their future in net.
While there may be a good number of prospects who never see the NHL ice with Chicago, there’s plenty of potential in their NCAA pipeline, that the next Tyler Motte or Nick Schmaltz is in this group. Only time will tell, and by the looks and early success of the current Blackhawks roster, there’s time.