Kyle Baun’s time with the Chicago Blackhawks has been very unique, leading one to wonder what’s next for the youngster
One of the big highlights of the Chicago Blackhawks Convention is the opening cermonies. When TV color commentator Ed Olczyk announced the Kyle Baun this year, the crowd roared to life and then had a collective “who?” moment.
In case you forgot as well, Baun was an undrafted college free agent when the Blackhawks signed him back in 2015. The Blackhawks saw some potential in him, and that is why they signed him to an entry-level contract. His ELC was a two-year contract because of his age.
Sadly, his first full year was a plagued by injury. Relatively healthy throughout his college career, Baun suffered his first major injury in Rockford. Baun missed three months with an arm injury in 2015-16. He only appeared in 43 games with the IceHogs that season.
His second year at Rockford was much more productive. He had 14 goals and 20 assists. That was good for third in goals and tied for fourth in assists on the team.
The Blackhawks must still see something in Baun
Last year, the Blackhawks decided to purge some of their aging prospects at Rockford. They shipped out Mark McNeill and Spencer Abott to give them a change of scenery.
Baun was not shipped out during the purge and was kept in the organization. He then was recalled during the playoffs as a member of the Black Aces.
He needs to have a big camp this upcoming season to be considered for a bottom-six role on the Blackhawks. He might have a leg up on all the top-rated prospects because of his projection.
Baun is not going to project as a top-six forward in his career. He is a bottom-six guy and that’s all he might ever be.
He could also be the next Jeremy Morin
Baun could also become the next Jeremy Morin. Morin came to the Blackhawks with much fanfare. He got his chance with the Blackhawks, appearing 54 games across several years.
The team decided he needed to be traded and sent him packing, then reacquired him in the first Brandon Saad trade before moving him for Richard Panik. Baun could be a guy who plays in the AHL for a number of years and moves on.
Hopefully Baun does not reach Morin levels at the convention. Morin was booed in his last Blackhawks Convention after being reacquired.
Next: Defensive Free Agents Dwindling For Chicago
Baun is currently on the last year of his Blackhawks contract.