This is something I haven’t done in a while, and I’ll try and get back to it every so often. As we’ve seen this season, the Hawks are going to be plugging in future holes with kids through the system, because a flattening cap isn’t going to provide them much room for any other method and no big money coming off the books soon. Might even be worse when Panarin cashes in here after the Hawks refuse to play hardball.
Any talk about the Hawks’ pipeline starts with Alex DeBrincat. And don’t you worry, he’s still getting in up the elbow on the OHL, with 60 points in 28 games. His OHL season is going to go on hold for a bit, because he’s on the preliminary roster for the US Junior roster and is pretty much a lock to be on the main one when things kick off on Boxing Day. You’ll actually get to watch him. Should be fun.
Bouncing around the rest of the junior leagues, training camp legend Alex Fortin is at a point per game in the Q, which is usually standard for that league. But it’s better than he’s done in the past so choose to be positive about the upturn.
Out west, John Dahlstrom, who should be on the Sweden roster for the Juniors, is at a point per game in the WHL, which is the opposite of the Q as that’s the defensive, we like to send our children to punch each other league. Radovan Bondra is also at a point per game for Vancouver.
The Hawks are sporting some shiny things in the college ranks. Matteson Iacopelli is leading in the NCHC in goals. Both in juniors and college, much like baseball, age and level are important to keep in mind. Iacopelli doing this as a sophomore is worth noting. Which goes against John Hayden who is at Yale, who is a senior even though he’s up near a goal per game. Same goes for Anthony Louis at Miami of Ohio.
Luc Snuggerud at UNO is also up around a point per game in his junior season.
Our good friend at The Athletic, Scott Powers, has been keeping tabs in the KHL on Maxim Shalunov. This blog was certainly curious about Shalunov in 2013 when he was featured on the Russian junior team. He spent a year in Rockford that didn’t go particularly well, and he went back to the Motherland and looked to be a passing fantasy.
However, the Hawks still own his rights and he’s been kicking ass in KHL this season. He’s gone for 16-14-30 in 29 games. The buzz has been that he’d still be amenable to trying his luck in the USA, and seeing as how he has the size of a power forward maybe he just needed more time to figure it out. If I can play a hunch, look for the Hawks to at least make an attempt to bring him to camp next year and have a look.