Dom Lunardo | April 24th, 2020
From 2010-2015, the Chicago Blackhawks won three Stanley Cups and were widely regarded as one of the best pro sports teams in North America. Names like Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Corey Crawford, Marian Hossa, and Brent Seabrook stole the headlines night after night in Chi-town. However, even after a dynasty as such, what goes up, ultimately comes down, and this didn’t escape the Blackhawks.
Far Cry from Three Stanley Cups
Since hoisting Lord Stanley’s cup in the spring of 2016, the Blackhawks have fallen on some hard times. An aging core has seen a significant drop in production/performance specifically from the likes of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, and even Jonathan Toews. Gone is head coach Joel Quenneville (aka “Coach Q” along with several other integral pieces who made up the core of those Blackhawks team who experienced so much success over the past decade. The Blackhawks, however, have some interesting pieces coming down the pipeline, who hope to bring the city of Chicago and their passionate fan base back to hockey prominence in the next few seasons. Who are these young guns and what kind of impact can hockey fans expect them to have in the National Hockey League?
Number 3: Evan Barratt, Center, Penn State University (NCAA)
Evan Barratt from Bristol, Pennsylvania is first-up on our list. The 6’1, 190-pound centerman who currently plays for the Penn State Nittany Lions of the NCAA has played very well over the last 3 seasons. At the collegiate level, Barratt has scored 39 goals and 95 points while rising through the ranks with the U.S. National Team Develop programs at the U17, U18, and U20 levels. Barratt also found himself donning the stars and stripes of Team USA at this past year’s 2020 World Junior Hockey Championships. The Hawks have been pleased with his development, and really admire his hockey sense and ability to make plays at a high level as his strengths. Another year at Penn State will do wonders for Barratt, who will be pushing for a spot down the middle in Chicago over the next few seasons.
Number 2: Ian Mitchell, Defenseman, University of Denver (NCAA)
Another NCAA product comes in at number two with talented defenseman, Ian Mitchell. The playmaking standout and team Captain at the University of Denver has seen his game grow (and continue to evolve) over the last few years. This has been music to the ears of the Blackhawks organization, and general manager Stan Bowman. Selected in the second round, 57th overall during the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the Hawks have themselves a real find with Mitchell. This season in Denver, Mitchell tallied 10 goals, 22 assists, and 32 points in 36 games played. The 21-year-old, St. Alberta, Alberta native can skate, possesses good edge work and is excellent in transition. It won’t be long before Mitchell dons the icons Blackhawks sweater at the NHL level.
Number 1: Adam Boqvist, Defenseman, Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Swedish-born, Adam Boqvist comes in at number one leading the charge, prospect-wise in The Windy City by a wide margin. Boqvist is a dynamic offensive dynamo from the blue-line who loves having the puck on his stick. They always say the best line of defense is a good offense and that certainly bodes well for Boqvist and the Hawks. Chicago fans grew to adore Duncan Keith over the years who’s first pass and silky-smooth skating ability were undoubtedly one of the most important staples of the Hawks from their glory years. Well Chicago fans, Boqvist is a second-coming of Keith in so many different ways. Boqvist is an electrifying talent with the ability to skate the puck out of trouble. He can elude forecheckers and distributes the puck with accuracy in all three zones on the ice. Selected in the first round, 8th overall during the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Boqvist is ready for prime time at the NHL level much to the joy of the Blackhawks brass and fans alike. Boqvist is a stud-in-the-making in the Windy City.
Questions and comments?
Hit us up on the Socials:
Check out our Facebook Group where you can read and post articles at The Scorecrow
Reddit Group where everyone can post without fear of being banned at The Scorecrow
Follow Dom Lunardo on Twitter @TapetoTape88
Main Image Credit: