Chicago Blackhawks Season Preview: Meet the IceHogs

Lost in the shuffle amid all the roster moves that were made today by the Chicago Blackhawks as they prepare for their regular season opener on Friday was the fact that the roster for the Rockford IceHogs, their AHL affiliate, was solidified as well. Several players who were sent down today, including Brandon Pirri, Dylan Olsen, and Marcus Kruger, undoubtedly will be looked at to make a big impact on the upcoming season for the Hogs, who are coming off a disappointing season in which they finished in last place in the West Division. The injury-depleted Blackhawks didn’t help matters in terms of prying players away from Rockford, but so is the life of an AHL affiliate.

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Training Camp Primer: Recapping & Grading the Blackhawks’ Offseason

In contrast to the 2010 off-season, the summer of 2011 was a relatively quiet one for the Chicago Blackhawks. Sure, there were still trades that took place and signings galore, but the attachment that fans felt to the players who had so recently won the Stanley Cup made it more difficult to see guys like Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien go to other places.

With more fans tuning in to see what the Blackhawks are up to as they prepare for the regular season, which is only 18 days away, The Sports Bank is here to give you a quick and dirty recap of all the moves that the Blackhawks have made since Alex Burrows swiped the puck from Chris Campoli and scored the series winner that sent Chicago home.

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NHL, Blackhawks Just had a Draft Too!


By Paul M. Banks

If you’re still recovering from the NBA Draft and/or caught up in MLB interleague rivalry match-ups, you might have missed the NHL entry draft on Friday and Saturday. Now that hockey is now officialy back in the nation’s greatest sports city, I’ll fill you in on what happened. With the help of the Hawks media relations department of course. The following information is from the Blackhawks official press releases.

The Chicago Blackhawks completed the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday. On Friday, Chicago drafted defenseman Dylan Olsen from the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League with its first round selection (28th overall).

Blackhawks 2009 NHL Draft Recap:

First Round: Dylan Olsen, D, Camrose Kodiaks (28th overall)

The Chicago Blackhawks have selected defenseman Dylan Olsen from the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the 28th selection of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Friday night.

Olsen, 18, paced Camrose blueliners with 10 goals and registered 29 points and 123 penalty minutes in 53 games last season, his second in the AJHL. The Salt Lake City, Utah, native also collected four points (2G, 2A) and a +4 plus/minus rating in six games with Team Canada at the 2009 Under-18 IIHF World Championships.

Olsen (6-2, 206), who was selected to the 2009 Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects game, has committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth for 2009-10. He has racked up 168 penalty minutes and 53 points (18G, 35A) in 102 career games over two seasons with Camrose. During his first campaign with the club, Olsen helped the Kodiaks capture the 2008 AJHL championship and the 2008 Doyle Cup (a best-of-seven series against the BCHL champion) before losing in the final of the Canadian Junior ‘A’ championship to the Humboldt Broncos (Saskatchewan).

The Blackhawks 28th overall selection on Friday marked their latest in the first round in franchise history (46 previous NHL Drafts). nhl_draft

Second Round: Brandon Pirri, C, Georgetown Raiders (59th overall)

Third Round: Daniel DeLisle, C/LW, Totino-Grace High School (89th overall)

Fourth Round: Byron Froese, C, Everett Silvertips (119th overall)

Fifth Round: Marcus Kruger, C, Djurgarden/Djurgarden Jr., Sweden (149th overall)

Sixth Round: David Pacan, C, Cumberland Grads (177th overall)*

Seventh Round: Paul Phillips, D, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (195th overall)**

Seventh Round: David Gilbert, C, Quebec Remparts (209th overall)

* Selection acquired from the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday, in exchange for the Blackhawks’ fifth round pick in 2010

** Selection acquired from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Magnus Johansson on Jan. 10, 2008

Blackhawks Saturday (Rounds Two through Seven) Draft Pick Bios:

Pirri, 18, ranked third in the Ontario Junior Hockey League with 46 goals and 94 points in just 44 games with the Streetsville Derbys and Georgetown Raiders. The Toronto native started the regular season with Streetsville, posting 49 points (21G, 28A) in 18 contests before being traded to Georgetown for the final 26 matchups (25G, 20A). He paced Georgetown with eight goals, 13 assists and 21 points in 14 postseason tilts, leading the club to the division finals. Pirri (6-0, 160), who is slated to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (ECAC) in the fall, has racked up 144 points (64G, 80A) in 84 career OJHL games spanning two seasons with Streetsville (2007-09) and Georgetown (2008-09).

DeLisle, 18, led Totino-Grace High School in Fridley, Minnesota with 30 goals, 22 assists and 52 points in 24 games during the 2008-09 season. A native of Minneapolis, DeLisle (6-4, 222) captained Totino-Grace during his senior campaign and finished as a finalist for the Mr. Hockey Award, given to the outstanding senior boys high school hockey player in the state of Minnesota. He is committed to attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the fall.

Froese, 18, ranked second on the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips with 38 assists and third with 57 points while appearing in all 72 regular-season games as a rookie. The Winkler, Manitoba, native’s 38 assists ranked third among WHL rookies, while his 57 points finished fourth. Froese (5-11, 191) also dished out three assists in five postseason tilts with the Silvertips. He was a member of Team Canada at the 2009 IIHF Under-18 World Championships, posting seven points (4G, 3A) in six contests.

Kruger, 19, made his Swedish Elite League debut with Djurgarden last season, posting four points (2G, 2A) and two penalty minutes in 15 games. The Stockholm native spent the majority of the campaign with Djurgarden Jr. (Sweden-Jr.) registering 30 assists, 39 points and a +21 plus/minus rating in 34 contests. Kruger (5-11, 172) also recorded six points (G, 5A) in six postseason tilts with Djurgarden Jr.

Pacan, 18, ranked fourth on the Central Junior A Hockey League’s Cumberland Grads with 60 points and held fifth with 22 goals and 38 assists in 58 games. The Ottawa, Ontario, native bagged ten of his 22 goals on the power play during the regular season, second-best on the club, while his 78 penalty minutes finished third. He paced the club with six assists and ranked second with eight points in six postseason outings. Pacan (6-3, 187) has spent the last two seasons with Cumberland, racking up 94 points (34G, 60A) and 108 penalty minutes in 118 regular-season matchups. hawksdraft

Phillips, 17, ranked second among Cedar Rapids (United States Hockey League) defensemen with eight goals, 25 assists and 33 points (8th-best among USHL defensemen) while being one of two players to skate in all 60 regular-season games. The Darien, Illinois, native collected 15 (3G, 12A) of his 33 points on the power play, while also finishing his second USHL campaign with six penalty minutes in five postseason outings. Phillips (6-1, 195), who is committed to attend Denver University (WCHA) in the fall, collected 36 points (9G, 27A) and 81 penalty minutes in 103 career regular-season matchups with Cedar Rapids.

Gilbert, 18, ranked eighth on the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 32 assists and tied for eighth with 43 points in 67 regular-season games. The Chateauguay, Quebec, native finished second among team centers with a 54.0 faceoff winning percentage during the regular season before collecting six goals and eight points in 17 postseason tilts to help the Remparts reach the QMJHL semifinals. Gilbert (6-2, 176) made his QMJHL debut in 2007-08, accruing 14 points (7G, 7A) in 28 outings with Quebec.

There were a ton of trades on draft day too, such as….blackhawks

NY Islanders traded pick #56 in the 2009 Entry Draft to Columbus for picks
#62 and #92 in 2009.

Florida traded D Jay Bouwmeester to Calgary for D Jordan Leopold and pick
#67 in the 2009 Entry Draft.

Calgary traded picks #84 and #107 in the 2009 Entry Draft to Los Angeles for pick #74 in 2009.

NY Islanders traded pick #91 in the 2009 Entry Draft to Phoenix for a 3rd-round pick in 2010.

Atlanta traded pick #95 in the 2009 Entry Draft to Los Angeles for picks #117, #120 and #203 in 2009.

Minnesota traded picks #99 and #133 in the 2009 Entry Draft to Edmonton for C Kyle Brodziak and pick #161 in 2009.

Los Angeles traded picks #107 and #138 in the 2009 Entry Draft to Florida for Florida’s 3rd-round pick in 2010.

Washington traded D Sami Lepisto to Phoenix for Phoenix’s 5th-round pick in 2010.

Pittsburgh traded unsigned draft choice G Chad Johnson to NY Rangers for pick #151 in the 2009 Entry Draft.

Nashville traded pick #148 in the 2009 Entry Draft to Tampa Bay for a 5th-round pick in 2010.

Los Angeles traded C Brian Boyle to NY Rangers for a 3rd-round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft.

Calgary traded D Jim Vandermeer to Phoenix for C Brandon Prust.

Atlanta traded pick #177 in the 2009 Entry Draft to Chicago for a 5th-round pick in 2010.

Dallas traded pick #189 in the 2009 Entry Draft to San Jose for San Jose’s 6th-round pick in 2010.

Phoenix traded pick #187 in the 2009 Entry Draft to Vancouver for the rights to D Shaun Heshka.

Edmonton traded pick #191 in the 2009 Entry Draft to Ottawa for a 6th-round pick in 2010.

Nashville traded pick #202 in the 2009 Entry Draft to St. Louis for St.
Louis’ 7th-round pick in 2010.

Pittsburgh traded pick #211 in the 2009 Entry Draft to Montreal for a 6th-round pick in 2010.

210 players were selected from 11 countries. Following is a breakdown of 2009 Entry Draft selections by birthplace:

Canada            102
United States    55
Sweden            24
Finland          10
Russia            7
Slovakia          5
Czech Republic    3
Belarus          1
Denmark          1
Germany          1
United Kingdom    1
Total            210