Chicago Blackhawks’ New Franchise Core Slowly Falling Into Place

By Mario Tirabassi
Feb 19, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Nick Schmaltz (8) brings the puck into the Buffalo Sabres zone during the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 19, 2017; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Nick Schmaltz (8) brings the puck into the Buffalo Sabres zone during the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /
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Looking at some of Bowman’s moves

An area where Bowman has struggled has been youth development and young talent acquisition. His drafting history has been checkered at best since taking over.

Taking a look at Bowman’s drafts, you can see that prior to 2013, the misses have vastly outweighed the hits.

Bowman’s draft classes (2010-present; *—currently signed to CHI contract)

  • 2010Kevin HayesLudvig RensfeldtJustin HollKent SimpsonStephen Johns, Joakim Nordstrom, Rob Flick, Mirko Hoefflin, Nick Mattson, Mac Carruth*
    • Bowman’s first draft netted just one player who is still with the franchise in Mac Carruth, and a first-round pick who failed to sign with the Blackhawks in Kevin Hayes.
  • 2011

    Mark McNeill

    ,

    Phillip Danault

    ,

    Adam Clendening

    ,

    Brandon Saad

    ,

    Michael Paliotta

    ,

    Klas Dahlbeck

    ,

    Maxim Shalunov

    ,

    Andrew Shaw

    ,

    Sam Jardine

    ,

    Alex Broadhurst

    ,

    Johan Mattsson

    • The 2011 draft class had so much potential for Chicago, but only Shaw and Saad came out of the fray as real contributors to the Blackhawks. On the flip side, Danault, Clendening and Shalunov have made strides professionally as of late.
  • 2012Teuvo Teravainen, Dillon Fournier*, Chris Calnan, Garret Ross, Travis Brown, Vince Hinostroza*, Brandon Whitney, Matt Tomkins
    • The 2012 class is where Bowman began to mold his blueprint for the future of the Blackhawks. Teravainen helped Chicago win a Stanley Cup in 2015, and Hinostroza is a solidified part of the future for the Blackhawks.
  • 2013Ryan Hartman*, Carl Dahlstrom*, John Hayden*, Robin Norell*, Tyler Motte*, Luke Johnson*, Anthony Louis*, Robin Press
    • Arguably the best class Bowman has compiled so far. Hartman, Hayden and Motte have put themselves squarely into the discussion for future success with Chicago.
  • 2014

    Nick Schmaltz

    *,

    Matt Iacopelli

    ,

    Beau Starrett

    ,

    Fredrik Olofsson

    ,

    Luc Snuggerud

    *,

    Anderas Soderberg

    ,

    Dylan Sikura

    ,

    Ivan Nalimov

    ,

    Jack Ramsey

    • A largely unproven class from 2014 has a load of potential and is headlined by this year’s rookie standout in Schmaltz.
  • 2015Graham Knott*, Dennis Gilbert, Ryan Shea, Radovan Bondra, Roy Radke, Joni Tuulola, John Dahlstrom
    • Quite possibly the largest class in terms of physical stature, the 2015 class does not have one player under 6-foot tall, and each has the potential to score big numbers at the next level.
  • 2016Alex DeBrincat*, Chad Krys, Artur Kayumov, Wouter Peeters, Lucas Carlsson, Nathan Noel, Mathias From, Blake Hillman, Jake Ryczek
    • Maybe the most promising class from Bowman to date. DeBrincat seems like the biggest lock to be an NHL success in Bowman’s tenure, and even that may be an understatement.
  • It was a rough start for Bowman, but his draft classes have improved over the years, and building for the future has seen more success than in previous years as the age and wear and tear on the Blackhawks’ current core begins to take its toll.

    But it’s not just through drafting and developing that Bowman has begun to re-tool the core of the Blackhawks. Through trades and signings, Bowman has brought in fresh, talented players to add to the blueprint for the future of the Blackhawks.

    Players like Tanner Kero, Alexandre Fortin and Gustav Forsling were all undrafted signings the franchise made to add youth, depth and skill to the organization. Forsling and Kero have already made an impact at the NHL level, while Fortin, along with recent junior signing Matthew Highmore, have been impressive in their time in the QMJHL and look to make the jump to the professional ranks next season.

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