A Ranking Of The Prospects In The Blackhawks System

Breakdown By Position

Note: Most of the forwards can play multiple if not all three forward positions. Because of this, don’t take too much stock in which position each prospect is ranked under.


1) Nick Schmaltz

  • 20 years old
  • 6 foot, 177 lbs
  • 2014 1st round pick
  • Currently a sophomore at North Dakota (NCAA)
  • Projects as a future top 6 center. He is the number one talent currently in the farm system
  • Schmaltz is a talented two-way forward. He is an excellent playmaker with terrific hands; he makes crisp passes and is adept at finding open seams. His playmaking ability is his prime asset but he does a good job of finishing plays. Schmaltz is continually improving in his own end and plays a sound and strong defensive game. He utilizes his stick quite effectively in all three zones, whether in creating plays or taking away time and space. Schmaltz is gifted at using his stick handling skill to control the puck in tight spaces.hockeysfuture.com

2) Tanner Kero

  • 23 years old
  • 6 foot, 185 lbs
  • Signed as free agent
  • Currently in Rockford (AHL)
  • Projects as a fringe bottom 6 NHL/top 6 AHL forward
  • Kero steadily developed as a prospect during his four-year career at Michigan Tech — emerging as an offensive threat and leading the Huskies in scoring as a senior. Slightly undersized, Kero has a high level of hockey intelligence and is adept at anticipating the plays and finding openings in the offensive zone. He is solid in his defensive responsibilities though his lack of bulk can be a disadvantage. Hockeysfuture.com

Left Wing

1) Tyler Motte

  • 20 years old
  • 5-9, 192 pounds
  • 2013 4th round pick
  • Junior at Michigan (NCAA)
  • Projects as a top 9 forward kind of like Andrew Shaw
  • Motte makes up for his lacks in size and slightly above average technical skills with hustle and hockey sense. He is a strong skater and moves around the ice with ease. His offensive game is not flashy but he works well with his linemates and knows where to go to score. Motte continues to improve his shot and add strength at the college level and must continue to do so to play pro hockey. He is strong on the penalty kill and is a willing checking line forward. Motte, despite his lack of stature, fits the “speed, hockey sense, and character” mantra of the Blackhawks’ front office.hockeysfuture.com

2) Graham Knott

  • 19 years old
  • 6-3, 188 lbs
  • 2015 2nd round pick
  • Currently playing for Niagra of the OHL
  • Projects as a defensive specialist bottom 6/top 9 winger. A poor mans Marian Hossa
  • Knott is a big, power winger who can mix size with skill. He has a long reach and decent shot that make him an offensive threat. He is willing to work in his own zone and plays a strong two-way game. His tactical game is a work in progress but he has the raw elements to suggest he can dominate if he puts it all together. – Hockeysfuture.com

3) Radovan Bondra

  • 19 years old
  • 6-5, 218 lbs
  • 2015 5th round pick
  • Currently playing for Vancouver of the WHL
  • Projects as a bottom 6 forward who can play in all situations
  • Bondra possesses the type of size and frame that attracts NHL attention. Not directly related to former NHLer Peter Bondra, he is tall and muscular and has been a key player for the Slovakian junior teams while competing against men in the domestic league. His positional game is still a work in progress — and has a good ways to go before he will be a leader or go-to guy — but the tools are there. His shot can be a rocket and he loves to drive to the net from the outside and overpower opposing defensemen. His skating is quite good for a player his size but there is room for improvement. What is questioned is his on-ice intelligence and ability to stay out of the penalty box at inopportune times. Still learning to make better decisions with more regularity, Bondra can bring his own team into trouble when he’s frustrated. He has had his most success when surrounded by older, more experienced players; fitting in as a joker of sorts who brings a hustling, physical aspect. Bondra is a highly effective penalty killer who uses his size and reach well. He prides himself in being consistent in his own end. Hockeysfuture.com

4) Fredrik Olofsson

  • 19 years old
  • 6-2, 197 lbs
  • 2014 4th round pick
  • Currently a freshman for Nebraksa-Omaha (NCAA)
  • Projects as a top 6 AHL forward
  • Olofsson is the younger brother of Minnesota Wild defensive prospect Gustav Olofsson. Not ranked by Central Scouting when he was selected in the fourth round by Chicago in 2014, he has added bulk to his 6’1″ frame while playing in the USHL and has showed a goal scoring touch not previously expected. He is still somewhat a project at this point and needs to improve the supplementary areas of his game during his college career. Hockeysfuture.com

5) Anthony Louis

  • 21 years old
  • 5-7, 151 lbs
  • 2013 6th round pick
  • Currently a junior at Miami of Ohio (NCAA)
  • Projects as a top 6 AHL forward who could crack the NHL and surprise despite his lack of size
  • Louis is a diminutive forward who continues to defy critics. He has a high level of skill and creativity with the puck and has been a productive player at every level he has played. He can use his speed to skate past defenders or make a quick move with the puck to gain position. Likely to be a scoring line forward or bust at the pro level, he has been one of the top playmakers for Miami University in his first two seasons with the RedHawks. – Hockeysfuture.com

Right Wing

1) Ryan Hartman

  • 21 years old
  • 5-11, 191 lbs
  • 2013 1st round pick
  • Currently in Rockford (AHL)
  • Projects as a top 9 forward who should replace Andrew Shaw next season
  • Hartman’s size is not exactly eye-popping but his ability to excel at all facets of the game is impressive. He is a tough player despite his lack of height and is willing to throw his body around. He finds his way into the gritty areas of the ice and has solid enough hands to convert a few opportunities. He has played both center and the wing, making him a versatile player with an all-around game. Hockeysfuture.com

2) Vincent Hinostroza

  • 21 years old
  • 5-9, 158 lbs
  • 2012 6th round pick
  • Currently in Rockford (AHL)
  • Projects as a bottom 6 forward
  • Hinostroza is a hard-nosed forward with offensive skill. He is aggressive on the forecheck and in getting to the front of the net, where he has the hands to set up his teammates or hit the back of the net. His lack of stature will be a challenge at the pro level but he was able to overcome that at the college level and could due the same as a pro. He will likely need time at the minor level to both mature physically, adapt to the faster and more physical pro style, and round out the supplementary areas of his game. – HockeysFuture.com

3) John Hayden

  • 21 years old
  • 6-3, 223 pounds
  • 2013 3rd round pick
  • Junior at Yale (NCAA)
  • Projects as a bottom 6 forward
  • Hayden has the size, skills, and aggressive temperament to develop into a top-nine power forward. Drafted as a center by the Blackhawks in 2013, he has played primarily on the right wing in his two seasons at Yale. He is equally comfortable carrying the puck or finishing the play and is especially effective around the net. Hayden does not shy away from throwing his weight around and has the capacity to be a force in the physical game. Skating is still an area in need of improvement for him and he continues to develop his overall game. – hockeysfuture.com

4) Mark McNeill

  • 23 years old
  • 6-2, 214 lbs
  • 2011 1st round pick
  • Currently in Rockford (AHL)
  • Projects as a bottom 6 forward
  •  McNeill is a solidly-built forward that plays with keen awareness at both ends of the ice. He has the ability to impose his will in both zones, whether it be by forcing a turnover defensively or facilitating the play in the offensive end. He is versatile and can play both center and wing. When at his best, his presence makes opponents tentative. However overall consistency can be an issue. McNeill has shown that he can be more than just a one-dimensional player as he has been used both on the power play and penalty-killing units. He has the size and hands to be an effective offensive performer, but needs to work on his focus. – Hockeysfuture.com

5) Kyle Baun

  • 23 years old
  • 6-2, 209 lbs
  • Signed as a free agent
  • Currently in Rockford (AHL)
  • Projects as a bottom 6 forward
  • Baun is the grandson of Stanley Cup-winning Maple Leafs’ defenseman Bobby Baun. He has the prototypical size of a power forward and makes good use of his frame on both ends of the ice. He has the foot speed to be more than just a big body on the ice and produced offense consistently during his college career. He will need to continue to develop in all areas of his game to be more than just a potential lower-line candidate. – Hockeysfuture.com

Left Defensemen

1) Gustav Forsling

  • 19 years old
  • 5-11, 183 pounds
  • 2014 5th round pick acquired via trade
  • Playing in Sweden
  • Projects as a top 6 defensemen
  • Forsling is an undersized but exciting skating defenseman who excels in the creative aspects of the game. Injuries have been an issue, partially due to his lack of stature, but he has the ability to control the tempo and flow of a game, particularly on the power play. Forsling is able to control the puck and distributes it in a timely fashion. As with many smaller, offensively-inclined defensemen, he is a work in progress when it comes to his positional play in his own end of the ice and he is at a disadvantage against bigger, stronger players in tight areashockeysfuture.com

2) Dennis Gilbert

  • 19 years old
  • 6-2, 199 lbs
  • 2015 3rd round pick
  • Freshman at Notre Dame (NCAA)
  • Projects as a top 6 defensemen
  • Gilbert is a thickly-built defenseman who likes to skate with the puck. He has the smarts and skill to make an efficient second or third-pairing defenseman if he can improve his skating mobility and efficiency. He has poise and instincts and was a reliable defender at the USHL level. He is still developing in terms of his physical strength and technical skill and more will be known about his long-term potential as he competes in college. HockeysFuture.com

3) Carl Dahlstrom

  • 21 years old
  • 6-4, 228 lbs
  • 2013 2nd round pick
  • Playing in Sweden
  • Projects as a 7th defensemen
  • Dahlstrom is a rangy, stay-at-home defenseman. He is mobile and has a big frame at 6’3, even though he still needs to work on filling it out. The Swedish blueliner is still capable of using his body to move players around, but is generally a player that will maintain his defensive posture rather than chase a big hit. Not a player to push the envelope much offensively, Dahlstrom is nonetheless capable of making a good breakout pass and getting the puck on net. He plays a smart, safe game with the puck on his stick, but may not be a player that generates a ton of offense as he transitions to the pro level. – Hockeysfuture.com

4) Luc Snuggerud

  • 20 years old
  • 6-foot, 184 lbs
  • 2014 5th round pick
  • Sophomore at Miami of Ohio (NCAA)
  • Projects as a 7th defensemen
  • Snuggerud is an offensive-minded defenseman who skates well and can distribute the puck on the rush. Like New York Islanders’ defenseman Nick Leddy, he played for Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota before playing college hockey and plays a similar style. As with many young defenders, he is at his best when joining the attack or contributing on the power play. He should continue to refine the defensive areas of his game and add the size and strength necessary to play at the pro level during his college career. – hockeysfuture.com

Right Defensemen

1) Ville Pokka

  •  21 years old
  • 6-foot, 214 lbs
  • 2012 2nd round pick acquired via trade from NYI
  • Currently in Rockford (AHL)
  • Projects as a top 4 defensemen
  • Pokka projects to being the type of strong skating, persistent defender who can also contribute to the attack. Not an overly physical defenseman despite an ideal frame, he handles the puck well and is adept at generating pressure on the transition. He continues to develop his overall game in a very deep Blackhawks’ organization and is getting closer to being NHL-ready.HockeysFuture.com

Prospects traded at the deadline

  • Marko Dano – projected top 6 forward
  • Phillip Danault – projected top 9 forward

Blackhawks Farm System vs The NHL

  • Corey Pronman of ESPN ranked the Blackhawks farm system 16th best in the NHL at the beginning of the season.
  • Hockeysfuture.com ranked the Hawks farm system 13th best in the NHL at the start of the season.
  • With only losing Dano and Danault, the Hawks farm system should stay ranked near the middle of the NHL

Blackhawks Draft Picks By Year and Round


  • 3rd
  • 4th
  • 4th (Columbus Saad trade 6/30/15)
  • 5th
  • 5th (Florida Pirri trade 3/2/14)
  • 6th
  • 7th
  • Total Picks = 7

Chicago traded away their 1st round pick (Ladd trade 2/25/16) and their 2nd round pick (Timonem trade 2/27/15)

2017 (Chicago also hosts this draft)

  • 1st
  • 2nd
  • 4th
  • 5th (Carolina Versteeg trade 9/11/15)
  • 5th
  • 6th
  • Total Picks = 6

Chicago traded away their 3rd round pick (Versteeg trade 9/11/15) and their 7th round pick (Desjardins trade 3/2/15)


  • 1st
  • 3rd (Blackhawk trade this pick to WPG if team wins the Cup in 2016)
  • 4th
  • 5th
  • 6th
  • 7th
  • Total Picks = 6 (5 if Blackhawks win 2016 Stanley Cup)

Chicago traded their 2nd round pick (Weise/Fleischmann trade 2/26/16)