The Chicago Blackhawks will host their annual prospect camp from July 17-21
With the youth movement fully underway, the Chicago Blackhawks are going to need big contributions from some rookies this season.
While the roster for the team’s rookie camp has yet to be released, we can speculate who might be in attendance. I went with prospects who have the ability to play in the NHL or AHL next season.
Here are five rookies I am most looking forward to seeing.
DeBrincat is the prospect that everyone is looking forward to seeing. He had a very impressive career in juniors: 167 goals and 165 assists for 332 points in 3 seasons.
Now we must see if his ridiculous scoring numbers in juniors translate to the NHL style of play. We will also see if his 5-foot-7 frame can hold up against typical NHL sized players.
While this will be his first prospect camp, I do not feel this will be his last. He is projected as an NHL top-six talent, but can he make the jump this year?
If the ‘Hawks believe so, he will make the team out of training camp. If not he will be in juniors for another season. He is only 19 years old, so there is time for his development.
I think the right move is to play him nine games at the NHL level and then decide.
Fortin was a non-roster invitee to prospect camp last season. He played so well during prospect camp that the Blackhawks signed him to an entry-level contract.
Fortin has made strides in his game at juniors despite not putting up DeBrincat-like numbers. He has been called an elite skater by his juniors coach. He also plays a puck possession game, which the Blackhawks sorely need.
When he was given the opportunity to skate with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov last preseason, he kept scoring. Fortin is listed at 6-0 and 174 pounds. He is 20 years old, so if he does not makes the ‘Hawks out of training camp, he should be sent to the Rockford.
I have no secret of my love for Louis. He was very impressive at last year’s prospect camp.
He capped his senior year at Miami of Ohio with 14 goals, 25 assists and 39 points. After finishing up this senior year, he signed his entry-level contract.
He played an amateur pro tryout deal with the IceHogs for 13 games last season. He had 1 goal and 1 assist.
He is another smallish type forward, but he is strong on the puck and has playmaking ability. He also had speed, which the Blackhawks need.
I along with many others gushed over Louis’ prospect camp last year.
Snuggerud is the first defenseman on the list. Snuggerud spent three years at the University of Nebraska-Omaha before leaving college early to sign with the ‘Hawks.
He was one of the best offensive defensemen in college during the 2016-17 season. He recorded 11 goals and had 20 assists for 31 points. After signing with the’ Hawks, he reported to Rockford. He appeared in 13 games with the Hogs. He had 1 goal and 5 assists during his time with the Hogs.
He is listed at 6-foot and 187 pounds. He is a left-handed shot from the blue line. With the Blackhawks losing Trevor van Riemsdyk and Niklas Hjalmarsson this offseason, they are going to need some defensemen to step up.
Gustav Forsling figures to be the first in line to make the ‘Hawks this year but don’t count out Snuggerud.
My last rookie is Raddysh, former OHL Defenseman of the Year. He signed an AHL contract with the IceHogs this past offseason.
Raddysh was 5-11 and 165 pounds when he started playing juniors for the Erie Otters. He hit his growth spurt with the Otters, ballooning up to 6-1 and 200 pounds.
In his last season with the Otters, he put up 16 goals and 65 assists for 81 points. He also brings another right-handed shot to the blue line.
When he signed an AHL contract, it was a curious move because several NHL teams were interested in signing Raddysh to an entry-level contract. I believe the Blackhawks will sign Raddysh to an ELC if he plays well at prospect camp and training camp this season.
So here are my rookies to watch at the upcoming prospect camp. Do you agree with me?