Blackhawks add skill, grit in 2012 draft

Blackhawks add skill, grit in 2012 draft

Friday and Saturday, the NHL held it's annual entry draft in Pittsburgh, PA.  The Blackhawks made eight selections over the seven rounds.  Here's a look at who they picked, and how they might project for the team in the future.

1st Round - 18th Overall

Teuvo Teravainen - LW

9/11/1994

Finland - Jokerit

5-11 165

Teuvo Teravainen (TAY-vo Terra-VINE-en) was ranked 2nd overall among European skaters when the Blackhawks selected him with the 18th pick.  When he was chosen, many scouts and experts said they had him as high as 5th overall on their draft boards.  Teravainen is a speedy, skilled winger who can put the puck in the net.  So why the slip to 18th?  His size is a concern.  At 5'11 165, he's hardly a power forward.  At 17, he will certainly fill out his frame and add some weight, but will still be on the small side.

Many Hawks fans have asked why the Blackhawks would draft another undersized, scoring forward.  That's certainly a valid question.  Physicality and net presence have been an issue for two seasons now.  It's likely the Hawks didn't suspect Teravainen would slip to them, and had to take him.  I don't mind that approach.  If Team Bowman thinks he's a game changer, size and grit can be added elsewhere.

It's highly unlikely Teravainen will make an impact for the NHL club next season.  He's expected to play another season in Europe.  2013-14 may even be an optimistic projection, but if he can grow both physically and mentally, I wouldn't rule out the chance.

2nd Round - 48th Overall

Dillon Fournier - D

6/15/1994

QMJHL - Rouyn-Noranda

6-2  180

Fournier is a slick skating, puck moving defenseman.  Scouts have praised his puck moving ability and his vision, and think he's a potential top four puck moving NHL defenseman.  There are two knocks on his game.  First off, he can be accident prone.  His decision making can get him into trouble at times, whether he's forcing a pass or pinching when the time isn't right.  He also lacks overall physical strength.  He will have to improve his overall defense if he wants to make an impact in the NHL.

3rd Round - 79th Overall

Chris Calnan - RW

5/5/1994

Boston - Nobles and Greenough High School

6-2  188

Calnan is the nephew of former Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick.  Here's the grit and toughness the Hawks have been looking for.  Calnan, who will play for Boston College next season, is a physical, forechecking winger.  While he put up big numbers in High School (55 pts in 29 games), it's unlikely he will be a top scorer at the NHL level.  What he lacks in scoring potential, he makes up for in physicality and willingness to engage.  The Hawks have lacked a strong net presence since Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd left.  Perhaps in a few years, Calnan can help fill that void.

5th Round (4th round pick traded to San Jose) - 139th Overall

Garret Ross - LW

9/11/1994

OHL - Saginaw Spirit

6-0 190

Ross is a tough guy with a mean streak...but he's also developed a bit of a scoring touch.  Before last season, Ross put up a total of 26 points in 96 games with Saginaw.  Last season, he scored 24 goals and 54 points in 60 games.  That's quite a jump.  Despite the number explosion, Ross projects as an NHL 3rd or 4th liner.  Think a meaner Adam Burish or slightly less skilled Daniel Carcillo.

5th Round - 149th Overall

Travis Brown - D

3/15/1994

WHL - Moose Jaw

6-2 179

Scouting reports say Brown, who put up 31 points in 66 games with Moosejaw last season, is an edgy, puck moving defenseman.  Brown says he needs to work on "just calming down in the defensive zone and realizing less is more.”  The Hawks, for the third pick in a row, add toughness and size.  Can't really argue with that.

6th Round - 169th Overall

Vincent Hinostroza - C

4/3/1994

USHL - Waterloo

5-9 161

For his size, scouts say Hinostroza is as gritty as he is skilled.  You'd think you're reading the scouting report of Steve Sullivan or Martin St. Louis.  It's unlikely Hinostroza reaches that level of NHL relevance, but scouts seem to like his all around game.  For a 6th round pick, you could do much worse.

7th Round - 191st Overall

Brandon Whitney - G

5/11/1994

QMJHL - Victoriaville

6-5 193

Whitney was the 2nd ranked North American goaltender (behind Malcolm Subban).  The Hawks drafted him 191st overall.  He's a 3-4 year project, but this huge goaltender could be a steal.  For a goalie his size, he plays very quick and "under control".  He takes strong angles and challenges shooters.  If things break right, Whitney could be the Hawks' goalie of the future.

7th Round - 199th Overall

Matt Tomkins - G

6/19/1994

AJHL - Sherwood Park

6-2 171

Tomkins was the 10th ranked North American goaltender.  The little I can find on him says he has traits of an NHL goaltender, but is extremely raw.  Long term project.

 *NOTE : Scouting reports have been used from the following sites ; TSN.ca, 300level.net, secondcityhockey.com, futureconsiderations.ca, hockeysfuture.com, reelhockeyscouting.com, and mynhldraft.com.  Please visit and support these quality hockey websites.

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