While everyone else makes futile attempts to figure out why the Hawks suck when the games go over 60 minutes (um, luck?), let’s pass over that debate and check in on how the kids outside the organization at the moment are doing.
Unlike last year, where McNeill and Danault were some of the Hawks most exciting prospects plying their trade in the Canadian hinterlands, this year sees the more intriguing ones roaming the the quads and woods of American college campuses (in one’s case, sometimes in a garbage bag).
We’ll start out east in Chestnut Hill, MA, where Kevin Hayes has put up 35 points in just 22 games with Boston College. This past weekend, Hayes went a little bonkers with two goals and three assists in two games versus Providence and Brown. Hayes does have the sweetheart spot in the BC lineup, as he has been playing with one of the most dynamic players in the NCAA in Johnny Gudreau. But hey, you gotta make something of it when it’s given to you and Hayes has done that. While I only got brief glimpses of Hayes last year, I’ve always thought he was the better pro prospect than his brother Jimmy, as he’s a slightly smoother skater and has better hands. Hayes the Younger won’t be a Hawk next year or anything but should get a good look in Rockford.
His teammate Chris Calnan also scored this weekend, and has seven points on the year playing in the BC bottom six.
Staying in Hockey East, as that’s where Notre Dame now plies its trade. Stephen Johns is always pushed as the most ready, and some have speculated that he’s going straight from South Bend to Chicago whenever he decides he wants to sign. You can certainly look for him to be a Black Ace this year if he does. He’s 4-6-10 and +2 on the year.
His teammate, Vincent Hinostroza scored twice this past weekend against admittedly batting practice Alabama-Huntsville. Hinostroza has 16 points in 15 games after a pretty impressive turn at the World Juniors despite what looks to be a pretty slight frame. He’s going to need some time in South Bend and specifically in the gym, but worth watching as well.
Up the road a bit in Ann Arbor, Tyler Motte bagged an assist as the Wolverines got clocked twice in Madison by Wisconsin. He’s got nine points in 18 games in his Freshman year.
Sam Jardine has an assist for Ohio State as they got a win and a tie out of a weekend dance with Michigan State. His teammate Matt Tomkins started in goal for the tie, and made 25 saves. He’s got a .915 SV% on the year as he splits starts.
Ok, let’s head to the Great White North. After returning from Team USA his own damn self, Ryan Hartman managed an assist in two games this past weekend. He’s at 27 points in 27 games, though the -15 could probably use some work. Though Plymouth is the third worst team in the Western Conference in the OHL, so that probably doesn’t help.
Over in the Q, Dillon Fournier has 32 points in 37 games. He’s injured at the moment, and hasn’t played since the Q came back from its holiday break.
In the WHL, Travis Brown has 39 points in 43 games, which is good. He’s also -32, which is bad. Though again, Moose Jaw is down around the bottom of the Eastern Conference in the WHL, which might help inflate that. But -32 is -32.
And of course, in Europe Teuvo Tervainen has returned to Jokerit after a star turn for champions Finland at the World Juniors. He’s got 17 points in 30 games in the Finnish Elite League. Look for Teuvo to come over as soon as the Finnish season ends and probably pull some Black Ace duty as well, if not an ATO with Rockford for a few games if he’s back in time.