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Forum: NHL SigningsOct 3 at 11:54
Forum: Armchair-GMSep 24 at 1:35
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>exo2769</b></div><div>Great analysis. The one thing I'd mention though is that while your description reads that the 4th line isn't asked to do what the 1st line does...it appears the grades reflect that. I'm honestly not sure what the answer is supposed to be, but shouldn't an A, B, or C be determined on what they're being asked to do? A 4th line with (2) C's? Maybe the are a middle of the pack 4th line. I tend to think that as far as 4th lines go...it's pretty darn good. Drake played a #1LW last year. Smith played a #3 LW last year. Carpenter was a #4 RW last year. So, it's possible that 4th line does everything it's asked...to which I'd grade them higher...and still not score much at all.

Overall great analysis though. I'd personally like to see Nylander spend time in Rockford first because I haven't been that impressed with him. At least not as impressed as I am with Antti Saarela. While we're on the topic of prospect rankings...I'd switch a bunch of those around. Chad Krys is a nice guy, but he probably doesn't make my top 10. Ian Mitchell should be ahead of Nylander IMO. Kurashev should also be ahead of Nylander and Chad Krys IMO.</div></div>

The rankings are based on potential and league performance. Nylander is the only player to have any professional experience and put up some good points. Nylander has shown that he has the skill set to be a good NHL player it is just having him use the skills consistently. Mitchell did perform well in the WJC but saw a decrease in points last season. The fact that he chose to stay and play college concerns me especially when he has shown that he can excel at that level. The transition from college to pro is very difficult especially for defenseman and starting sooner rather than later is always better. Krys is a poor mans Boqvist. They play very similar styles but Krys is a little more defensively responsible. Kurashev is going to be a hit or miss. He showed he has the tools to be a great two way player. The best way to understand Kurashev is to compare him to Andreas Athanasiou of the Detroit Red Wings. I feel that Kurashev will follow a similar path.
Forum: Chicago BlackhawksSep 24 at 12:53
Drafting Summary:
The past 3 years for Hawks fans have surely been difficult. From winning 3 Stanley Cups to missing the playoffs the past 2 seasons. However some good has come from the Hawks lackluster play as it has allowed for the opportunity to draft some very talented players. The Hawks have had little success drafting in the first round since taking Kane back in 2007. Every first round drafted player has been traded by the Hawks (since Kane) and have either become busts or have become top nine players (with the exception of Teuvo Teravainen). However, the Hawks are one of the best teams to find hidden gems late in the draft. For example, Andrew Shaw 5th round, Brandon Saad 2nd round, Vinny Hinostroza 6th round, Dylan Sikura 6th round, Chad Krys 2nd round, Alex DeBrincat 2nd round, Evan Barratt 3rd round, Ian Mitchell 2nd round, and Alex Vlasic 2nd round. All of these players currently are or projected to be top 4 defenseman or a top 6 forward. While the Hawks certainly have more drafted players with some NHL potential these names are the most noticeable right now.

Preseason Analysis:
Hawks actually look like a decent team during the preseason. Offensively, Hawks might have one of the deepest teams in the league. However scoring goals was never a problem for the hawks last season. The problem was and still is defense. The preseason showed that the defense is still a mess.

Line Grades:
(Obviously there will be moves and scratches but based on the practice lines, these seem to be the common line pairings)

Projected first pairing of Keith and Gustafsson
Keith is still a reliable 2-way defender who is able to play top four minutes shutting down opposing teams top players, but obviously his age is catching up to him. His partner (Erik Gustafsson) has been absolutely dominant offensively but still leaves much to be desired defensively.
Offensive ability grade: A-
Defensive ability grade: B

Projected Second Pairing of Maatta and Seabrook
Yikes! It is safe to say that Seabs is very much past his prime and is hurting the Hawks more than helping both in terms of performance and salary. His lack of speed is the number 1 concern. He can’t keep up with these young speedsters going forwards or backwards. It’s time for Seabs to become the 7th defenseman and allow for the younger talent to take over. Why he is paired with another very slow defender is beside me.

Maatta is a mess of a player. Yes he is young and yes he had some success with Pittsburgh but being he is one of the slowest defenders in the league Maatta needs to find the type of defender he wants to be. His first season he looked like a 2-way defender with good offensive skills. Then he was a stay at home type player. Maatta is not a good skater and has zero speed. Positionally he is responsible but getting into position is the bigger problem.
Offensive ability grade: C+
Defensive ability grade: B-

While being overpaid, the best true defenseman on the hawks may be De Haan. He is a shutdown defenseman who can keep up with the high pace of the NHL.

Murphy was supposed to take over Hjalmarsson’s role as the stay at home/shutdown defender who can be put out on the ice in any situation without concern. Due to some injury setbacks, his development hasn’t gone as smoothly as expected but is defiantly trending in the right direction. Not to mention the super team friendly cap hit.
Offensive ability grade: C-
Defensive ability grade: B+

First Line
You can never go wrong putting Kane and Toews together. The question is who would fit best as a complementary winger. Nylander has defiantly not developed into the player he was projected be when Buffalo took him with the 8th overall pick. Hopefully playing alongside two franchise players will help the young prospect build some confidence and eventually find his groove. Nylander plays similar to a young Kane in the sense that he lacks urgency without the puck and that defensively he is just not helpful. Putting him on a line with one of the best two-way centers in the league will hopefully allow Nylander to play his game.
Offensive ability grade: A+
Defensive ability grade: B-

Second Line:
The other dynamic duo for the hawks defiantly showed some amazing chemistry last season and the hope is that it continues into this year. With Strome being a big playmaking center, DeBrincat being a pure sniper, and Shaw being an all around good player, this line could be the best pure offensive line for the hawks. Shaw can play center or wing and fears no one. While being under 6 foot, Shaw plays like he is 6’5’’, planting himself in front of the net and disrupting play at both ends of the ice. Strome struggled at the face-off dot last season so don’t be surprise if you see Shaw taking face-offs yet moving to a wing position once the puck is dropped.
Offensive ability grade: A
Defensive ability grade: C

Third Line:
The do it all line. Saad is obviously a great two-way player who can be put out in any situation without concern. Offensively he can put up 20+ goals and defensively he can do it all. The Swiss army knife of a player has defiantly has his fair share of struggles since returning to the Hawks but looks to have cemented himself as a high end top nine player. In my opinion, Kampf is simply centering Dach’s future line. Kampf is the new and improved Kruger. Winning face-offs and killing penalties. Offensively anything more than 20 points would be surprising. Kubalik looked very comfortable during the preseason as a natural goal scorer. He has a blazing one-timer. The offensive player of the line, look for him to lead the line in points.
Offensive ability grade: B
Defensive ability grade: B

Fourth Line:
Obviously you don’t look for your fourth line to produce points however this trio could easily be a third line. Caggiula has the potential to be a 30 point producer but will defiantly be used more in a shutdown role. Carpenter is a great and inexpensive addition to the hawks lineup. Able to play a very good transitional game excelling in the defensive zone. Smith will lead the team in penalty minutes. He is a scrappy enforcer type player who can put up some points but will defiantly be more focused on putting a player through the boards than putting a puck through the net.
Offensive ability grade: C
Defensive ability grade: C

Top 10 Prospects:
1. Adam Boqvist- Elite number 1 offensive defenseman

2. Kirby Dach- Top six power/playmaking center

3. Alexander Nylander- Top six playmaking wing

4. Nicolas Beaudin- Top four 2-way defenseman

5. Chad Krys- Top four 2-way defenseman

6. Ian Mitchell- Top four offensive defenseman

7. Evan Barratt- Top six/top nine 2-way center

8. Alex Vlasic- Top four defensive defenseman

9. Antti Saarela- Top nine 2-way forward

10. Philipp Kurashev- top nine/bottom six 2-way forward
Forum: Armchair-GMJul 23 at 12:39
Forum: NHLJul 23 at 12:35
Forum: Detroit Red WingsJul 23 at 12:34
Forum: Ottawa SenatorsJul 23 at 11:41
Forum: NHLJul 23 at 11:40
Forum: Armchair-GMJul 23 at 11:22
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>bigmikewall</b></div><div>I wouldn't considered him a hidden gem but I saw Jake Wise in person during drills at Prospect Camp. He is unbelievable with his skill and work ethic, however he was very much absent in the scrimmage. He plays at BU so he will develop over the next two years and will likely become a huge piece in the Blackhawks pipeline. With the log jam of Centers for the Hawks such as Dach, Barratt, Entwistle, and Aleksi Saarela (guys that have better developed over the past year or so) he could be packaged in a trade, but that's just my opinion I think he can be a nice 3C with some scoring potential.

As for the steal of the draft I would say look no further than Alex Vlasic. The kid reminds me of a cheaper version of Colton Parayko, a great defensive defenseman with a little bit of offensive upside he is easily going to be a great player for the Hawks as a possible Top 4D paired with someone like Boqvist or Mitchell. He needs to work on skating but he is attending Boston U for two years so he can work on it there.

Finally with the 2020 draft approaching scouting the potential prospects will start in a couple weeks with U20 rosters starting to be decided. Expect the Blackhawks to be picking anywhere from #12 to #19 (Borderline Playoff position) and I don't know maybe we get lucky with the lottery again lol. But if the Blackhawks pick oh lets say 16 (based on last years standings with this years point projections) the one player is say the Blackhawks should get is Antonio Stranges. Currently ranked 33rd by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS, he is a left shot LW and can play C or RW. He plays for London in the OHL with Boqvist. He is very good offensively reminding me of Marner and Kane without the superstar potential, but don't take that as a knock to himself he only played one year in the OHL after spurning his hometown team of the USNDTP. He is great on offense and has great skating ability. His stock is likely to grow and many predict him to be a middle first round pick. If he can spend time developing in the OHL and Minors he would be a perfect winger to compliment Dach in the future as a skating playmaker. Stranges is also fitting the Blackhawks future by having big counterman and smaller wings. Be on the lookout for him and also watch some of his highlights on Youtube, you'll be fascinated with his raw potential as a Top 6 winger.

Thanks for the read let me know what I missed.</div></div>

<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>exo2769</b></div><div>I'm game for this discussion and enjoy reading other peoples' thoughts. Thanks for posting.

1.) Too early to tell. At the time of the draft I was a Bowen Byram guy. I can admit that. I did see a lot of posts saying the COL was going to draft Dach almost hands down, but we'll never know if that's true. I'm happy with what I've seen. Obviously, I like his size. I've been impressed with his speed. He's not going to out pace McDavid or Larkin, but being able to run down another much smaller forward is solid speed.
2.) The Best steal of this past draft? Hmm.... Again too early to tell. I liked Moberg's Friday scrimmage. I wasn't expecting much, but noticed him...whatever that means 3-4 years from now.
3.) The Hawks go best available in 2020. Their positional depth is pretty solid right now.
4.) Good question. He's going to get a full year in Rockford and learn how to be a middle 6 player IMO. He has a shot of making the team next year, but keep him with Reece Johnson and let them develop together. He's an example of a guy not to rush. Let him develop slowly.
5.) Skogs was really good. I hope they sign him. That might mean Nalimov requests a trade...or Stan just lets him leave, but who knows. Maybe Nalimov never comes over at all???
6.) I think Gravel and Slavin are the (2) biggest under-rated players in their system. People know about Kurashev now...he was my pick last year and I'm excluding him now. 3rd place under-rated is Galvas.
7.) Solid question and I think it's different for everyone, but that's kinda the answer. Their flexibility. Strome was moved around a ton in AZ. I don't just mean line to line...I mean city to city...coaching staff to coaching staff. In Strome's case it was providing consistency was key. Also, realizing that if you're a #3OA pick...you should have them in a Top 6 role. Maybe that's Top 6 in the OHL or AHL, but don't put him on the 4th line. That's not who he is. Another example is Panarin. Don't forget that he went undrafted. Yeah yeah, his talent is obvious now, but let's give credit to pairing him game 1 with Kane. There's a reason Panarin gave Kane a Rolex. It's putting him in a position to succeed. Saad next to Toews/Hossa? Again, a position to succeed.
8.) Dach/Boqvist is the answer. I also want to see Slavin at Colorado College and Ian Mitchell. 5th is Aleski Saarela.</div></div>

I'm glad everyone is enjoying. I am now posting on Forums with the title "What Now Discussion". There will be plenty more of these for all teams and all different topics. I am happy to united those who are as interested in hockey as I am.
Forum: NHLJul 23 at 11:17