Category Archives: Prospects

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 »

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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 »

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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

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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 »

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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 »

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Rookie tourney: Game 1 recap – Maple Leafs drop Hawks 4-2, Paradis injured


By Brad Vandenberk

Annual rookie tournaments have begun all over North America, getting fans and players excited with less than a week until training camp starts.  The Chicago Blackhawks are in Oshawa, Ontario playing the likes of Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Toronto.  Game 1 saw the Hawks square off against the Maple Leafs at the General Motors Centre.

Donned in their red jerseys, the Hawks began the tournament with a determined effort against the Leafs.  Mac Carruth was the starting goalie joined by starters Shawn Lalonde and Dylan Olsen on defense.  Mark McNeil was flanked by Ludvig Rensfeldt and Jimmy Hayes up front. [Hawks game roster]

The Hawks got their first chance at a power play as the ref made a hooking call at 1:52 of the first period.  They were unable to capitalize however.

It didn’t take long for the fists to start flying as 5’10” Andrew Shaw took on 6’5” Jamie Devane with a David versus Goliath type match.  [Highlights at bottom of this report]

After Devane served his 5 minute major for fighting, he opened the scoring for the Leafs as a puck was shot wide from the blue line and bounced to the side of the net. Devane, standing on the door step, quickly shot the puck over Carruth making the score 1-0 with just under 2 minutes remaining in the first.

Philippe Paradis left the 1st period after being hit hard in the offensive zone and grimacing his way back to the bench.  Paradis did not return.  [ed.  note: Paradis did not dress in Sunday’s game vs Ottawa] Read more »

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LeafsTV Highlights: Blackhawks-Leafs prospect tourney

Highlights of Saturday night’s Blackhawks vs Maple Leafs prospect match up in Oshawa, Ontario.  Toronto took the game 4-2.

Chris DiDomenico and Brandon Saad were the Blackhawks’ goal scorers.

Chicago’s roster here.
 

ChrisBlock@TheThirdManIn.com

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Saturday news & notes: David Toews, Tourney starts tonight, Ex-hawks in limbo & former IceHogs’ enforcer now fireman


Blackhawks acquired the rights to Jonathan Toews’ younger brother on Friday.

David Toews arrives via the New York Islanders in exchange for future considerations.

It should be noted that David Toews did not have a pro contract with the Islanders and so far the Blackhawks have not tendered him one either.

David Toews is turning pro after completing his amateur career in the Western Hockey League this past spring.  He has joined Blackhawks’ prospects in Oshawa this weekend for the four-day round-robin rookie tournament.  Like his brother, David is a centerman.

“Stan Bowman called me and wanted me to know that they weren’t trying to do Johnny any favors,” David Toews told the Free Press.  “(Bowman) said he liked me as a player and they’re pretty familiar with me because I’ve been training in Chicago all summer.”

David Toews, 21, was drafted by the Islanders in 2008, 66th overall in the third round.  He followed in his older brother’s footsteps attending North Dakota for two years but struggled for ice time and left following his sophomore season.  Toews joined the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) last season and as an overager scored 20 goals and 28 assists in 60 regular season games.  Read more »

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Prospect Tourney in Oshawa Takes Shape

Johan Mattsson, Aug 9, 2011, Lake Placid, NY – Yahoo.ca

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In ten days, about 24 of the Blackhawks top prospects will arrive in Oshawa, Ontario to compete in the annual Toronto Maple Leafs Rookie Invitational Tournament.

The Leafs, Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins will participate in the four-day, round-robin points-based tournament.  The same four competed against one another last September when the exhibition was staged in London, Ontario.  Chicago has been invited for the second consecutive year, having replaced the Boston Bruins, the only change in the foursome since 2009.

Toronto announced its roster way back on August 9.  Ottawa and Pittsburgh did so on Tuesday.  Click the links to preview their squads…. Read more »

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Contingency insurance: Previewing potential 2011-12 Blackhawks call ups

photo: HockeyBroad.com

By Brad Gardner

All thirty NHL teams are optimistic at this time of summer, but the one thing we can all be sure of is that everything will not go according to plan. Injuries have their way of piling up, players may not live up to expectations, or teams may find that progress made during the summer in one area has left them with a hole elsewhere in the game plan. One of the Blackhawks organization’s responses to the unpredictable nature of the NHL season has been keeping their AHL affiliate within arms reach, roughly 90 miles west on I-90 in Rockford, Illinois. The Third Man In takes an admittedly early look at some possible mid-season scenarios and introduces the prospects who may be expected to answer the call.

So you need a top six forward…

Safe bet: Jeremy Morin is the easy answer here after a solid nine game trial last season. Coming back from a concussion, though, he’ll get back into the swing of things with the IceHogs to start the season. His best asset may be his goal-scoring ability, but he showed as a rookie that he was willing to play any role to stay in the Chicago line-up. The 20-year-old winger is the organization’s best bet if the power play is in need of new life – his cheetah-quick release would be a dangerous weapon with a set-up guy like Kane feeding him the puck. Read more »

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