Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 Blackhawks Draft Class

Brandon Saad, the Blackhawks Brass, and Teuvo Teravianen

Friday and Saturday, the Blackhawks took part in the NHL Entry draft, in Pittsburgh PA. By all accounts, they had yet another successful Stan Bowman draft, but it was just that; A Stan Bowman draft. The Hawks made one minor trade and selected 8 players. Hardly the big splash that fans and bloggers alike were hoping for. We were given exactly what you should expect from a Stan Bowman led team. Safe, calculated picks, and very little risk.

The trade was hardly a blip on the transaction ticker, with the Hawks trading their 109th overall pick to San Jose for their 191st pick, and a fourth round pick in 2013. Exciting, right? Contain yourselves, folks.

That being said, the Hawks looked to have themselves a good little draft class, although none of the players will be joining or helping this team in the coming season. This it the final tally of picks:

Round Pick Player Position 2011/12 Team
4 109 TRADE TO SAN JOSE -- ---

Teuvo Teräväinen - He is a smallish forward, in the Patrick Kane mold. He has even been described as a poor man's Kane, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The thing you have to worry about here is, first of all, the fact that he comes from a bigger European ice surface, and secondly, if he will have the ability to squirt off big hits, like Kane can. Kane has also worked out extremely hard in the offseason each year, when he's not courting drunken Wisconsin college floozies, and comes in pretty solidly jacked for his stature. I can't knock Teravainen, because I've never seen him play, and he had to have been ranked as high as #5 for a reason. If he IS anything like Kaner on the ice, he could be a very special player here in Chicago, in about 2 years. It's already been announced that he will play 2012/13 in Finland with Jokerit. He is only few days shy of being eligible for the 2013 draft, which means he is one of the youngest of this class.

Here is a highlight video of some of his work (complete with a terrible version of Kaner's theme song):

Dillon Fournier - He is, by all accounts, an offensive defenseman. He is listed as 6'1", and 175lbs, which is not all that big for an NHL defender. Scouting reports say that he has a tendency to be a little lax in his own end, and while having issues containing forwards. Another long term project. His upside is that he is one of the best puck moving/powerplay qb's in the entire draft. An eventual replacement for Nick Leddy?

Here are highlights of Fournier (Please turn the volume down. Between the obnoxious music and french announcers you'll be kicking babies and kittens by the end):

Chris Calnan - Calnan is a decent sized high school wing, whose biggest claim to fame is that he's the nephew of former beloved Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick. He's listed at 6'2" and 188, which is pretty good for a player that just recently turned 18. It has been said that he has the potential to be a "top 9 power forward". He has committed for Boston College and there is no reason to think that he'll be anywhere else, come fall.

Garret Ross - When researching Ross, 99% of the videos you find are of him throwing hammers with opposing players. Suffice to say, he's an "enforcer" type of player. In two particularly entertaining videos he even has a go at Andrew Shaw in '09 and '10. He also played in the OHL with Brandon Saad last season for coach and former Blackhawk Greg Gilbert, so he's familiar with some of the young Hawks as well as former players. He's only 5'11" and 170, so he really isn't much bigger than Shaw. I've seen the words "mean streak" associated with him, which can also mean "loose cannon", or in other words Dan Carcillo. I wouldn't expect to see him in the Hawks plans for a few years. From what I can see, he throws punches with both his right and left hands and can absorb quite a barrage of fists. You can watch all of his fights here: but here are a few highlights:

Here you can watch him get into a fight after plowing the opposing goaltender over:

Here is the better of the two Shaw fights. Shaw's post fight reaction is PRICELESS!

Travis Brown - Brown is a 6'2" 180lb defenseman from the Western Hockey league that will be a project. Here is a fight between Hawks prospect Mark McNeill and Brown:

Vince Hinostroza - Here is a kid that wasn't even drafted 30 second and the entire intarwebs was misspelling his name. Hinostroza is a local kid from Bartlett playing in the USHL. He's a smaller player at 5'10" and 160lb, but Reel Hockey Scouting states that he is "pesky" and "crafty". He is committed to Notre Dame in the fall, and thet's where we should expect to see him play. You can read more here along with an iso-cam video of him playing against his hometown Chicago Steel:

Brandon Whitney - This pick could have been the real steal of the draft, for the Hawks. Whitney was listed as the #2 North American goaltender in the draft, and somehow fell to the 7th round. He is huge, at 6'5", much like Rinne and Lindback are in Nashville and Tampa Bay respectively. In fact, Rinne was picked i nthe 8th round, and Lindback was also picked in the 7th round. The big difference is the European pedigree both Rinne and Lindback have. Whitney has been described as an upright butterfly goalie that blocks the puck more than saving the puck, which sounds to me a lot more like a positional style. His numbers won't really "wow" you, and it looks like his size is what got him his rank. Look for him to be a 3 or 4 year project with a big upside. Here is an article that was up on regarding Whitney:


Matt Tomkins - Tomkins is a 6'2" 170 lb goalie that you would expect in the 7th round of the draft, and was ranked #10 among North American goalies. He has committed to Ohio State, like previous Hawks prospect Cal Heeter, after playing last season with Sherwood Park of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Nothing that jumps out and grabs your attention.

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