Chicago Blackhawks: Stephen Johns

Prospect watch: Hinostroza, Paliotta among nation's leaders

February, 10, 2015
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Here’s a look at how some of the Chicago Blackhawks' prospects are doing throughout the world:

Vince Hinostroza, forward, Notre Dame (NCAA), drafted 6th round in 2012
Hinostroza, a sophomore, compiled six points in two games against Maine over the weekend. He had three assists, including two primary ones, in a 4-4 tie Friday and two goals and an assist in a 5-1 win Saturday. He’s on a seven-game points streak and has 14 points during that stretch. He leads Notre Dame with 25 assists and 31 points in 30 games. He is tied for third in the country in assists and tied for 19th in points.

Mike Paliotta, defenseman, Vermont (NCAA), drafted 3rd round in 2011
Paliotta, a senior, had two assists in a 5-2 win over New Hampshire on Friday and a goal and an assist in a 6-3 loss on Saturday. He leads Vermont with 19 assists and 27 points in 28 games. He’s third in the country in points among defensemen.

Ryan Hartman, forward, Rockford IceHogs (AHL), drafted 1st round in 2013
Hartman, 20, had a goal, an assist and nine penalty minutes in a 7-5 loss to the Milwaukee Admirals on Saturday. He has eight goals, 10 assists and is a plus-2 in 47 games this season.

Mark McNeill, forward, Rockford IceHogs (NCAA), drafted 1st round in 2011
McNeill, 21, moved into a tie with Garret Ross for a team-leading 14 goals on Saturday. McNeill scored a goal in the IceHogs’ loss to the Admirals. He has 14 goals, 11 assists and is a plus-7 in 35 games this season.

Stephen Johns, defenseman, Notre Dame (NCAA), drafted 2nd round in 2010
Johns, 22, returned to the IceHogs’ lineup on Friday after missing three-plus weeks with a lower-body injury. He also missed time earlier in the season with a head injury. He has six assists and is a plus-13 in 25 games this season.

Mac Carruth, goaltender, Indy Fuel (ECHL), drafted 7th round in 2010
Carruth, 22, extended his winning streak to nine games with two more recent victories. He had 29 saves on 32 shots in a 4-3 win over the Evansville IceMen on Friday and 24 saves on 25 shots in a 2-1 overtime win over the Kalamazoo Wings on Sunday. He’s 10-9-2-2 with a 2.48 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in the ECHL this season.

John Hayden, forward, Yale (NCAA), drafted 3rd round in 2013
Hayden, a sophomore, had a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win over Harvard on Friday and had an assist in a 6-4 loss to Dartmouth on Saturday. He has five goals, 11 assists and is a plus-4 in 20 games this season.

Fredrik Olofsson, forward, Chicago Steel (USHL), drafted 4th round in 2014
Olofsson, 18, pushed his points streak to five games over the weekend. He had a goal and an assist in two games. He has nine points during the streak. He has 18 goals, 20 assists and is a plus-9 in 36 games this season.

Ivan Nalimov, goaltender, Admiral Vladivostok (KHL), drafted 6th round in 2014
Nalimov, 20, recorded his third shutout of the season on Monday. He made 28 saves in a 3-0 win over Lokomotiv. He’s 9-10-5 with a 2.89 goals-against average and .899 save percentage this season.

Anders Nilsson, goaltender, Kazan Ak-Bars (KHL), acquired from Islanders in 2014
Nilsson, 24, made 24 saves in a 5-1 win over SKA on Monday. He improved to 18-8-7 with a 1.80 goals-against average and .933 save percentage.

Sam Jardine, defenseman, Ohio State (NCAA), drafted 6th round in 2011
Jardine, a junior, scored his first goal of the season in a loss to Minnesota on Saturday. He also had an assist against Minnesota on Friday. He has one goal, eight assists and is a minus-5 in 21 games this season. He leads the Buckeyes with 37 blocked shots.
Stephen Johns appeared to have the most potential among the Chicago Blackhawks defenseman prospects to be put on the fast track to the NHL.

The 22-year-old Johns was ahead of most first-year pros when he joined the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, this season as he had four years of college behind him and already had an NHL body at 6-foot-3 and 213 pounds. He lived up to that billing early in the season, too.

But injuries have derailed Johns’ progress during the last few months. He suffered a head injury Nov. 26 which forced him to miss nearly two months. After returning Jan. 16, he suffered a knee injury in his third game back Monday and is expected to miss another 2-3 weeks.

“It’s unfortunate for sure,” IceHogs coach Ted Dent said Thursday. “He put a lot of work into coming back a few weeks ago. He came back and played really well. He was making an impact for our team. To see that happen, it’s unfortunate.”

Dent has been impressed with Johns when he has been in the IceHogs’ lineup. He has six assists and is plus-13 in 23 games.

“He’s been really good,” Dent said. “He’s mature physical and mentally. Most times all of the college players are because they’re older. They have to juggle hockey, studies, social life, everything else at the same time. I think he’s come along really good. He skates well. He’s physical. He’s a good presence out there for us. He’s got a good shot. He’s simple with the puck. He’s effective.”

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Prospect watch: Schmaltz scores in first game back for North Dakota

December, 1, 2014
12/01/14
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Here's a look at how some of the Chicago Blackhawks’ prospects are doing throughout the world:

Nick Schmaltz, forward, North Dakota (NCAA), drafted 1st round in 2014
Schmaltz, an 18-year-old freshman, returned to North Dakota’s lineup this past weekend after missing four games with a lower-body injury. He scored a goal against Nebraska Omaha in his first game back Friday and had an assist Saturday. He has two goals and eight assists in 11 games this season.

Mike Paliotta, defenseman, Vermont (NCAA), drafted 3rd round in 2011
Paliotta, a 21-year-old senior, continued to produce over the weekend. He had a goal and two assists in Vermont’s 6-3 win over Maine on Friday and contributed another assist in a 4-1 win Saturday. He has five goals, 10 assists and is a plus-12 in 15 games this season. He’s tied for 20th in the country with 15 points.

Ville Pokka, defenseman, Rockford IceHogs (AHL), acquired from Islanders in 2014
Pokka, 20, had three goals and an assist in the IceHogs’ three games last week. He had two goals in their 6-1 win over the Iowa Wild on Wednesday and had their lone goal in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Wolves on Saturday. He has five goals, four assists and is plus-3 in 16 games this season.

TJ Brennan, defenseman, Rockford IceHogs (AHL), acquired from Islanders in 2014
Brennan, 25, took over the IceHogs’ team lead in points over the weekend. He has four goals and 13 assists on the season. He compiled three goals and 12 assists in November and is on a three-game points streak. He also leads the IceHogs as a plus-12.

Teuvo Teravainen, forward, Rockford IceHogs (AHL), drafted 1st round in 2012
Teravainen, 20, had a goal and an assist in the IceHogs’ win over the Wild on Wednesday and had an assist Sunday. He has three goals and 10 assists and is a minus-2 in 20 games this season.

Mark McNeill, forward, Rockford IceHogs (NCAA), drafted 1st round in 2011
McNeill, 21, has missed seven consecutive games with a lower-body injury. He wasn’t expected to miss much time when he suffered the injury on Nov. 15. He has nine goals and seven assists in 15 games this season.

Stephen Johns, defenseman, Notre Dame (NCAA), drafted 2nd round in 2010
Johns, 22, sat out the IceHogs’ two weekend games with an upper-body injury. He suffered the injury against the Wild on Wednesday. He has six assists and is a plus-11 in 20 games this season.

Tyler Motte, forward, Michigan (NCAA), drafted 4th round in 2013
Motte, a 19-year-old sophomore, had a goal in a 3-2 win over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Friday and three assists in a 6-0 win Saturday. He has five goals and five assists in 12 games this season.

John Hayden, forward, Yale (NCAA), drafted 3rd round in 2013
Hayden, a 19-year-old sophomore, scored a goal in Yale’s 2-0 win over Rochester Institute of Technology on Saturday. He has three goals and six assists in eight games this season.

Beau Starrett, forward, South Shore Kings (USPHL), drafted 3rd round in 2014
Starrett, 19, made his season debut on Friday. He had been out with a separated shoulder since the season began. He had an assist in each of the Kings’ two games over the weekend. He has two points in two games this season.

Fredrik Olofsson, forward, Chicago Steel (USHL), drafted 4th round in 2014
Olofsson, 18, had two assists in the Steel’s 3-2 loss to Bloomington on Saturday. He is on a four-game points streak. He has eight goals and 11 assists in 19 games this season.

Jack Ramsey, forward, Penticton Vees (BCHL), drafted 7th round in 2014
Ramsey, 19, had two goals against the Langley Rivermen on Friday. He has nine goals and 11 assists in 28 games this season.

Hawks prospect Johns moving on after getting hopes up over NHL

November, 26, 2014
11/26/14
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Stephen Johns had to laugh when his Rockford IceHogs’ teammates jokingly welcomed him back to the team last week.

Johns could see the humor in his situation, but it wasn’t his strong feeling. Disappointment trumped everything.

The Chicago Blackhawks used Johns and his salary purely for financial purposes when they recalled him Nov. 17 and reassigned him back to Rockford the next day. The transaction allowed the Blackhawks more cap space when they placed Trevor van Riemsdyk on long-term injured reserve.

The Blackhawks used the extra money to recall two players, neither of them being Johns. He had a vague idea what the Blackhawks were doing -- he never left Rockford -- but he still took an emotional hit from the experience.

“It was a little weird,” the 22-year-old Johns said Sunday. “I didn’t really know what was going on. Kind of figured it was kind of a business transaction. You have to realize it’s part of the business, and, you know, it happens. Unfortunately, it kind of got my hopes up a little bit, but it makes me more motivated to work harder and be up there for good.”

Johns’ teammates got him to laugh a little bit after he was reassigned.

“It was a little weird, but some of the guys had some good jokes in the locker room for me,” Johns said. “It was fun. Just welcome back, some stick-taps, just some jokes. It was good, clean fun.”

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Hawks reassign Johns after creating cap space

November, 18, 2014
11/18/14
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The Chicago Blackhawks reassigned defenseman Stephen Johns to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL on Tuesday.

The Blackhawks recalled Johns on Monday to allow themselves more cap space before placing defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk on long-term injured reserve.

Long-term injured reserve allows a team to go over the cap limit if the injured player’s cap hit exceeds the upper limit. The Blackhawks placed themselves within $30,000 of the cap limit by recalling Johns, who has a $800,000 cap hit, to go along with a few other transactions on Monday, according to capgeek.com. They then placed van Riemsdyk on long-term injured reserve and can now use nearly all of his $925,000 cap hit to exceed the cap limit.

The Blackhawks have close to $1.6 million of cap hit at their disposal now. They are expected to recall another forward and defenseman before they return to practice Wednesday. They had Monday and Tuesday off. They begin a six-game road trip Thursday.

Blackhawks make five roster moves

November, 17, 2014
11/17/14
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The Chicago Blackhawks recalled defenseman Stephen Johns and goaltender Antti Raanta from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL and reassigned goaltender Scott Darling and forward Joakim Nordstrom on Monday.

The Blackhawks also placed defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk on long-term injury reserve. Van Riemsdyk suffered a lower-body injury against the Dallas Stars on Sunday. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he would be out for awhile.

According to a source, the Blackhawks’ roster moves Monday may be temporary and could be followed up by other moves in the next day or two before the team leaves for a six-game road trip on Wednesday.

Quenneville said Sunday the plan was for Raanta to return to the Blackhawks after starting one game for the IceHogs. Quenneville wanted to get Raanta some action before the road trip. He hadn’t played since Oct. 25. He made 33 saves on 35 shots in the IceHogs’ 3-2 win over the Texas Stars on Sunday.

Johns has five assists and is a plus-5 in 16 games this season. He is in his first full professional season after spending the previous four years at Notre Dame. He was selected by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2010 draft.

Nordstrom was recalled on Saturday and had 12:15 of ice time for the Blackhawks on Sunday. He has five goals and three assists in 14 games for the IceHogs this season.

Darling returns to Rockford after backing up Blackhawks starter Corey Crawford on Sunday. Darling is 5-2-0 with a 1.83 goals-against average and .935 save percentage in the AHL this season and is 2-1-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .933 save percentage in the NHL this season.

Q&A with Rockford IceHogs coach Ted Dent

October, 10, 2014
10/10/14
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ROCKFORD, Ill. -- The Rockford IceHogs open their 2014-15 season Saturday. Leading up to it, Ted Dent, who is entering his fourth season as the IceHogs’ head coach, recently took some time to talk about his team, its place within the Chicago Blackhawks' organization, his thoughts on advanced statistics and more.

Q: How have the defensemen who maybe thought they had a chance in camp to make the NHL roster taken to being sent to Rockford?

A: Well, I think you always want to go to the NHL training camp with hopes of making the team. You have to set the bar high. For first-year players, guys like [Stephen] Johns, I think deep down he probably knew he was going to end up in Rockford with the depth that Chicago has. Played for us at the end of last year and just has to settle in here and get his game ready and to a level that Chicago feels comfortable with. So when the time does come, they can get a call-up.

Q: Were you surprised Trevor van Riemsdyk is in Chicago and not in Rockford?

A: We didn’t even see van Riemsdyk skate last year because he showed up here and was hurt. Met him in person, but never saw him on the ice. He had a really good tournament in London. The first day of training camp Joel asked me who was good in London. It was the first question he asked me. I said on defense it was van Riemsdyk and forward it was [Phillip] Danault. Those were the two guys that stood out for me in London. He kept going and building confidence. He’s done real well.

Q: How specific do you and the Blackhawks get with Teuvo Teravainen's development?

A: I talked to Joel and sort of just wanted to know what Joel told Teuvo, so I was on the same page. I talked to Teuvo briefly this morning, just so we’re all on the same page now and we have an understanding of what Joel wants him to improve on and how he wants him to play. I know Joel talked about a more north-and-south game, moving ahead, and he’s a centerman as well, so staying in the middle of the ice and presenting your stick and being an option for the defensemen on breakouts and things like that. That’s something that will be ongoing and teaching it as much as we can on the ice and reinforce it with video.

Q: What sense have you gotten from Teravainen since being assigned to Rockford?

A: You know he’s a little bit of a tough read with the language and everything else. But he seemed fine. He didn’t seem any different than he did last year when he came to us. You know he knows some of the guys. He spent some time in Chicago this summer. I know he hung out with [Adam] Clendening a little bit. That should help us.

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Hawks banking on others replacing Leddy

October, 4, 2014
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The good news for the Chicago Blackhawks today is they’re finally under the salary cap. It's something they've been waiting awhile for.

The bad news is they’re now without one of their top defensemen.

Whether the Blackhawks made the right move in trading defenseman Nick Leddy to the New York Islanders for prospects on Saturday will ultimately be determined by how this season unfolds.

If the Blackhawks are successful and make another run at a Stanley Cup, the trade will be forgotten. If the Blackhawks fail in that quest and their defensemen are a reason for that, the Leddy trade and other moves by Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman will go into question.

The Blackhawks had to trade someone before the season began because they exceeded the salary cap when they signed center Brad Richards to a one-year, $2 million contract in July.

Basically, the Blackhawks swapped Leddy for Richards in the end. But there were other moves that led to the Blackhawks going over the cap and Leddy being the player dealt.

The first move was Bowman signing defenseman Michal Rozsival to a two-year contract extension after the 2013 season. Rozsival has a $2.2 million cap hit. He played a key role on their 2013 Stanley Cup championship team, but he hasn’t been able to maintain that consistency. He was a healthy scratch in the playoffs last season and looked a few steps slow during the Blackhawks’ preseason game Wednesday. He also had a modified no-trade clause, according to capgeek.com.

The second move was Bowman trading for defenseman David Rundblad last season. Rundblad was a player Bowman had wanted for some time, and he jumped at the opportunity to trade a second-round pick for him and another prospect. Rundlbad’s cap hit is only $785,000, but his acquisition meant Bowman was planning on Rundblad being another top-six defenseman. Leddy became more expendable when Rundlbad was added.

Leddy wasn’t the perfect defenseman. That was seen when Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville drastically cut his minutes and made him a healthy scratch in the playoffs the last two seasons. But he was a reliable defenseman. He carried the puck as well as any of the Blackhawks defensemen, contributed on the power play and anchored that third defensive pairing while often having to deal with a rotating partner.

The Blackhawks now enter the season with some uncertainties about their third pairing. Rozsival will be a part of it, but he will still need days off. His age, 36, has caught up with him. He’s played in 69 regular-season games over the last two seasons.

Rundblad will also be in the mix. He has some offensive upside, but he’s yet to prove himself consistently in the NHL. He hasn’t played in more than 17 NHL games in a given season. Quenneville has to learn to trust him.

Kyle Cumiskey also looks like he’s going to get a chance on the NHL roster. Cumiskey showed a lot of offensive ability in the preseason. He can skate, gets up in plays, can handle the puck and will shoot it. He has NHL experience, having played in 132 games for the Colorado Avalanche, but he’s been in Sweden the last two years. He has a chance to fill Leddy’s shoes, but the proof will be in his play.

Trevor van Riemsdyk may also start the season in the NHL. He’s been the surprise of the camp after signing as a college free agent in March. He’s displayed an ability to make smart decisions and be defensively reliable. The question is whether he can take on the NHL this early in his career.

The Blackhawks also have a number of defenseman prospects, including Adam Clendening, Klas Dahlbeck and Stephen Johns, on the verge of the NHL. All are close to being NHL players, but may need another season in the AHL to be truly ready.

With all of their options, the Blackhawks may have enough in their pantry to get by without Leddy in their lineup. The upcoming season will reveal whether that’s fact or fiction.

Blackhawks reduce roster to 36 players

September, 27, 2014
9/27/14
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The Chicago Blackhawks assigned forwards Matt Carey and Phillip Danault and defenseman Stephen Johns to the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs and released defenseman Cam Barker following their preseason game Friday.

The Blackhawks’ active roster now includes 36 players, which includes 21 forwards, 11 defensemen and four goaltenders. The Blackhawks previously assigned six players to the IceHogs on Friday afternoon.

The Blackhawks have three remaining preseason games before beginning the regular season Oct. 9 in Dallas. They next play on the road against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.

Hawks training camp notes

September, 20, 2014
9/20/14
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Here are some notes and tidbits from the Chicago Blackhawks training camp Saturday:
  • Forward Ryan Hartman celebrated his 20th birthday with a goal during a scrimmage. “It’s a good birthday gift, I guess,” he said. Hartman, a Chicago-area native, had a number of family members in town to celebrate with him.
  • Teuvo Teravainen had the highlight goal of the day after he deked to his right and finished to his left past goaltender Scott Darling. Teravainen wasn’t sure what he did. “I didn’t know I had a move there,” he said. “I just got the puck from [Mark] McNeill. I was pretty close to goal, so I just tried to move the goalie a little bit and shoot.”
  • Patrick Kane leads all scorers with three goals after two days of scrimmages. He scored a goal in each of the scrimmages Friday and added another Saturday. Teravainen, Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa each have two goals.
  • Stephen Johns, who played four years at Notre Dame, got a lot of love from the stands after setting up Jonathan Toews for a goal. The large crowd erupted in cheers when Johns’ name was announced with an assist on the play. Johns has also been giving daily interviews to local media members.
  • The Blackhawks are trying out Matt Carey at wing. He played center throughout college at St. Lawrence University. “Today is the first day we’ve put him on the wing,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “I liked him a lot. He seemed like he was more noticeable today. But he’s got some speed; he’s got some quickness to his game. We got a lot of centers organizationally. They’re almost all in that same area. I think maybe we’ll get an opportunity to see him on the wing and see how he handles it. I think that versatility will be something he can add to his game as well.”
  • Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford can be expected to play in at least two full preseason games. The rest of the work will likely be divided among Antti Raanta, Michael Leighton and Darling. Kent Simpson and Mac Carruth could also have a chance to play in net. “There will probably be four guys who get the games,” Quenneville said. “How much is still being determined. Corey, we probably want to get him a couple of full games. I imagine the first two games we’ll split those half-games between the goalies.”
  • Quote of the day came from Kris Versteeg, who got married during the summer. “Yeah, all married up and she’s got me on lockdown,” he said. “So there were a lot of veggie juices this summer. It’s a new look on life and hopefully start a family.”

Hawks' Danault impresses at rookie tourney

September, 16, 2014
9/16/14
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Nearly everyone on the Chicago Blackhawks rookie tournament team displayed some positives and negatives throughout their recent games in London, Ontario.

That was expected considering it was the first real competition most of the players had experienced since April.

The one exception was Blackhawks forward prospect Phillip Danault.

Coming off a so-so first professional season, Danault began his second season on a high note. He set up two goals in the Blackhawks’ first game against the Toronto Maple Leafs rookie team and scored a goal in the second game against the Ottawa Senators rookie team.

Blackhawks rookie team coach Ted Dent, who also coaches Danault for the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs, came away impressed by Danault’s play, especially his skating, puck play and offensive zone positioning.

“He had a really good week, the whole tournament,” Dent said Tuesday. “He played well, was very assertive. You could tell he was going after it hard, really wanted to make an impression. He did a good job.

“That’s a good sign. He was over in Sweden in August training there for 7-8 days. Really focused on coming back and getting off to a good start, very encouraging.”

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Hawks storylines (No. 10 ): Third D-pairing

September, 15, 2014
9/15/14
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Nick Leddy is expected to be a fixture as the Chicago Blackhawks’ No. 5 defenseman again. What’s up in the air is which players will fill the No. 6, No. 7 and even possibly No. 8 defenseman roles for the Blackhawks this season.

Unless Leddy is traded, which his agent recently said he doesn’t expect, Leddy could be paired with a different defenseman on any given night as he did last season. He found himself partnered with Michal Rozsival, Sheldon Brookbank, Mike Kostka and David Rundblad last season.

[+] EnlargeMichal Rozsival
Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY SportsMichal Rozsival's play declined last season and he was a healthy scratch for two playoff games.
The possibilities right now for Leddy are to be paired with Rozsival and Rundblad. Brookbank wasn’t re-signed in the offseason and Kostka was picked up on waivers in March.

Rozsival was solid throughout the Blackhawks’ playoff run in 2013, but his play declined last season and was made a healthy scratch for two games in the playoffs. He just turned 36 and his age has slowed him down in the recent years. He played in 27-of-48 regular-season games in 2013 and in 42-of-82 games last season. If he remains on the roster, the Blackhawks would likely rotate him again.

Rundblad was acquired by the Blackhawks near the trade deadline for a second-round pick last season. Although Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said just before acquiring Rundblad that having eight defensemen on the roster was too challenging, the Blackhawks were again given eight defensemen when Rundblad joined the team.

Rundblad, 23, appeared in five regular-season games last season, but he’s expected to be given a greater chance this season. Bowman coveted Rundblad for some time and did give up a high pick for him.

“I think he’s an example of a young player who’s ready for an opportunity,” Bowman said in June. “He’s in that age bracket where he’s 23, 24 years old. I think he just needs an opportunity for us. He’s got a ton of talent. He’s got a little more familiarity with our system now. It’s tough when he came in at the trade deadline, he didn’t get a lot of games, but everything is new in terms of how we play, what the coaches are looking for. Now he comes into training camp he’s way ahead of where he was back in March, so I would expect that to be a benefit for him. He understands the style of our team, what our coaches like and what they want him to do and I think he’s going to have a comfort level, so it’s good for a player like that to come in and have a chance.”

The Blackhawks also have four defensemen who could make the NHL jump from the AHL this season if needed. Adam Clendening, 21, has been one of the AHL’s most offensive defensemen the past two seasons. Klas Dahlbeck, 23, is a stay-at-home defenseman who has improved his offensive game. He practiced with the Blackhawks throughout the playoffs last season. Stephen Johns, 22, joined the organization last season after playing four years at Notre Dame. He’s a physical defenseman. Kyle Cumiskey, 27, spent the last two seasons in Sweden after playing in 132 NHL games earlier in his career.

Hawks storylines (No. 14): Prospect watch

September, 11, 2014
9/11/14
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ESPNChicago.com's Scott Powers counts down the days to the opening of Blackhawks training camp on Sept. 19 with a look at 20 storylines facing the team this season.

The Chicago Blackhawks will turn to some more prospects this season. Here's a look at some of those players who could be factors:

Jeremy Morin, forward


Morin, 23, doesn't exactly feel like a prospect any longer, but the reality is he's only played in 39 career NHL regular season games over the past three seasons. He's expected to finally get a full-time look this season. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and coach Joel Quenneville has said Morin will be given a larger role this season. Where Morin fits in with the Blackhawks' lineup may be more apparent after Bowman makes a trade or two to get under the salary cap. Morin has a high offensive upside and showed some of that last season with five goals and six assists in 24 games with the Blackhawks.

Teuvo Teravainen, forward

[+] EnlargeTeuvo Teravainen
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesTop prospect Teuvo Teravainen got a taste of the NHL last season, playing three games for the Blackhawks.
Teravainen, 20, is considered the Blackhawks' top prospect. He got a taste of the AHL and NHL last season after finishing his season in Finland. He didn't have much left in the tank by the end of the season following a full year of traveling for his European club team, international competitions for Finland and for the Blackhawks in the preseason and the end of the regular season. He's spent most of the summer in Chicago training and bulking up. Quenneville raved about Teravainen's final performance at prospect camp in July. Teravainen will be a slight longshot to make the NHL roster out of training camp based on the current roster, but he has the ability, especially with his passing and vision, to make it a difficult decision for the Blackhawks.

Stephen Johns, defenseman


Johns, 22, is one of a number of defenseman prospects who could be on the verge of the NHL. Johns spent four years at Notre Dame and held more than his own in his short time with the Rockford IceHogs last season. He is a big body and could soon be the most physical player the Blackhawks have in their organization. He has a chance to push for an NHL spot at training camp depending on what is done with the roster.

Adam Clendening, defenseman


Clendening, 21, has the offensive game to be in the NHL right now. He was among the AHL's top defensemen with 12 goals and 47 assists in 74 games last season. His defensive game is making strides. The Blackhawks don't want to rush him until they're confident in his overall game. He should get some time in the NHL this season.

Klas Dahlbeck, defenseman


Dahlbeck, 23, impressed the Blackhawks with his improved offensive game last season. He's still a stay-at-home defenseman, but he's made himself into more of an overall player. He practiced with the Blackhawks throughout the playoffs last season. Like Johns and Clendening, Dahlbeck could find himself in the NHL this season.

Joakim Nordstrom, forward


Nordstrom, 22, was the prospect who surprised everyone last season by making the NHL roster out of training camp. He was back and forth throughout the season, but ended up playing in 23 total NHL games, including seven playoff games. The Blackhawks like his defensive game at the NHL level. He also proved to be a consistent offensive player at the AHL level. He could fill a fourth-line role again this season.

Brandon Mashinter, forward


Mashinter, 25, could find his way onto the Blackhawks roster being the enforcer type Quenneville often likes to have on his team. Mashinter came to the Blackhawks in a trade with the New York Rangers last season. He had 14 goals, 14 assists and was a minus-8 in 47 games with the IceHogs. Pierre-Cedric Labrie, 28, and Cody Bass, 27, were signed in the offseason and could also fit that role.

Mark McNeill, forward


McNeill, 21, would be among the next group of forwards ready to make that jump to the NHL. He went through some inconsistencies during his first full professional season, but a number of Blackhawks personnel liked how he responded late in the season. He's a strong player and has adjusted well after moving to the wing from center. If the Blackhawks are in need of a physical forward, he could fill that void at some point this season.

Alex Broadhurst, forward


Broadhurst, 21, may still be a year or two away, but he showed a lot of potential last season and was even recalled by the Blackhawks for a day. He finished third in points behind Morin and Clendening on the IceHogs with 16 goals and 29 assists.

Others to watch:

Kyle Cumiskey, defenseman; Dennis Rasmussen, forward; Garret Ross, forward: Phillip Danault, forward; Ryan Hartman, forward, Trevor van Riemsdyk, defenseman; Scott Darling, goaltender.

Teravainen, Johns on rookie tourney roster

August, 28, 2014
8/28/14
10:25
AM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Chicago Blackhawks prospects Teuvo Teravainen and Stephen Johns shouldn’t have to worry about knocking any rust off their games when training camp opens on Sept. 19.

Teravainen and Johns, who are both expected to compete for NHL roster spots in training camp, were among the 23 players named to the Blackhawks’ 2014 Rookie Tournament roster on Thursday. The team will play three games in London, Ontario from Sept. 13-16.

The roster also includes Blackhawks forward prospects Mark McNeill, Alex Broadhurst, Matt Carey, Phillip Danault, Dennis Rasmussen, Ryan Hartman, Garret Ross, defenseman prospects Dillon Fournier, Viktor Svedberg and Trevor van Riemsdyk and goaltender prospect Mac Carruth. Former Blackhawks defenseman prospects Justin Holl and Kiril Gotovets, who are now signed to AHL contracts with the Rockford IceHogs, were also named to the roster.

Free agents Chadd Bauman, Cody Caron, Cory Thorson, Ryan Van Stralen, Brett Welychka, Jamie Wise, Paul Swindlehurst and Ken Appleby complete the Blackhawks rookie roster.

The Blackhawks rookie team will play the rookie teams of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sept. 13, the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sept. 14 and the Ottawa Senators on Sept. 15. The team will be coached by IceHogs head coach Ted Dent and associate coach Mark Osiecki.

Johns uses prospect camp to build case

July, 20, 2014
7/20/14
4:07
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Stephen JohnsCal Sport Media/AP ImagesStephen Johns is ready to try and stick with the Blackhawks after four years at Notre Dame.


CHICAGO -- Stephen Johns is an old pro when it comes to the Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp.

Johns, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound defenseman, attended his fifth prospect camp this past week since being selected by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2010 draft.

This year’s prospect camp did have a different feel for Johns than the previous four. Unlike the other ones, this year’s camp wasn’t leading into another year at Notre Dame for him. Instead, this camp represented a launching pad for his campaign to prove himself NHL-ready for the upcoming season.

“Obviously I don’t know what’s going to happen this fall,” the 22-year-old Johns said on the final day of the camp on Friday. “Years prior I knew I was going back to school. It was a little different, a little bit more focus on playing as good as I can be. Impress them as much as you can every chance you get. Yeah, it was a little different. I was one of the older guys for this year. It was fun, though, a lot of fun.”

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