Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Top prospects for Chicago Blackhawks

1. Henri Jokiharju, D
How acquired: Selected with No. 29 pick in 2017 NHL Draft
Last season: Portland (WHL): 63 GP, 12-59-71
If the 19-year-old has a strong training camp, there's a good chance he will earn a spot on the roster. Jokiharju (6-foot, 180 pounds) is coming off a good season in the Western Hockey League, and Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said he has made strides in his defensive game, added some size, and "looks like an NHL-type body now."
Projected NHL arrival: This season
2. Dylan Sikura, F
How acquired: Selected with No. 178 pick in 2014 NHL Draft
Last season: Chicago: 5 GP, 0-3-3; Northeastern University (NCAA): 35 GP, 22-32-54
Sikura completed his senior year at Northeastern as a top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award as the top NCAA Division I men's ice hockey player. The 23-year-old had two assists in his NHL debut against the Winnipeg Jets on March 29. Sikura (5-11, 158) can play center or wing, but considering the Blackhawks are set at center (Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz, Artem Anisimov, Marcus Kruger), his best opportunity will come on the wing.
Projected NHL arrival: This season
3. Adam Boqvist, D
How acquired: Selected with No. 8 pick in 2018 NHL Draft
Last season: Brynas (SuperElite): 25 GP, 14-10-24; Brynas (SHL): 15 GP: 0-1-1
He has plenty of upside, especially on offense. The defensive part of his game will be a work in progress, but Boqvist (5-11, 168), who turns 18 on Aug. 15, won't be rushed to the NHL. He will play for London of the Ontario Hockey League this season. 
Projected NHL arrival: Next season
4. Victor Ejdsell, F
How acquired: Trade from Nashville Predators on Feb. 26, 2018
Last season: Chicago: 6 GP, 0-1-1; Rockford (AHL) 5 GP, 0-1-1; HV71 (SHL): 50 GP, 20-14-34
Ejdsell has the versatility to play either wing or center. He also has size (6-5, 214), something the Blackhawks lack, especially among forwards. The 23-year-old Swede is still adjusting to hockey in North America, where he's played 11 games, but Chicago liked what it saw at the end of last season and he should be part of their roster out of training camp.
Projected NHL arrival: This season
5. Blake Hillman, D
How acquired: Selected with No. 173 pick in 2016 NHL Draft
Last season: Chicago: 4 GP, 1-0-1; University of Denver (NCAA): 41 GP, 3-9-12
Hillman scored his first NHL goal in his second game, a 4-3 win against the St. Louis Blues on April 4. The 22-year-old played three seasons for Denver, helping it win the 2017 NCAA Division I men's ice hockey championship. Hillman (6-1, 180) is one of several defensemen vying for one or two NHL roster spots.
Projected NHL arrival: Next season

No comments: