1. I cannot wait for Henri Jokiharju
I wrote an article last month about Henri Jokiharju and how much the Blackhawks hit on him. As much as I wanted a goalie at the draft, this move makes a lot of sense. Draft analysts said when the Blackhawks picked him that some teams thought he was a little cocky because of his extroverted personality, but to me it just reeks desire and competitiveness.
Jokiharu has a great coach in Steve Johnston with the Portland Winterhawks so I expect him to return there and continue developing. When prospect camp starts, I think many of you will be watching a future top four defenseman. He has exactly what the Blackhawks want in defensive responsibility, smooth skating, and can also be a threat in the offensive zone. He of course has some filling out to do, but he will soon establish himself as the Blackhawks top prospect.
Honorable Mention: Alexandre Fortin
It was pretty incredible what Alexandre Fortin did last year by earning an entry-level contract and almost making the Blackhawks opening day roster. Everybody will have their eyes on him with a handful of forward positions potentially available. At such a young age, the Blackhawks are doing the right thing getting him experience in the QMJHL, but he should probably be moving on pretty soon. Maybe sooner than we think.