HAWKS GRIN, WIN THIN FINN: 2012 Draft Recap

The Oilers got Nail, the Hawks got a rail.

The Chicago Blackhawks followed last year's pattern, where they let their first pick fall to them. Last year's Mark McNeill became this year''s Teuvo Teräväinen. The Hawks had a balanced draft overall, choosing 4 forwards, 2 defensemen and 2 goalies, none of them are within two years of being NHL ready. Fortunately, between the talent at the NHL level as well as from previous drafts, the Hawks can afford to wait.

Let's meet the newest Blackhawks:

TEUVO TERAVAINEN LW/C (1st round, 18th overall)

Know how you can spot an old fart? If they look at the picture of the Blackhawks' first round pick and say, "hey, he looks like Boris Mikhailov", then yeah, he's old.

This flashy Finn fell to the Hawks mainly due to his amazing skill set being offset by the fact that the only way he's truly carrying the 180 pounds  on his 5'11 frame that was reported during the draft telecast is if he has three cinderblocks up his ass. The fact that he was also chosen in the first round of the KHL draft by Locomotiv Yaroslavl probably scared away a team or two as well. Hopefully this pick won't have me pining for Brendan Gaunce, who was nabbed by Vancouver later in the round.

He was able to rack up 20 points (12G 8A) in 11 games in the Finnish Jr. A league before moving up to the full SM-Liiga league where he got 18 more points (11G 7A) is 40 games. He also did better than a point a game during the World Juniors. The kid has skills.

But he's going to need to fill out a little. Otherwise, his closer-in-reality-to-160 pound ass can skate up and down NHL rinks all he wants, but the second someone like Niklas Kronwall lines him up there will be pieces of him in the 300 level.

PROJ
ECTION: Look for him to spend a full season in the Finnish big-boy league while both the Hawks and Locomotiv work on enticing him. If the Hawks sign him, he'll be in Rockford for 2013-14.

DILLON FOURNIER D (2nd Round, 48th overall)


Fournier was a nice pick at 48. Hell, he was the first overall pick in the 2010 QMJHL draft, so there's obviously something special about this kid. His season was cut short due to shoulder surgery, but he still managed to rack up 38 points (9G 29A) in 52 games. He says he patterns his game after Duncan Keith, and he's got some serious jets. He's a lanky 6'1, 173, so he's another one who will need to visit Old Country Buffet during Prospect Camp next month.

PROJECTION: He just turned 18, so he's got at least one more year in the Q. Then he'll probably be another denizen of Rock Vegas come 2013-14.

CHRIS CALNAN RW (3rd Round, 79th overall)

The sentimental old fool in me would have enjoyed seeing Stephane Matteau's son as a Blackhawk (instead, in a great piece of irony, he was selected by the Devils), but hey - Jeremy Roenick's nephew! Calnan pretty much stole the show at this year's Draft Combine, placing in the top five in 10 of the 14 tests, including 5 first place finishes - no other player had more than two. He's got good size (6'2 187) for a high school player, and has all the tools. He's still got another year of prep school hockey, and he's committed to Boston College for the 2013-14 season, where he'll join Blackhawks' 2010 first rounder, Kevin Hayes.

PROJECTION: Go Eagles.

GARRET ROSS LW (5th Round, 139th overall)

This came after Stan Bowman made his sole draft trade, sending the Hawks' 4th round pick to San Jose for a 7th they got from Tampa, and San Jose's 4th next year. That 4th will start backfilling the hole left by the picks the Hawks gave Winnipeg for Johnny Oduya. Ross has been Brandon Saad's teammate with Saginaw of the Ontario League. While Saad was piling up points at an obscene rate last season, Ross was solid, with 54 points (25G 29A) in 60 games as a 19-year-old. He also got 93 penalty minutes, and judging by his fight card he's not shy about mixing it up. Here's one of our brand-spanking-new Blackhawks feeding Andrew Shaw a nice knuckle sandwich.



Before working up too much of a chubby at the prospect of a new badass handing out Hertz Donuts all over the league, Ross is listed generously at 6 foot. He tips the scales at 190 pounds.

PROJECTION:
Might someday make a decent bottom six forward. He'd be wise to get a contract quickly and start enjoying the Rockford Olive Garden.

TRAVIS BROWN, D (5th Round [from NYR], 149th overall)

This is the pick the Hawks got when they sent John Scott to Manhattan. So they made out like bandits. There's very few things that are as low-risk as WHL defensemen. Brown has been plying his trade with the Moose Jaw Warriors, including getting tenderized here by fellow Blackhawks prospect Mark McNeill:




Brown's got the potential to be a fairly decent two-way guy. He's defensively sound, and managed 31 points (24G 7A) in Moose Jaw this past season.

PROJECTION: Another year in Saskatchewan, maybe two. Depending on how that goes dictates whether his pro career begins in Toledo or Rockford.

VINCE HINOSTROZA C (6th Round, 169th overall)


Hinostroza is this year's Alex Broadhurst. Hinostroza, like Broadhurst, is a local kid (Vince is from Bartlett) who is an undersized (5'9, 160) center. Hinostroza had 44 points (20G 24A) in 55 games for Waterloo of the USHL. He had an OT winner last year for the US under-18 team at the Hlinka Tournament against Russia. I wish every kid from Chicago who plays hockey got the chance to pull on the Indian Head sweater like Hinostoza got to at the draft. He's committed to play at Notre Dame.

PROJECTION: Maybe they can make "Rudy II" about a determined little hockey player.

BRANDON WHITNEY G (7th round [from TB via SJ], 191st overall)

This one could be interesting in a few years. He's Rodan in goalie pads (6'5, 193) and he's got quickness and athleticism. Here's the important thing to remember, and why it was maddening to hear Meatball Nation clamor for Malcolm Subban. Goalies take a long time to develop. This kid just turned 18 on May 11, and he was ranked second among North American goalies by Central Scouting. And the Hawks were able to nab him with a 7th round pick. But he's still got a way to go - last season with Victoriaville in the QMJHL, he racked up a 22-4-4 record with an .896 save percentage and 2.74 GAA. Like I said, a way to go.

PROJECTION: Check back in 2016.

MATT TOMKINS G (7th round, 199th overall)

For the third straight year, the Hawks' last pick in the draft is a goaltender. Tomkins is playing in the lower-tier Alberta Junior League, but is committed to Ohio State for 2013-14. He's not quite as large as Whitney, but at 6'2, 174, he's got good size for a goalie who just turned 18 last week. So another year in Alberta, then off to Columbus, where he'll already be better then Steve Mason across town.

PROJECTION: See above.

 

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