Monday afternoon brought the first day of Blackhawks Prospect Camp, which lasts until the end of the week. Even though the guys were just practicing, there were still chances for them to shine.
The noon start time of practice brought the first group of prospects to the ice: the Free Agent Invitees. They participated in passing, skating, puck-handling and battle drills, among other things. Three defensemen stood out the most from this group: Dan Weissenhofer, Jake Chelios and Nolan Zajac. Weissenhofer was hitting just about everything that moved when he was able to and he was making the effort to block shots—and it wasn’t even the scrimmaging part of camp yet! Chelios’ confidence and swagger was evident in his smooth skating, calm demeanor and good defensive play. Zajac displayed his speed for everyone to see.
Here is how the Free Agents were split up:
Cohen Adair – Northern Michigan
Tim O’Brien – Dartmouth (hometown is Winnetka)
Jason Bast – St. Francis Xavier
Quinn Gould – Merrimack
Matt Lorito – Brown
Dan Weissenhofer – Air Force (hometown is Naperville)
Guy LeBoeuf – RPI
Luke Curadi – RPI
Dario Simion – Lugano HC
Garrett Thompson – Ferris State
Chris McCarthy – Vermont
Grayson Downing – New Hampshire
Milos Bubela – RPI
Sam Babintsev – Mississauga
Jake Chelios – Michigan State
Nolan Zajac – Denver
Zach Loesch – Lake Superior State
Gleb Koryagin – HC MVD Jr.
Matthew O’Connor – Boston University
Jackson Whistle – Kelowna
After the Free Agents left the ice, the Blackhawks prospects that were either drafted or signed by the club came onto the ice. Many players who have been in the system and have attended camp for the past few years were their normal, consistent selves: Phillip Danault, Mark McNeill, Sam Jardine, Garret Ross, Alex Broadhurst, etc. While Stephen Johns has been in the Prospect Camp line-up in previous years, this was his first time back since 2011. He was very noticeable on the ice, whether it was from a physical standpoint, a skating standpoint or a passing standpoint. John Hayden, whom the Blackhawks drafted in the 3rd round in this year’s draft, was noticeable as well. He seems to have a nice set of hands on him as he seemed to always be putting the puck into the back of the net. He also has good size: he stands at 6-foot-3 and is 210 pounds. Michael Paliotta, much like Johns, was solid all day and even showed off his physical presence at times during battle drills. Kent Simpson appeared to be the best goalie at camp today, but that’s not a shock considering he has the most professional experience out of all of the netminders there.
Here’s how the group was split:
Phillip Danault – Moncton
Mark McNeill – Prince Albert
Garret Ross — Saginaw
Stephen Johns – Notre Dame
Robin Norell – Djurgarden Jr. 18
Robin Press – Sodertalje Jr. 20
Carl Dahlstrom – Linkoping Jr. 18
Viktor Svedberg – Vastra Frolunda HC
Alex Broadhurst – London
John Hayden – US NTDP
Pat Mullane – Boston College
Chris Calnan – South Shore
Tyler Motte – US NTDP
Anthony Louis – US NTDP
Dillon Fournier – Rouyn-Noranda
Travis Brown – Moose Jaw
Justin Holl – University of Minnesota
Michael Paliotta – Vermont
Nick Mattson – North Dakota
Sam Jardine – Ohio State
Kent Simpson – Toledo
Mac Carruth – Portland
Brandon Whitney – Victoriaville
Matt Tomkins – Sherwood Park
Kevin Hayes wasn’t at camp today, but apparently he’s on his way for tomorrow.
Antti Raanta didn’t see any ice time today because he has a minor injury.
Ryan Hartman was off the ice as well as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery.
Luke Johnson, Vincent Hinostroza, Maxim Shalunov and Kirill Gotovets all were not present on the ice at camp as well.
The bb Blackhawks will be back on the ice at Johnny’s Ice House tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. For updates from camp, follow me on Twitter: @kimwrona7. /shameless plug.