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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Prospect Watch: Hartman returns to action

By Scott Powers

Here’s an update on some of the Chicago Blackhawks' prospects:

Ryan Hartman, forward, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
Hartman, the Blackhawks’ 2013 first-round pick, returned to playing last week after missing nearly a month with an injury. He had two assists and a plus-two rating in his first game back on Friday. He’s since played in two more games. He has 10 goals, 13 assists and a minus-16 rating in 23 games this season.

Vince Hinostroza, forward, Notre Dame (NCAA)
Hinostroza became last week the third Blackhawks prospect to be named to the preliminary U.S. roster for the World Junior Hockey Championships. Hartman and Tyler Motte were previously named to the roster. Hinostroza, a freshman, is second on the Fighting Irish with 14 points. He has three goals and 11 assists.

Luke Johnson, forward, North Dakota (NCAA)
Johnson, a freshman, had a productive weekend against Western Michigan. He scored two goals in a 3-2 win on Friday and had two assists in a 3-2 win on Saturday. He has three goals and six assists in 16 games this season.

Brandon Pirri, forward, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
Pirri has to be fuming after being sent back to the AHL after playing in 24 games with the Blackhawks. The only way back, though, is to continue to impress and grow as a player in Rockford. He’s had two assists and plus-one rating in his first two games back with the IceHogs.

Kevin Hayes, forward, Boston College (NCAA)
Hayes, a senior, scored the game-winning goal and had an assist in the Golden Eagles’ 2-1 win over New Hampshire on Saturday and had a goal in their 6-2 win over New Hampshire on Friday. He has 10 goals and 14 assists in 16 games this season.

Garret Ross, forward, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
Ross had one of his best games of the season in a 5-3 win over the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday. He scored a season-high two goals in the win. He has six goals and four assists in 24 games this season.

Brandon Whitney, goaltender, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
Whitney is off to a better December after going through some struggles in November. He’s 2-2-0 with a 2.26 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage in four games in December. He’s 10-17-0 with a 3.29 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage for the season.

Joakim Nordstrom, forward, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
Nordstrom appeared motivated to return to the NHL in his first game with the IceHogs last week. He had a goal, an assist and a plus-4 rating in the IceHogs’ 5-3 win over the Checkers on Saturday.