Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman, like a lot of other NHL executives, has delved into college hockey to bolster his organizational depth. Free agent players from the ranks of the NCAA have found some leverage at the high end of the talent pool in recent seasons. So much so that Bowman has found the need to sweeten the pot to get at some of that talent.
Has it paid off? Well, you got to see Kyle Baun Tusday and Thursday nights. I certainly don’t see him in an Indian head sweater come fall, but the former Colgate standout was able to parlay interest from a host of NHL teams into a cup of coffee in the show and a year burned off his two-year entry deal.
Time’s gonna tell on guys like Baun and Tanner Kero (formerly of Michigan Tech) as to whether or not they can someday break into an NHL lineup. However, the ship has likely sailed on a much-heralded player who, at the time of his signing, was seen by some as a potential top-six center.
I’m talking, of course, about Drew LeBlanc. Just so you know…he’s not.