Over the last six years, each summer we take time to step away from the immediate and look back.
We look back five years at the draft classes of each of Chicago’s five major sports teams: the Blackhawks, Bears, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox.
After five years, we should have seen something. In some sports, the picks never pan out; this can be the case with many late round picks in baseball, football and hockey. But every team needs to hit on their first round pick(s) to build and sustain a winner.
With that, let’s begin the 2017 edition of our 5 Year Draft Rewind series.
Since the Stanley Cup Final began on Monday, we’ll start with the 2012 NHL Draft class of the Blackhawks – a fun exercise with the 2017 NHL Draft being hosted at the United Center in a few short weeks.
Chicago had a nice 2011 Draft, finding Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw after the first round. But after a disappointing early exit from the playoffs, the Hawks held the 18th overall selection.
The 2012 NHL Draft once again saw the Edmonton Oilers take a forward – Nail Yakupov – with the first overall pick. Among the forwards called before the Hawks were on the clock were Montreal selecting Alex Galchenyuk third, Washington selecting Filip Forsberg 11th and Tomas Hertl to San Jose at 17. Three solid defensemen were off the board as well: Morgan Reilly to Toronto at five, Hampus Lindholm to Anaheim at six and Jacob Trouba to Winnipeg at nine.
With the 18th overall selection in the 2012 NHL Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks selected Teuvo Teravainen.
Teravainen was a highly regarded prospect who slid to the Hawks because of his size. He would spend another couple seasons in Finland before joining the Blackhawks full-time in the midst of the 2014-15 regular season.
Everyone immediately fell in love with Tervainen – except Joel Quenneville. During the 2015 postseason, Teravainen was a healthy scratch; he rebounded with a game-winning goal and finished the Hawks’ run to the Cup with 10 points in 18 playoff games.
In 2015-16, Teravainen averaged 15:21 in 78 regular season games, scoring 13 goals. It appeared Teravainen was starting to figure things out.
On June 15, 2016, the Blackhawks traded Teravainen with Bryan Bickell to Carolina for a second round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft (#50 – Artur Kayumov) and a third round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.
Some of the players selected after Teravainen in the first round in 2012: goaltender Andrey Vasilevskiy, defenseman Olli Maatta and forward Tanner Pearson.
The Blackhawks would make seven more picks in the 2012 NHL Draft:
Round 2 – #48 – Dillon Fournier, D
Round 3 – #79 – Chris Calnan, F
Round 5 – #139 – Garret Ross, F
Round 5 – #149* – Travis Brown, D
Round 6 – #169 – Vinnie Hinostroza, F
Round 7 – #191** – Brandon Whitney, G
Round 7 – #199 – Matt Tomkins, G
* – pick acquired from the NY Rangers for John Scott
** – pick acquired in pick swap with San Jose that also added a fourth round pick in 2013
This was an interesting collection of players. Calnan, Hinostroza and Tomkins were all headed to college, a mix that has become a hallmark of Bowman drafts in Chicago. Calnan – Jeremy Roenick’s nephew – just finished his senior year as the captain at Boston College; Tomkins just completed his senior season at Ohio State. Neither appears to be an NHL caliber player.
Hinostroza left Notre Dame after only two seasons and has seen action in each of the last two years with the Blackhawks. During the 2016-17 season, Hinostroza posted six goals and eight assists in 49 games in the NHL.
Of the eight selections the Blackhawks made at the 2012 NHL Draft, only Hinostroza has a contract with the organization for the 2017-18 season. Fournier is a restricted free agent.
If it’s any consolation, there isn’t a fan base in the NHL that has a collective gag reflex when considering the 2012 Draft as much as the Washington Capitals. At the trade deadline of the 2012-13 season, the Caps traded Forsberg to Nashville for Michael Latta and Martin Erat.
A couple defensemen drafted in 2012 have been a part of the Blackhawks organization as well. The New York Islanders selected Ville Pokka with the 34th overall pick; he was traded to Chicago in the Nick Leddy trade. And Edmonton selected Erik Gustafsson with the 93rd overall pick; he signed with Chicago as a free agent.
While the top end of the 2012 NHL Draft wasn’t exceptional, that doesn’t mean the entire class was shallow. Here are a few players of note who were picked in 2012 after the first round:
#50 – Colton Sissons, C, Nashville
#78 – Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Philadelphia
#83 – Matt Murray, G, Pittsburgh
#86 – Colton Parayko, D, St. Louis
#87 – Frederik Andersen, G, Anaheim
#110 – Andreas Athanasiou, F, Detroit
#120 – Jaccob Slavin, D, Carolina
#130 – Connor Hellebuyck. G, Winnipeg