Rockford, Ill. - Another talented group of young hockey players will look to begin their professional hockey journey on Friday in this year’s 52nd NHL Entry Draft.
Each player’s dream is to reach their goal of playing in the National Hockey League, but many prospects will end up in the American Hockey League to sharpen and further develop their skills before reaching the NHL.
Since the IceHogs moved into the AHL (2007-08) as the primary affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, eight of the Blackhawks first round selections (Cam Barker, Kyle Beach, Phillip Danault, Ryan Hartman, Mark McNeill, Dylan Olsen, Jack Skille, Teuvo Teravainen) have found themselves in Rockford to continue their development.
Today, IceHogs.com will take a look back at the Blackhawks first round picks over the past 10 years.
2014: Forward Nick Schmaltz was the choice when the Blackhawks were on the clock with the 20th pick of the 2014 NHL Draft. Schmaltz was a projected first round pick and was there for the taking with Chicago’s first round pick. The 19 year-old out of Verona, Wisconsin spent three seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League before attending the University of North Dakota in the 2014-15 season. In his third season with the Gamblers, Schmaltz recorded a team high in assists (45) and points (63) in 2013-14.
2013: Right-winger Ryan Hartman was Chicago’s 30th overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft. Last season, Hartman appeared with the Rockford IceHogs where he played in nine games scoring a total of seven points (3g-4a). Before Hartman joined the Hogs, he played with the Plymouth Whalers (OHL). With the Whalers, Hartman racked up 53 points (25g-28a) in 52 games. During the Whalers’ regular season, Hartman finished second on the team in points.
2012: In 2012’s draft, the Blackhawks picked up Teuvo Teravainen with the 18th overall selection. Several mock drafts prior to the 2012 Draft had Teravainen projected as a top pick and the Blackhawks were able to nab him later in the first round. This past season, the 19-year-old forward skated with the Rockford IceHogs after playing with Jokerit Helsinki of the Finnish Elite League. With Rockford, he played in five games and tallied two points (2g). With Helsinki, Teravainen’s third season with the team, he racked up his career high of scoring 44 points (9g-35a). He also made his NHL debut, suiting up for two games with Chicago.
2011: With two picks in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft the Blackhawks selected Mark McNeill with the 18th pick and Phillip Danault in the 26th spot. McNeill began his first full pro season in Rockford in 2013-14 playing in all 76 games tallying 18 goals and 19 assists. He first appeared with Rockford in 2011-12 in seven games, and in 2012-13 in five games. Danault also played for the IceHogs in 2011-12 and 2012-13 after playing with the Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL) and the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL). In 2013-14, Danault appeared in 72 games with Rockford recording 26 points (6g-20a) during his first full pro season.
2010: The day before acquiring his brother (Jimmy Hayes) in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Blackhawks grabbed right wing Kevin Hayes with the 24th overall pick. The younger of the two brothers, Kevin Hayes has spent the last four seasons skating for Boston College. This past season the Dorchester, Mass. native scored 27 goals and 38 assists in 40 games, all career highs. Hayes has yet to sign with the Blackhawks who will not return his rights until Aug. 15.
2009: With the 28th pick in the 2009 draft, the Blackhawks selected physical defenseman Dylan Olsen. Olsen played parts of two seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth before turning pro and joining the IceHogs during the 2010-11 campaign. Overall, the d-man has recorded six goals and 24 assists in 152 career games in Rockford, along with one assist in 28 tilts with the Blackhawks. A trade in November 2013 landed Olsen with the Florida Panthers organization. During his time with the Panthers, Olsen skated in 44 games chalking up 12 points (3g-9a). Olsen also played four games with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage totaling two points (1g-1a).
2008: Center Kyle Beach was Chicago’s 11th overall selection in the 2008 NHL Draft. Beach entered his fourth full pro season in 2013-14 and began it with HV71 (SWeHL), totaling three points (2g-1a) in seven games. He then returned to Rockford and played in seven games and scoring four goals before the Blackhawks traded him to the New York Rangers organization. Beach completed 2013-14 with the Hartford Wolfpack (AHL) chalking up seven points (2g-5a) in 39 games. Overall, with Rockford he played in 169 games recording 76 points (41g-35a).
2007: With their first ever first overall pick, the Blackhawks selected Patrick Kane. Kane immediately made an impact for the Blackhawks, winning the NHL’s Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s best rookie during the 2007-08 season. In total, he has appeared in 515 games for the Blackhawks, registering 178 goals and 315 assists. No goal was bigger for the Buffalo, New York native than the overtime game-winner that he scored to give Chicago the 2010 Stanley Cup. In 2013, Kane won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
2006: With another high first round draft pick, the Blackhawks chose center Jonathan Toews with the 3rd pick. The current team captain for the Blackhawks was recently named the 2013 Frank J. Selke trophy winner as the NHL’s best defensive forward and won the Conn Smythe trophy in 2010 as the MVP of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Toews shows 440 points (195g-245a) in 484 career games for Chicago since being drafted.
2005: Right Wing Jack Skille was Chicago’s 7th overall selection in 2005. Skille spent two years at the University of Wisconsin, including winning a National Championship as a freshman in 2006 before turning pro. The Madison, Wis. native spent three seasons with the IceHogs prior to earning a full season with the Blackhawks in 2010-11, but was then traded after 49 games to the Florida Panthers where he continued to skate until 2012-13. In 2013-14, Skille spent time playing with the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) as well as the Springfield Falcons (AHL). Overall, the winger has recorded 128 points (59g-69a) in 180 games with the IceHogs and has seen 194 career games in the NHL between Chicago, Florida and Columbus, totaling 24g-29a-53pts.
2004: For the third-straight draft the Blackhawks selected a defenseman when they took Cam Barker at the 3rd spot overall. Barker is the highest Blackhawks draft choice to play in Rockford as he played in 36 games for the IceHogs over parts of the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. In 2013-14 Barker appeared with the Astana Barys (KHL) playing 26 games and recording 12 points (2g-10a). Overall, the 28 year-old defenseman appeared in 310 career NHL games with Chicago, Minnesota, Edmonton and Vancouver.
2003: On June 21, 2003 the Blackhawks made defenseman Brent Seabrook the 14th overall selection in the NHL Draft. Seabrook played just three games with the Norfolk Admirals, then the Blackhawks AHL affiliate, before graduating to the NHL with Chicago. The blueliner has scored 63 goals and dished out 224 assists in 681 career NHL games, all with the Blackhawks.
Check out IceHogs.com all week as we preview the 2014 NHL Entry Draft:
Monday, June 23rd: Draft Breakdown at 27th pick
Tuesday, June 24th: Mock Drafts
Wednesday, June 25th: Breakdown of the Blackhawks first overall picks over the past 20 years
Thursday, June 26th: How the draft has impacted Rockford
Friday, June 27th: Update on the progress of Chicago’s draft picks from the 2012 and 2013 drafts
Season Tickets for 2014-15 Now on Sale: Reserve your seats today for the IceHogs 16th season of professional hockey and eighth as the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks. Call (815) 847-6399 or visit icehogs.com to find a ticket package that fits your needs.