The Blackhawks don’t have the strongest prospect pool in the NHL, but they have picked up some studs in the later rounds in recent years. One of the standouts to me was forward Jalen Luypen, who plays for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL. His leadership and offensive skill are two things that standout as he hit almost a point per game this season through 66 games tallying 64, and as someone who is viewed as a veteran on that team after playing four seasons with them, the 78 penalty minutes proves he’s willing to stand up for his teammates, while being able to make up for penalties by producing in the offensive end.
""A few things in his game that I thought really improved were his skating, he got more power in his stride, with a lot more quickness and shiftiness making him more elusive; the second thing I really noticed in his game was his shot went to the next level with that extra power to it, along with a quick release so he is able to beat goalies clean.""- Oil Kings President of Hockey Operations
The overall improvements to Luypen's game have opened up a massive opportunity for him to advance to the next level, which for him will likely be the AHL playing with the Rockford Icehogs. His physical style of play has drawn comparisons to former Blackhawk Andrew Shaw. But, with his improved 200 foot game and overall hockey IQ mixed with a natural scoring touch, the likelihood of that comparison sticking is slim to none. His work ethic and love for the game lingers in the room, and his teammates seem to feed off of his positive energy. The will to fight anyone that hurts your teammate, but also knowing when it's smart not to drop the gloves is a trait that many NHL teams look for, and one the Blackhawks pounced on.
Does Luypen have a shot at the NHL roster one day?
Yes, I believe he does. With the direction the team is currently going as far as a "quick turnaround rebuild" goes, it will be tough to grind away and find a spot. But, if his offensive talent carries into the AHL and he continues to maintain his discipline, he could one day find his way onto the Blackhawks roster sooner rather than later. As long as Luypen continues to perfect his stride and shot, he will be someone the Blackhawks decide to give a shot to in the next few seasons.