Friday, April 19, 2024

Blackhawks Top 25 Prospects Part 1: Just Missed The List

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The start of the regular season for the Chicago Blackhawks is less than 50 days away, meaning the clock is ticking on the long-awaited debut of rookie phenom Connor Bedard, as well as the chance to see new acquisitions like Taylor Hall and Corey Perry in Blackhawks sweaters. While the thought of cooler weather and hockey picking up again is mouth-watering for some fans, the “dog days” of August may seem like an eternity. Without much going on in the hockey world this week, it’s a great time for discussion on prospects.

With the Blackhawks being a team built for the future, the prospect pool is among the best we’ve ever seen. Though the group is headlined by obvious names like Bedard and Kevin Korchinski, GM Kyle Davidson has done a great job acquiring talent at every level. The pipeline to Chicago is a deep one, and there’s serious talent throughout the team’s top 25 prospects and even beyond. With that being said, some young stars will have a better chance to make an impact than others, creating a need for a comprehensive ranking of the top 25 prospects in the Blackhawks’ system, plus a few extras.

Adam Gajan

Gajan isn’t expected to hit the pros for at least two more years, he’ll play a second season for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL before fulfilling his commitment to the University of Minnesota-Duluth, which is why he didn’t make the top-25. Though he isn’t poised to make an impact in Chicago for quite some time, Gajan has the tools needed to eventually join a strong young goalie room for the team. Davidson is a huge believer in the skillset of Gajan, as he cited his athleticism and performance at World Juniors last season when asked why he selected the 19-year-old in the early second round. For more on the Blackhawks’ plan for Gajan, read here.

Jalen Luypen

Luypen is already a win for the Blackhawks – he was drafted in the seventh round in 2021 and is poised to make a serious run at the NHL roster in the near future. He should play a big role for the Rockford IceHogs in their upcoming season and could be one of the first young stars to be called up if the NHL squad is plagued with injuries. He didn’t quite crack the top-25 list because of his size (5-foot-10, 157 pounds) and health concerns. Nevertheless, Luypen finds himself part of the youth movement on the Blackhawks’ forward lines and should be in the mix for the ability to contribute to the team on a nightly basis.

Landon Slaggert

A third-round pick in the 2020 draft, Slaggert is a skilled, versatile forward who is headed into his senior season at Notre Dame. He’s 21 years old and hasn’t signed his entry-level deal yet, but it isn’t a stretch to picture him in a Blackhawks sweater someday. Slaggert may be overtaken by an incredibly talented prospect pool, but he can certainly be a valuable professional a few years down the road thanks to his physical style of play and dominance with the puck.

A telltale sign that a franchise is in a pretty good spot is if their top young talent doesn’t even fit on a top-25 list, so the Blackhawks are in great shape. Though these three top players didn’t make the official list, they each have immense potential, which further showcases Chicago’s depth.

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