10. C ILYA SAFONOV
Safonov is a pro. If he weren't in the KHL and possibly wanting to stay there for his career then I'd likely have him 5th on this list. It's listed that he has a contract with Ak Bars Kazan until the 24/25 season which would put him at 24 years old at that point. Currently the massive center is scoring goals at will and showing true power forward skills next to some former NHL players. Safonov is only 1 goal behind the team lead of 10 that is held by former Dallas Star Alexander Radulov (over 100 NHL goals). Safonov is a true net front presence and has a mature old school game. As time goes on, will he just stay comfortable at home or will he want to try his hand in the NHL with the Hawks?
SAFONOV OUTLOOK: Big, strong center that is scoring at a high rate in the KHL. If he comes to North America he will likely be in his prime at 24 and would project as a middle to bottom 6 center and a possible 2nd line PP crease disturbance. Physically imposing at 6'4 210lbs and shows the compete in the hard areas every game. There is alot to like here with Ilya Safonov.
Note: Thank you for reading through my top 10 Blackhawk prospect list. I understand that lists like these carry varrying opinions. All of my "Outlooks" are based on what I believe to be the prospects ceiling for the Blackhawks. For over 2 decades I have always done my own scouting based soley on what I see in game footage as well as hearing the players speak in the interview process. I will continue to work on my next 10 prospects (11-20) and release that when finished. Agian, I'm trying to identify pro traits and team-first characteristics when watching them on / off the ice. Comments welcome on Twitter @Blackhawk_Up.