Welcome back to my 31 in 31 top ten prospect series.
Yesterday, we took a look at the Carolina Hurricanes’ farm system, which was incredibly centre-heavy and featured names such as the likes of Adam Fox, Jake Bean, and Martin Necas. Heading into the seventh volume of my series, we’re going to take a look at the Chicago Blackhawks‘ farm system and see where it sits after years of being a top NHL team. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
1. Adam Boqvist (D, 1st Round, 7th Overall in 2018)
The Chicago Blackhawks aren’t a team that is used to having early draft picks, or at least within the last ten years or so. But after a solid run from 2010-2017 and being considered the closest thing to a dynasty, the Hawks fell down to earth and thus, earned the right to select Swedish D-man Adam Boqvist at 7th overall. Boqvist is proving to potentially be a top defenseman in the future, putting up 21 points in 20 games for the London Knights this season.
2. Nicolas Beaudin (D, 1st Round, 27th Overall in 2017)
Beaudin has spent all three of his full QMJHL seasons playing for the Drummondville Voltigeurs and he’s steadily gotten better every season. With 21 points through 19 games and a surefire shot to make Team Canada at the World Juniors, he joins Boqvist in a talented defensive prospect pool for the Hawks.
3. Ian Mitchell (D, 2nd Round, 57th Overall in 2017)
Speaking of talented defensemen, the Blackhawks have another one sitting here in Ian Mitchell. Drafted in the second round of the 2017 draft, Mitchell was committed to the University of Denver of the NCAA and has been incredible through his first two seasons there, putting up 30 points in 41 games last season and already 11 points in 12 games this year. If the Hawks see potential in him, he could be wearing the red, black and white as early as this season.
4. Matthew Highmore (C, Undrafted, Signed in 2017)
Despite an 8th overall selection in the 2012 QMJHL Draft and a couple of very successful seasons, Highmore was passed over in the NHL Entry Draft three times. The Hawks were grateful for this, however, and opted to sign him to an entry level deal back in 2017. He’s currently in his second full AHL season and has seven points in his first eight games.
5. Niklas Nordgren (RW, 3rd Round, 74th Overall in 2018)
Nordgren won’t even be turning 19 until May of 2019, but he is off to a very good start playing for HIFK of the SM-Liiga in Finland. After a solid showing playing in their junior leagues for most of last season, he made the jump up to HIFK full time and currently has seven points in 12 games and a good shot to make Team Finland for the World Juniors. Despite standing small at 5’9, when you take into consideration that Nordgren is playing in a league with grown men, his totals are very, very good.
6. Dylan Sikura (LW, 6th Round, 178th Overall in 2014)
After playing out four full seasons with Northeastern University of the NCAA and finishing with a strong 54 point campaign last season, Sikura is in his first season with the Rockford Icehogs of the AHL and has not disappointed. The talented left winger has kicked off the season with 16 points in 24 games.
7. Jake Wise (C, 3rd Round, 69th Overall in 2018)
At only 18 years old, Wise is in the class of the Blackhawks’ youngest prospects. After an impressive showing playing for the USNTDP of the USHL, Wise committed to Boston University and will likely play out a good chunk of his development there. The Naples, Florida native has two points through his first 12 games at Boston U.
8. Artur Kayumov (LW, 2nd Round, 50th Overall in 2016)
Russian prospects are always a gamble in the NHL Draft, because there is always the off-chance that they opt to stay in Russia full time rather than come overseas and play in the NHL. But if the Hawks’ gamble on Kayumov works out, they will have a good one on their hands. The 20 year old Podgorny native is currently playing for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL and has 11 points in 35 games thus far.
9. Tim Soderlund (LW, 4th Round, 112th Overall in 2017)
Playing for Frolunda HC of the SHL this season, the 5’9″ winger is said to play the game of a spark plug who doesn’t stop moving his feet at either end of the ice and has wheels to burn. He currently has five points in 24 games in Sweden and will continue most of his development overseas.
10. Lucas Carlsson (D, 4th Round, 110th Overall in 2016)
Playing in his first full season in North America, the Gavle, Sweden native is said to play a very solid two way game who’s good at keeping track of his man and blocking out passing lanes. He has nine points to his credit in his first 23 games with the Rockford Ice Hogs.
Thanks for reading! Tune in tomorrow where we’ll take a look at the Colorado Avalanche’s prospect system.
stats from eliteprospects.com
featured image photo credit – Josh Tessler