Physicality is the one aspect of the Chicago Blackhawk that was glaringly absent in the 2010-2011 season. But a good chunk of the team’s cap space is designated to keeping defensemen Duncan Keith, Brian Campbell, Brent Seabrook, and Niklas Hjalmarsson so it won’t be likely that any major changes will be seen on the defensive end.
In terms of forwards, the Hawks have several promising players in Kyle Beach and Jeremy Morin, who are expected to find themselves playing in the NHL in the next couple of seasons. And Nick Leddy, who was 16th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by Minnesota and traded to Chicago a year later, has proved to mesh well with his new teammates. But remember, they are all still prospects. On the permanent roster, the forwards are that offensive punch that they could really use (excluding, of course, the ever-serious captain Toews).
With that being said, drafting a skilled and versatile forward should be the Blackhawks’ main objective this time around. In the past, the organization has tended to pick up college-bound players (12 of the last 25 picks were headed for the NCAA). It’s been a slight trend in the team’s recent history, and it’s likely to continue this season as well.
Personally I would like to see the Hawks take Boone Jenner, the 18-year old Oshawa Generals center who is unstoppable in the faceoff circle and plays a blue-collar, hard-working style of hockey that gets all the results without all the flash. His style of play emulates that of a young Jarome Iginla. Jenner would fit in nicely as a third-line center who I’m sure could be counted on to move up if need be.
About the Author
Written by Anna Santiago
26-year old sports writer from Calgary, Alberta. A hockey and basketball lover above all.