Just a few notes from the Chicago Blackhawks Prospect Camp. Johnny’s Ice House is not the Bensenville Edge. This is a cramped place with a smell of locker room pervading the entire building. There is very limited space for fans here, a couple of bleachers, indicating that my first instinct, to bring my bleacher chairs, was correct.
The prospects practiced from about 11 AM to about 1 PM today, the first day. Only two hours on ice, admittedly more than I could do, but this isn’t a test of anyone’s endurance. Akim Aliu and Kyle Beach, sent home last year from the Rockford IceHogs, the AAA level farm team for the Blackhawks, are here, as well as Bryan Ewing, a former Wilkes- Barre/ Scranton Penguins three game prospect, Joe Charlebois, Joe Fallon and Brian Connelly, former IceHogs short-termers. Also here are Dan Henningson who played for Lake Erie and David Stich who played for Hartford last season.
Dylan Olsen, Brandon Pirri and Daniel DeLisle are making their tryouts, and a native of Darien, Illinois, Paul Phillips. The first day doesn’t prove or disprove much; these are a series of practice skates, back and forth, with an interest, by the coaches, in warming the players up. For most players, competitive hockey stopped by early May. The better players will be in shape and that might be obvious at the end of the day.
Just looking down the numbers and the teams the prospects played with, other people to watch here would include Taigan Zahn, a 19 year-old from Regina, Saks. who played on the Saskatoon club in the WHL. Zahn is under contract with the Blackhawks. The blueliner is apparently a stay-at-home blueliners as he only scored 16 points in 65 regular season outings with Saskatoon.
Shawn Lalonde is also under contract with the Blackhawks. He played deep into the OHL playoffs, scoring 54 points as a d-man in the 66 game regular season for Belleville.
Simon Danis-Pepin, a 21 year-old Montreal native, scored 13 points for the University of Maine last season.
Bill Sweatt, a native of Elburn, Ill., is also under contract with the Blackhawks. He played at Colorado College last season as a forward. He scored 23 points in 37 games.
Broc Little is listed as a free agent. The 21 year-old played at Yale last season, scoring 35 points in 34 outings. Brett Leffler, Peter LeBlanc, David Gilbert, Bryon Froese all put good numbers on the board in their junior and college outings. Each is already signed by the Blackhawks.
There are several local kids in the camp. Owen Meyer, a 23 year-old was on the Army team last season. He put up 33 points as a forward in 30 games. He hails from Dundee.
Zach Cohen is a 22 year-old from Schaumburg. He was a forward at Boston University last season, putting 18 points up in 41 games.
Cameron Schilling, a 20 year-old from Carmel, IN played for Miami University of Ohio last season, putting seven points in 25 games on the board.
Cab Morris is among the goalies trying out. I think the team is still thick with goalies. Morris, a 17 year-old, would be too young to play. He hails from Wilmette, IL.