2010 NHL Entry Draft: Chicago Blackhawks draft preview

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for our complete coverage of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Stan Bowman get’s his shot at continuing to build the Blackhawks,
after winning the Stanley Cup thanks to superior drafting by former GM
Dale Tallon. The Hawks are in need of goaltending depth in the system
(of course) as well as up forward, as it’s likely we’ll see a number of
their AHL prospects take the step up to the NHL this fall. There’s no
surprise that the Hawks’ big strength is on defense, and despite the
scoring talent the Hawks touted this past summer the organization will
likely be thinking offense in the draft. After sending Dustin Byfuglien
and Ben Eager (along with Brent Sopel) to the Thrashers, the Hawks now
have some salary room and an even bigger need for more depth at the
forward position. With two picks in the first round now (24, 30) they’ll
have a good chance to build that depth back up.

2010 draft

Round 1 – 24th
Round 1 – 30th
Round 2 – 43rd
Round 2 – 54th
Round 3 – 60th
Round 3 – 90th
Round 4 – 120th
Round 6 – 151st
Round 6 – 180th
Round 7 – 191st
Round 7 – 210th

Top prospects (Per Hockey’s

1. Dylan
, D
2. Kyle Beach, LW
3. Nick Leddy, D
4. Akim Aliu, RW
5. Shawn Lalonde, D
6. Marcus Kruger, C
7. Jack Skille, RW
8. Billy Sweatt, LW
9. Brandon Pirri, C
10. Igor Makarov, RW

mock draft results:

24 – Quinton Howden – C – Moose Jaw (WHL)

skilled forward with a good combo of size, speed and scoring touch, yet
who plays as a much smaller forward. He’s not flashy but creates
turnovers on the forecheck and if he can play up to his size (6-3, 182)
could be special.

30 – Beau Bennett – RW – Penticton

A talented winger, who is just coming out of
prep-school hockey, he’s been shooting up draft boards and could sneak
into the first round.

What the blogs are saying:

City Hockey
, commenting on the blockbuster trade with Atlanta:

knew that the Hawks needed to jettison some salary coming into
10-11, and Buff, Sharp, Versteeg, and Ladd were the prime candidates
among the already crowded corps of forwards. Buff made himself the most
expendable by underperforming during the past two regular seasons, and
that he was (occasionally) a force during the playoffs this year allowed
Bowman to sell high. Additionally, the Hawks have Kyle Beach ready to make a grab at a roster
spot, and he’s younger and cheaper, something the Hawks need to become.
In trading Sopel, the Hawks do lose a very valuable penalty killer, but
the fact of the matter is that his $2.2 cap hit is just too much for a
#5 defenseman even on a team without cap woes. Eager is a restricted
free agent, and Bryan Bickell seems primed to step into that
role at a discounted rate after performing admirably when he had the
opportunity this year.

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    Strome, Marner highlight Team Canada’s World Junior roster

    Connor McDavid
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    Hockey Canada announced its roster for the World Junior selection camp on Tuesday and, unsurprisingly, the list is filled with first-round picks.

    Chief among them? Dylan Strome and Mitch Marner, taken third and fourth overall at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Strome, property of the Arizona Coyotes and Marner, property of the Maple Leafs, are just two of nine first-rounders from this June’s draft heading to camp; the roster also includes five first-rounders from the ’14 draft.

    Thirty players in total were invited. That means there’ll be some stiff competition for roster spots, though not in goal, where only Calgary and New Jersey prospects Mason McDonald and Mackenzie Blackwood will attend.

    The full list of invitees:



    As for the fate of two WJC-eligible NHLers — Vancouver’s Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann — Hockey Canada head scout Ryan Jankowski said his organization is holding out hope both will be available for selection.

    Another brief post on the unpredictable nature of goaltending

    Michal Neuvirth
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    We did this last year at around this time. Let’s do it again. Among goalies that have started at least 10 games, know who’s number one in save percentage?

    It’s not Henrik Lundqvist, though he’s up there at .935.

    It’s not Carey Price either (.934).

    It’s Philadelphia’s Michal Neuvirth, at .939. Anyone see that coming? Sure, Neuvirth played reasonably well last year for Buffalo, but this is a guy who’s started more than 40 games just once in his career. The Flyers signed him this summer to be Steve Mason‘s backup. His cap hit is a measly $1.625 million. The point is, any goalie that’s good enough to play in the NHL is good enough to have a hot streak in the NHL. It’s very hard to differentiate which of them have staying power and which don’t.

    Another name among the current save percentage leaders is Toronto’s James Reimer. So to recap: Reimer had a good rookie year in 2010-11, and the Leafs were confident they’d found their guy. Then the next season he suffered a concussion in October and when he got back he struggled to regain his form. But he bounced back in 2013! Alas, it all came crashing down in the playoffs during the Great Choke in Boston. So the Leafs went out and got Jonathan Bernier, who’s a whole other story that we could delve into here. Where were we with Reimer? Right. The Great Choke. The next two seasons, Reimer was Bernier’s backup. He wasn’t particularly good. Until this year. When he’s good again.

    Now let’s look at a few names at the bottom of the list. Keep in mind that .915 is the league average for save percentage.

    —- Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov is last at .887, Cam Ward is down there at .898, and Tuukka Rask is just barely better at .899. Combined cap hit? Almost $20 million.

    Cam Talbot at .889. Good last year for the Rangers, not so good this year for the Oilers. So…is it him? Or, is it the team in front of him? Because if it’s the latter — gasp! — what does that say about Lundqvist? He’s never played for another team. What would The King’s numbers be like for Edmonton? You know, there are people who believe that Martin Brodeur wasn’t actually that great. But let’s move on before we go down that wormhole.

    — Sergei Bobrovsky at .907. Hey, didn’t that guy win the Vezina a couple of years ago?

    Devan Dubnyk at .909. Remember when he salvaged his career and saved the Wild? You should. It happened less than a year ago. Earned him a nice $26 million contract through 2021. This is exactly why we didn’t envy Chuck Fletcher. What was he going to do — let Dubnyk walk? And hey, it could still turn out to be a great signing. Only time will tell. That’s the whole point of this post.

    Bottom line: goaltending is an extremely tough position for general managers to address. On the one hand, we know that teams can win Stanley Cups with guys who are making peanuts. (See: Jonathan Quick in 2012 and Corey Crawford in 2013.) But at the same time, no team can survive bad goaltending. Which is to say, a GM that gambles on an inexpensive option is a GM that could look really bad down the line. Of course, you know who else can look really bad? A GM that locks up a goalie long term, only for that goalie to become a bad goalie.

    This is why GMs don’t sleep well and get fired a lot.

    Related: Avs ‘need, expect more’ from Varlamov

    Detroit’s Larkin wins rookie of the month for November

    Teemu Pulkkinen, Dylan Larkin
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    One of the youngest players in the NHL has been rewarded for his outstanding play last month.

    On Tuesday, Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin was named rookie of the month for November, after leading all first-year players in goals (seven in 13 games).

    From the league:

    Larkin edged Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (5-8—13 in 13 GP), New York Rangers center Oscar Lindberg (4-5—9 in 14 GP), Arizona Coyotes left wing Max Domi (3-6—9 in 12 GP), Calgary Flames center Sam Bennett (4-4—8 in 12 GP) and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (4-4—8 in 13 GP) for the honor.

    Larkin, the 15th overall selection in the 2014 NHL Draft, recorded six of his seven goals in the final seven contests of the month (6-1—7), including a four-game goal streak Nov. 16-21 (4-0—4). In doing so, the 19-year-old Waterford, Mich., native became the first teenager to post a four-game goal streak for the Red Wings since 1984-85, when Steve Yzerman had a pair of four-game runs.

    Needless to say it’s been a banner campaign for Larkin, the first teenager to play for the Red Wings since Jiri Hudler (also 19 years old) in 2003-04. He’s also in some elite company by winning rookie of the month, joining Oilers freshman sensation Connor McDavid, who captured the honors for October.

    Modano, Ciccarelli, Roenick and Savard highlight Minnesota-Chicago alumni rosters

    Mike Modano

    There’ll be no shortage of star power on display on Feb. 20, when alumni from the Wild, Blackhawks and North Stars do battle at TCF Bank Stadium.

    On Tuesday, the NHL unveiled the rosters for the Stadium Series outdoor game — one day prior to the tilt between Chicago and Minnesota, a slew of ex-NHLers will compete for bragging rights, including Mike Modano, Dino Ciccarelli, Chris Chelios, Jeremy Roenick and Denis Savard, to name a few.

    The full rosters:

    North Stars/Wild

    Fred Barrett, Don Beaupre, Brian Bellows, Brad Bombardir, Neal Broten, Andrew Brunette, Jack Carlson, Jon Casey, Dino Ciccarelli, Curt Giles, Craig Hartsburg, Darby Hendrickson, Antti Laaksonen, Reed Larson, Dennis Maruk, Brad Maxwell, Giles Meloche, Mike Modano, Richard Park, Steve Payne, Willi Plett, Gordie Roberts, Brian Rolston, Bobby Smith, Wes Walz, Tom Younghans.


    Adrian Aucoin, Murray Bannerman, Chris Chelios, Dave Christian, Denis Cyr, Eric Daze, Reggie Kerr, Steve Konroyd, Jerry Korab, Cliff Koroll, Dave Mackey, Peter Marsh, Jamal Mayers, Grant Mulvey, Troy Murray, Brian Noonan, Jack O’Callahan, Jeremy Roenick, Phil Russell, Denis Savard, Reid Simpson, Brent Sopel, Jimmy Waite.

    The North Stars/Wild will be coached by Lou Nanne, Mike Ramsey and Tom Reid. Tony Esposito and Pat Foley will man the Blackhawks bench.