Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks’ ‘All-Drafted Team’ Would Compete Annually

By Aaron Goldschmidt
Feb 11, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks president John McDonough during a press conference to announce that Chicago will host the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks president John McDonough during a press conference to announce that Chicago will host the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (88) during a game between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (88) during a game between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

Wingers

Patrick Kane – Drafted in 2007, London Knights

Probably the most explosive player to put on the Blackhawks sweater the past two decades, reigning league MVP Patrick Kane has helped put Chicago on the map as one of the top hockey cities in the country.

Kane has had some off-the-ice issues, but the Blackhawks have stuck with him and he has seemed to turn things around.  Nicknamed “Showtime,” there isn’t any other player I would rather have with the puck on his stick than Kane.

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Brandon Saad – Drafted in 2011, Saginaw Spirit

Nicknamed “The Manchild,” Brandon Saad got to grow up very fast with the Blackhawks.  His size and strength enabled him to showcase his skill and earned him a spot on the top line with Toews and Marian Hossa.

After he and the Blackhawks couldn’t reach an agreement in the 2015 offseason, Saad was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and there he signed a six-year, $36 million contract.  The Blackhawks were lucky to replace him quickly with Artemi Panarin, but many of us wondered what could have been if he were able to stay.

Bryan Bickell – Drafted in 2004, Windsor Spitfires

Bickell‘s best moment came in Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, when he scored the game-tying goal in Boston with 1:16 seconds left in the third period.

Throughout his career in Chicago, he was never extremely productive but his physicality and hard wrist shot helped the Blackhawks win a lot of close games.  His size and grit helped him earn a spot in this lineup.

Jan 19, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames right wing Troy Brouwer (36) skates against the Nashville Predators during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 19, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames right wing Troy Brouwer (36) skates against the Nashville Predators during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Troy Brouwer – Drafted in 2004, Moose Jaw Warriors

Brouwer, like Bickell, is another power forward who could easily put you right through the glass.  Brouwer came up through the Blackhawks’ system as a grinder but found a scoring touch toward the end of his time here in Chicago.

After he was traded following the 2010-11 season to Washington, he continued to score around 40 points per season, collecting powerplay points and playing on a line with Alex Ovechkin.

Andrew Shaw – Drafted 2011, Niagra IceDogs

“The Mutt” is what teammates called Andrew Shaw during his time in Chicago.  A big fan favorite, Shaw earned his spot on the Blackhawks by bringing energy to the team in the form of hard hits and dropping the gloves.

At 5-foot-11 180 pounds, Shaw isn’t the most intimidating player on the ice, but he let his mouth do most of the work for him.  Shaw played multiple positions and became moderately productive once he toned down the penalty minutes.  He’s definitely someone you would want on your team.

Tuomo Ruutu – Drafted 2001, Finland

Ruutu had a really impressive rookie year, scoring 23 goals with 21 assists while playing all 82 games in 2004.  He played in Chicago just four years before he moved on to playing in Carolina, where he had several good years as a Hurricane.

In his best season in 2010-11, Ruutu scored 57 points and again played all 82 games.  His durability and production would earn him a spot on this team.

Teuvo Teravainen – Drafted 2012, Finland

Teravainen was another talented young prospect probably traded away too soon.  Teravainen spent little time in the minors and helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2015.  His vision and ability to distribute the puck on the powerplay were well matured for his age.

It’s unfortunate he was the centerpiece in a trade that got Bickell off the books. Teravainen is currently contributing to the youth resurgence in Carolina while the Hurricanes rebuild.

Ryan Hartman – Drafted 2013, Plymouth Whalers

With so many comparisons to Shaw, this season Ryan Hartman has proven he is more than just an energy guy.  Hartman has done his best to stay out of the penalty box even though it seems like he is sometimes out for blood.

This season, he has shown to have some pretty good moves in the offensive zone and can lay out the occasional big hit when the situation calls for it.

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