I don't know about you but it often seems to me that the simplest designs are quite often the most effective. Here the Chicago Blackhawks shoulder patch consists of a 'C' that is crisscrossed by a pair of tomahawks. The Capital letter 'C' is consistent with the logos of both the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cubs and the addition of the war clubs is a perfect final touch. They've been in use for decades now and for good reason. Sharp!
1st pick last year: Dylan Olsen (Minnesota-Duluth, WCHA) - The Hawks grabbed Olsen with the 28th pick of the first round last year when he was playing with Camrose of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. This year at Duluth the 6'3, 220 lb bruising D-man had a goal and 10 helpers with 49 penalty minutes in 36 games. In junior 'A' he racked up 123 penalty minutes and 29 points during his final season. (Photo: Clint Austin Duluth News)
The Good: Niklas Hjalmarsson (108th overall, 2005) - So putting aside Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews for this preview, I go with Hjalmarsson. He was so good this year the Hawks felt comfortable enough to trade a guy they took 3rd overall in Cam Barker. The big Swede isn’t spectacular, but a solid top-4 guy for the Hawks, which is pretty good for a 4th round pick.
The Bad: Igor Makorov (33rd Overall, 2006) - It’s a good thing the Hawks hit a grand slam with Jonathan Toews in 2006, as no one else has played an NHL game from the group Chicago drafted that year. The biggest disappointment has to be Igor Makorov, whom Chicago took with the 3rd pick in round 2. He’s still in Russia, and he’s not even lighting up the KHL; Makorov had just 9 points in 51 games this year.
The Unkown: Billy Sweatt (38th overall, 2007) - Hawk fans are hoping good things come to those who wait. Sweatt went the distance at Colorado College where he had OK numbers in his first 3 seasons, but put up 33 points in 39 games in his senior campaign. The winger has tons of speed and average size. A year or 2 in the AHL and he should be NHL ready, although with Chicago’s cap problems a good showing at training camp might accelerate his career path.
Coming Down the Pipe: Chicago will be hoping that Kyle Beach and Akim Aliu take the next step in the next couple of years, that is if they can get along. The two were involved in a food fight last year while in Rockford that saw them both sent home. However the guy who’s knocking on the door, and will likely be with the big club next year is 2005 first round pick Jack Skille. He played 6 games with Chicago this year as he was a cap casualty. Stan Bowman will make room for him next year though after a 23-goal season in Rockford.
Draft Trends: Chicago hasn’t taken a European in the first round since Anton Babchuk in 2002, and last year only Swede Marcus Kruger was drafted from across the pond. Chicago hasn’t selected a goalie since Josh Unice in 2007, and he’s now playing University hockey in Canada.
2010 Prediction, 30th Overall:
Dean Millard: Jared Tinordi (NTDP) - Tinordi is a giant at 6'5 and already over 200 pounds and he packs a mean punch. The son of former NHL blueliner Mark Tinordi, Jared is fairly agile for a big man and knows when to throw the thunderous open ice hits. He doesn’t provide a lot of offence, but if teamed up with last year’s first round pick Dylan Olsen in the future, he will be a nightmare for opposing forwards cutting across the middle or in the corners. (Photo: Pekka Mononen IIHF Images)
Guy Flaming: Riley Sheahan (Notre Dame, CCHA) - The forward had a good (not great) freshman year for an underachieving Fighting Irish squad. The Ontario native apparently told teams at the combine he'd consider jumping to the OHL and after getting into some legal trouble recently, that might be a god move. At 6'2 and 200 lbs he's got size and the Hawks have the depth to be patient and let his game develop.