Thursday, July 9, 2015

Noticeable Prospects NOT Invited To Blackhawks Camp

The Chicago Blackhawks have released the names of those invited to this year's Prospect Camp that runs from July 12-17.  Among the anticipated prospects is newly acquired Marko Dano.  Dano is expected to make the starting roster in the upcoming season.

Others invited include all of the draft picks made by the Blackhawks in the NHL Draft two weeks ago.  Among those, Graham Knott, Dennis Gilbert, and Radovan Bondra.

Those returning to prove themselves to possibly make their claim to break the starting night roster are Mark McNeil, and Stephen Johns.  What is odd was that there were some notable omissions that were not invited to camp.  

Philip Danault, a 1st round pick (26th overall) in the 2011 Draft spent the last 2 years with the Rockford Ice Hogs.  Last year he played 70 games while accumulating 13G and 25A.  

Another surprise is that of Ville Pokka.  Pokka recorded 8G and 22A in 68 games for Rockford last year.  He was a key part of the Nick Leddy trade before the start of the season last year.  Pokka is an offensive defenseman that the Blackhawks are hoping to be a key player in the near future. 

Ryan Hartman, a 1st round pick (30th overall) in the 2013 Draft, played 69 games for the Ice Hogs last year and had 13G and 24A.  He played 5 games for the Blackhawks last year and was though to possibly break the roster as well.

Why none of these players were invited to camp is a bit of a mystery. One thought is that since the Blackhawks need to somehow trade any of Patrick Sharp, Bryan Bickell, or Kris Versteeg, they may need to sweeten the deal with other teams by possibly packaging a promising prospect (see players above) in order to make a deal and get draft picks and/or prospects in return.  The Blackhawks cannot afford to bring back any players in return that will hit their salary cap since they are trying to make room in order to bring back Marcus Kruger and Johnny Oduya.  Again, we must play the waiting game while Stan Bowman does his thing.

Below are all of the invited players to the 2015 Blackhawks Camp.


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