Monday, June 23, 2014
Blackhawks draft review: 2010 class
By Scott Powers
Stan Bowman enters his fifth draft as the Chicago Blackhawks general manager later this week. Leading up to the first day of the 2014 NHL draft on Friday, we'll take a look at each of Bowman's first four draft classes, analyze how he's done so far in his tenure and glance ahead to where he may look to improve the Blackhawks in this year's draft.
This week's series begins with the Blackhawks' 2010 draft:
Kevin Hayes doesn't appear likely to sign with the Blackhawks.
Kevin Hayes, forward, first round, No. 24 overall: Hayes has progressed over the past four years at Boston College, but that likely won't benefit the Blackhawks. After being a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award this past season, he appears set to turn down the Blackhawks' offer and opt to become an unrestricted free agent in August. That would be a disappointment for the Blackhawks.
Ludvig Rensfeldt, forward, second round, No. 35 overall: The Blackhawks did not sign Rensfeldt. He played last season in Sweden.
Justin Holl, defenseman, second round, No. 54 overall: The Blackhawks appear as if they're going to pass on signing Holl. He finished his college career this past season at Minnesota and didn't develop as the Blackhawks had hoped.
Kent Simpson, goaltender, second round, No. 58 overall: Simpson is the highest pick Bowman has used on a goaltender. It's still early to gauge where the 22-year-old Simpson will be in the future, but he struggled in his first full season in the AHL this past year. The Blackhawks previously used a second-round pick on Corey Crawford.
Stephen Johns, defenseman, second round, No. 60 overall: If the Blackhawks can't sign Hayes, Johns likely will be the marquee player in this draft for the Blackhawks. He had a strong four years at Notre Dame and is projected to be in the NHL in the next few seasons.
Joakim Nordstrom, forward, third round, No. 90 overall: Nordstrom is the early surprise for the Blackhawks in this class. He played in 23 NHL games, including seven playoff games, this past season as a rookie. He should add to the Blackhawks' NHL depth going forward.
Rob Flick, forward, fourth round, No. 120 overall: Flick played nearly two seasons in the minors for the Blackhawks being dealt to the Boston Bruins for forward Max Sauve. The Blackhawks did not re-sign Sauve after the 2012-13 season.
Joakim Nordstrom played in 23 games as a rookie with the Blackhawks this season.
Mirko Hoefflin, forward, sixth round, No. 151 overall: The Blackhawks did not sign Hoefflin. He played last season in Germany.
Nick Mattson, defenseman, sixth round, No. 180 overall: Mattson finished up his junior year at North Dakota this past season. He had four goals, 19 assists and a plus-8 rating in 40 games. The Blackhawks like his development.
Mac Carruth, goaltender, seventh round, No. 191 overall: Aside from Simpson, Bowman has mostly selected goaltenders late in drafts over the past four years. The Blackhawks are hoping one develops over time and can either back up Crawford or eventually be his replacement. Carruth had some ups and downs in his first professional season. He spent most of it in the ECHL.
Draft outlook: This had the potential to be a solid draft class for Bowman if Hayes signed. It would have given the Blackhawks three likely NHL players in Hayes, Johns and Nordstrom. The fact Hayes isn't likely to sign at this point certainly lessens the draft and means Bowman's first three picks as general manager turned into nothing for the Blackhawks. With five selections in the first 60 picks, the Blackhawks were hopeful for more out of this draft. Johns has the potential to be a top defenseman, and Nordstrom's quick development is also a positive for the Blackhawks.