Blackhawks Prospects

Evan Barratt Is the Chicago Blackhawks’ Dark Horse Prospect

By Michael Wagner
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 17: Chicago Blackhawks prospect Evan Barratt (56) participates during the Chicago Blachawks Development Camp on July 17, 2017 at Johnny's IceHouse in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 17: Chicago Blackhawks prospect Evan Barratt (56) participates during the Chicago Blachawks Development Camp on July 17, 2017 at Johnny's IceHouse in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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One Chicago Blackhawks’ prospect that hasn’t been getting enough attention or media coverage is Evan Barratt.

Kirby Dach, Adam Boqvist, Ian Mitchell, Nicholas Beaudin, and Philipp Kurashev are all widely viewed as the Chicago Blackhawks’ top prospects in the system. Then, sprinkle in MacKenzie Entwistle, Jake Wise, or Brandon Hagel and you have a good general snapshot of the Blackhawks’ future.

Believe it or not, the list doesn’t end there. One prospect who burst onto the scene in a big way last season is Evan Barratt. Barratt is a name that often escapes Blackhawks’ fans minds when talking about the team’s top prospects.

His name might be missing from fans’ lists now, but that won’t be the case for much longer. Let’s take a closer look as to who Evan Barratt is and what he has to offer.

Evan Barratt’s Resume

Barratt had a stellar sophomore season with the Penn State Nittany Lions as he racked up 43 points in 32 games, the highest point per game average on Penn State. For much of the NCAA season, Barratt was a force and consistently in the top ten for scoring.

Injuries and time spent playing in the World Juniors would eventually keep Barratt out of the top ten in NCAA scoring. He would end the season 13th in points, which was good enough for 4th overall among sophomores.

The playmaking, two-way centerman had a breakout season in the NCAA and speculation began to pop up as to his readiness to make that jump to the NHL after his sophomore season wrapped up.

However, injuries throughout the season would take their toll on Barratt, who underwent hip surgery during the offseason which prevented him from participating in the Blackhawks’ development camp for prospects.

One of the reasons Barratt doesn’t garner the praise of let’s say a player like Dach or Kurashev is his general lack of highlight plays.

You can easily jump on Youtube and track down a spectacular goal scored by Kirby Dach in the WHL or Phillip Kurashev multi-goal games with the Quebec Ramparts.

That, of course, could be chalked up to the rabid Canada fan bases or lack of NCAA highlights available. It also has a lot to do with the style of game that Barratt plays.

Barratt is seen as a hard-nosed, two-way center who also has a good bit of skill to his game. This is something I think you can see a little bit in Andrew Shaw‘s game, but Barratt has a touch more Hockey IQ and overall offensive skill.

Barratt will be returning to the Nittany Lion for his Junior season. His expected return date from hip surgery is currently October, and the Blackhawks will surely see how he recovers from said surgery.

Another thing they will be monitoring closely is whether or not he can make that leap to being a top-five player in the NCAA, and possibly, a Hobey Baker finalist.

Contract Conundrum

What most Blackhawks’ fans always worry about with players like Barratt, and previously mentioned, Ian Mitchell, is whether or not they will sign with the team before they hit their free agency window, which is after their senior season.

With Barratt and Mitchell, it seems like the two of them have every intention to sign with the Blackhawks’ before then, and even after this season.

If Barratt continues his development and successfully recovers from his offseason hip surgery, where does he project for the Blackhawks?

In the system, the Blackhawks seem to have a bright future down the middle with perennial all-star Jonathan Toews, the surging Dylan Strome, 3rd overall pick Kirby Dach, and another third-round pick, Jake Wise.

Barratt has the skill to play in the Blackhawks’ top-six with the like of Strome, Dach, and Toews blocking the way, it is likely Barratt would be best suited for the third line center position that is currently a major sore spot for the Blackhawks.

Although they won’t have Barratt this season, it would appear as though he is positioned to fill a major role with the Blackhawks in the near future and also seems determined to be one of the top players in the NCAA this season.

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