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Hawks' early '14-15 AHL lineup projections

7/25/2014

The Chicago Blackhawks might be as deep organizationally as they have been in some time. Following up on our NHL projections for the Blackhawks this season, here's how they could look at the AHL level with the Rockford IceHogs:

Projected lines

LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie -- C Teuvo Teravainen -- RW Mark McNeill

LW Garret Ross -- C Alex Broadhurst -- RW Joakim Nordstrom

LW Matt Carey -- C Phillip Danault -- RW Ryan Hartman

LW Drew LeBlanc -- C Dennis Rasmussen -- RW Cody Bass

Additional depth: Ryan Schnell (AHL contract)

Defenseman pairings

Klas Dahlbeck -- Stephen Johns

Viktor Svedberg -- Adam Clendening

Kyle Cumiskey -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Additional depth: Mathieu Brisebois, Dillon Fournier, Zach Miskovic (AHL contract), Kirill Gotovets (AHL contract)

Projected goaltenders

No. 1 Scott Darling

No. 2 Kent Simpson

No. 3 Mac Carruth

Summary: The IceHogs were a young team last season and just missed the playoffs. That shouldn't be a problem this season. Even if they were to lose Teravainen, Nordstrom and a few of the defensemen to the NHL, they'll still have plenty of depth and experience. McNeill, Broadhurst, Ross, Danault and LeBlanc will be entering their second professional seasons. Hartman, their 2013 first-round pick, got a taste of the AHL late last season. Carey has a lot of upside after coming out of college early. Rasmussen, Labrie and Bass are experienced pros.

Defensively, the Blackhawks are loaded. Dahlbeck, Johns and Clendening are on the cusp of the NHL. Svedberg was playing well before he got hurt last season. Cumiskey, who has NHL experience, and van Riemsdyk could have gone to other organizations but chose the Blackhawks. Fournier and Brisebois are capable defensemen, as well.

As for the goaltending, the Blackhawks added a key piece to the IceHogs by signing Darling. He played in only 26 AHL games last season, but he had six shutouts. The IceHogs' goaltenders didn't record a single shutout last season. There's a good chance the Blackhawks will still add a two-way goaltender with NHL experience. Simpson and Carruth are still young and need time to develop.