Category Archives: Prospects

AUDIO: Interview with Kyle Beach

By Chris Block

Last Saturday in Rockford, we had a chance to catch up with IceHogs forward Kyle Beach for a season-in-review discussion.

The Blackhawks 2008 first-round (#11 overall) draft pick missed 57 games this season due to a dislocated right shoulder that needed surgery.  Beach suffered the injury on October 28 in Peoria during a fight with Rivermen forward Stefan Della Rovere.

After extensive rehabbing and four and a half months sitting in the stands, Beach returned to the IceHogs lineup on March 23 against the Houston Aeros.

Prior to the injury, Beach had posted 3 goals, 3 assists in the IceHogs initial 8 regular season games.  Beach registered an assist in his first game back and scored in his third game, which was the back end of a 3-in-3 at Milwaukee on March 25.

Although he appeared in just 19 games this season, there were some encouraging steps Beach took during his second pro season, as we discuss in this audio and the interview with Beach.

To listen, click play below or Right-Click Here to Download

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

In this interview with the 11th overall pick of the summer of 2008, we discuss….

-Positives Beach takes out of another disappointing season

-His thoughts after being left out of “Black Aces” group after ’10-11 season Read more »

Share

AUDIO: Interview with ‘Hawks prospect Jeremy Morin

By Chris Block

We chatted with IceHogs winger Jeremy Morin this past Saturday, shortly before Rockford concluded its 2011-12 season with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Charlotte Checkers.

After being sidelined for ten months with a head injury suffered on January 15, 2011 in a game against the Chicago Wolves in Rosemont, Morin returned in October to score goals in back-to-back games and on his only two shots of that weekend.  But the goals were difficult to come by for Morin over the following three months.

Morin wrapped his AHL season with 18 goals and 40 points in 69 games with the IceHogs.

To listen, click play below or Right-Click Here to Download

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

During the interview, we discuss…

-Starting his season with 2 goals in 2 games after being out of action for 10 months

-At what point he felt 100% again Read more »

Share

AUDIO: Interview with IceHogs coach Ted Dent

By Chris Block

We were fortunate enough on Saturday to sit down with Rockford IceHogs’ head coach Ted Dent for a lengthy season-in-review discussion.

In this twenty-five minute interview, Dent shared his take on the gamut of subjects from coaching, to working in unison with Joel Quenneville and the Blackhawks coaching staff to the ups and down season his IceHogs experienced in this 2011-12 season.

Dent also gives his take on the state of Kyle Beach‘s progression, where he thinks Beach could be had it not been for missing four months due to shoulder surgery and if Dent has been surprised at all by the rapid ascension of Andrew Shaw.

To listen, click the play button or Right-Click Here to Download

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

In this conversation, Dent gives his analysis and discusses various topics including….

-Getting opportunity to be a head coach at AHL level

-Relationships with players and the transition from being an assistant to the head coach

-What aspect he looked to change in Rockford

-Dialogue ongoing between Chicago and Rockford

-Communicating with, and leaning on Joel Quenneville for advice. Read more »

Share

AUDIO Interview with Blackhawks prospect Joe Lavin

By Chris Block

This morning I had an opportunity to chat with Rockford IceHogs first-year defenseman Joe Lavin.

In his first pro season, Lavin has quietly risen into the top tier of upcoming Chicago Blackhawks prospects on the defense.  Lavin turned pro last April after completing his collegiate career as the captain of the University f Notre Dame where he was a regular pair-mate with another Blackhawks’ prospect, Stephen Johns.  The Blackhawks drafted Lavin in the 5th round (126th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

At 23, Lavin is one of the older IceHogs but he also carries himself like a ten-year veteran.  Lavin plays an intelligent game from the blue line and his improved agility and mobility have helped advance his offensive skill set as well at the pro level.

The interview is about ten and a half minutes long following an introduction.

To listen, click the play button or Right-Click Here to Download

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

We touched on a variety of topics with Joe Lavin, including…. Read more »

Share

One Worth Waiting For

Dylan Olsen – Image courtesy of Rockford IceHogs

The following is a Dylan Olsen feature as it appeared in the December 28th edition of The Committed Indian.

By Chris Block

Nick Leddy’s acceleration into the top-4 has calmed nearly all fear Brian Campbell’s exit would cripple the Hawks’ depth.  With young prospects like Dylan Olsen (2009, 1st rd #28), Shawn Lalonde (2008, 3rd rd #68), Joe Lavin (2008, 5th rd #126) and non-drafted signings Brian Connelly and Ryan Stanton patrolling the point in Rockford, Stan Bowman probably rest assured he had plenty of talent in the pipeline if Leddy stumbled.

To this point, however, Rockford allows the most goals against in the AHL.  It’s true though, too much blame has been placed on the IceHogs blue line for the team’s defensive woes.  The goaltending has ranged from average to turn your head away bad.  Many times, the IceHogs are their own worst enemy. Trouble usually begins with the zone-exit pass and taking chances instead of just playing it safe and getting the puck deep, leading to turnovers.  From there, the defense is in a scramble and the forwards don’t provide much help at times.  The defense isn’t as bad as it looks on paper, but it’s not like it’ll produce three or more full-time NHLers either.

However, there is one cant-miss on the IceHogs blue line.  He’s still a half season away, but Dylan Olsen is looking like that guy.

Blackhawks fans have longed for a big, mean, shut-down defenseman to eat minutes, kill penalties and take some of the burden off stalwarts Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith. Read more »

Share

Blackhawks recall Jeremy Morin, Update on health status of goaltender Alexander Salak

By Chris Block

Jeremy Morin left the BMO Harris Bank Center late Saturday night in route for Chicago.  Morin has been recalled to the Blackhawks.

The 20-year old winger received word of his recall after an IceHogs’ 4-2 victory over Milwaukee.

Morin missed Saturday night’s IceHogs contest serving the final game of a 3-game suspension he incurred as result of last Sunday’s elbowing incident on Milwaukee Admirals’ forward Joel Champagne.  Morin miss all three IceHogs games this past week.  The team does not play again until Wednesday night, when the Toronto Marlies visit the BMO.

In 23 games this season in Rockford, Morin has 5 goals and 10 assists.  He’s a plus-1 with 56 penalty minutes.

After missing 9 months with post-concussion symptoms as a result of an Andrey Zubarev hip-check on January 15, 2011 at the Chicago Wolves, Morin finally returned to action on October 14th in Abbotsford.

Morin scored on his second shift in his return, on his first shot on goal.  He also scored in his second game back, also in Abbotsford, two days later.  Since, Morin has 3 goals in 21 contests.  Two of those came in one game, at Peoria on November 11th. Read more »

Share

Hawks’ prospect Brian Connelly thriving in 3rd year

Brian Connelly

By Chris Block

Third year pro, and IceHogs defenseman, Brian Connelly is emerging as one of the AHL’s best defenseman.

Not best young defenseman, the Bloomington, Minnesota native is one of the top blue liners in the AHL, period.

A player head coach Ted Dent described as “our Duncan Keith,” Connelly is handling a heavy workload given to him by his boss, and thriving in doing so.

“He’s playing at a high level, the highest I’ve seen since he’s been in Rockford,” Dent told us.  “[Connelly] is just controlling the game, shooting the puck well, making good decisions and he’s playing good defense too away from the puck.”

Dent was an assistant for the previous four seasons in Rockford prior to being promoted to head coach in July after Bill Peters took a job as an assistant under Mike Babcock in Detroit.  So, Dent has seen Connelly up close and helped guide the undersized blue liner’s pro career.

Connelly (5-10, 185) has always been a good puck mover, but his ability to lead and hit a teammate in stride and control the flow of his team’s attack has never been better. Read more »

Share

Kyle Beach could miss significant time

Kyle Beach, the Chicago Blackhawks 1st round pick (11th overall) in 2008, is potentially facing some considerable downtime.

Beach sustained a serious injury Friday night during a third period fight with Peoria forward Stefan Della Rovere.

Officially, the word is Beach suffered an “upper-body” injury.  Beach was in Rockford on Saturday and is expected to be evaluated by Blackhawks’ doctors in the next day or so to determine the next course of action.

“[Beach] is still be evaluating with our doctors here in Rockford and hopefully we’ll know what’s going on in the next few days,” IceHogs’ head coach Ted Dent said on Saturday night.

While team and organizational policy does not allow anyone to speak about player injuries specifically, it was clear while watching the fight Beach injured his shoulder.

Upon seeing the incident, it is apparent Beach dislocated, or suffered some degree of injury to his right shoulder and was in a lot of pain.  If the damage is substantial, surgery could force Beach out for most, if not all, of this season.  If team doctors decide surgery is not necessary, Beach would still miss several weeks minimum.

Though slower to progress as compared to other recent Blackhawks’ first round picks, Beach is still considered a top prospect by many, both in the organization and around the league.

At 21, Beach is off to a strong start in his second year as a pro.  Through eight games, he had posted 3 goals and 6 points, in addition to 18 penalty minutes (including two fights).

Any missed time will be an unfortunate setback for the feisty sniper.

It appears his time out will be substantial, however.

Coincidentally, Beach’s counterpart in Friday’s fisticuffs, Stefan Della Rovere, suffered an “upper body” injury himself during the same altercation.  Della Rovere was not in the Rivermen lineup on Saturday night and currently there is no timetable for his return.  The Peoria Journal Star is reporting Della Rovere suffered a hand injury.

Video of the fight is now up here.

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com
PuckChatter@gmail.com

Share

Hawks prospects finish strong, down Pens 4-1 to salvage a win in Oshawa


By Brad Vandenberk

The final day of the Prospect Tournament in Oshawa, Ontario wrapped up Tuesday with the Chicago Blackhawks playing their final contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Both teams entered the game 0-2 for the tournament, looking for a win.  The Hawks had the slight edge by having a total of 6 goals throughout the tournament, while Pittsburgh had just 1 through 2 games.

Johan Mattsson was the starting goalie, with Shawn Lalonde and Ryan Stanton on defensive.  The forward line saw Jimmy Hayes and Brandon Saad, centered by Phillip Danault. [Tuesday’s line up]

The game didn’t take long to get started.  15 seconds after the puck dropped, Rob Flick set the tone for the day dropping his gloves against Keven Veilleux of the Penguins.  Fists were flying as Veilleux took Flick to the ice.  Just 5 minutes later, after a delayed offside, Shawn Lalonde decided to take on Dominik Uher.  Read more »

Share

Hawks prospects fall again, 6-5 to Sens: Hayes, Saad impress; young goalie struggles


By Brad Vandenberk

On a day when the NFL started its 2011-12 season in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Chicago Blackhawk prospects were at it again in game 2 of the annual Prospect Tournament in Oshawa, Ontario.  This time the opponents were the Ottawa Senators.

Johan Mattsson was the starter between the pipes for this match. Shawn Lalonde, Ryan Stanton, Peter Leblanc, Andrew Shaw and Rob Flick were on the ice for the opening faceoff. [Sunday's complete line up]

The teams wasted no time getting started.   As in the previous contest against the Leafs, the Hawks found themselves trailing early.  5:01 into the opening frame, Ottawa’s Andre Petersson found the back of the net with a backhand over Mattsson’s pad, making it 1-0.

It didn’t take the Hawks long to get the equalizer.  39 seconds after the Sens’ opening tally, Flick won a faceoff in the Sens’ zone.  Shaw got the puck and set Peter Leblanc up in the slot.  With a quick shot over the blocker of the Senators netminder, Matej Machkovsky, it was 1-1.

Chicago drew the first penalty of the game when Ottawa was sent off for Interference.  Although this was suppose to be the Hawks’ chance to show their power play, they were quickly fooled by a short handed goal by Ottawa’s crafty forchecker, Corey Cowick.  Mattsson was out of position trying to play the puck which ended up on a Sens’ stick and then to the back of the net making it 2-1.  Read more »

Share