Every summer we take a look back five years at how the respective Chicago teams drafted, and how the players from those classes are (or, in many cases, aren’t) impacting the respective franchises. We’ve already looked back at the 2010 drafts for the
Now, let’s look back at the Blackhawks draft class from immediately after they won the Stanley Cup for the first time in nearly 50 years.
- For a complete look at every Blackhawks draft class since 1991, click here.
In 2010, the Hawks were in a very different place than they are today. Chicago won a dramatic Stanley Cup, but the salary cap led to an immediate exodus for almost half of that championship roster. Names like Byfuglien, Ladd and Versteeg were headed out of town as Stan Bowman tried to piece together a roster for the team’s title defense – and build a prospect pipeline that was left lacking any real NHL talent.
When Bowman surveyed the internal options to fill out the roster, the top names in the organization were… Jack Skille and Kyle Beach. Gulp.
What makes 2010 stand out in Hawks history is it was the first draft that Bowman was personally responsible for as GM of the Blackhawks. And, as we look back, trends that still stand up today started to play out in his draft day strategy.
Thanks to trades before and during the 2010 NHL Draft, the Hawks ended up with 10 selections over seven rounds.
With the 24th overall pick, the Blackhawks selected a high school player headed to Boston College named Kevin Hayes.
Hayes would play four years at BC, three of which were less than stellar. His junior year ended prematurely when he was suspended by the team for an off-ice incident and then a nasty injury soon after his return. Hayes’ senior year was a fantastic success, skating next to “Johnny Hockey” Goudreau, and the big center suddenly felt that he had options.
Last summer, Hayes decided against signing with the Hawks and instead signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers. In 79 games, the rookie posted 17 goals and added 28 assists for a very good 45-point campaign.
The Hawks will receive a second round pick (54th overall) in this week’s draft as compensation for Hayes leaving as a free agent.
Chicago’s second pick, the first of four in the second round that year, was the 34th overall selection, where they picked forward Ludvig Rensfeldt. The Hawks acquired this pick and another second (#58 – goaltender Kent Simpson) from the New York Islanders during the draft in exchange for their first round pick (#30 overall, used on forward Brock Nelson).
Rensfeldt has yet to play an NHL game, and spent the 2014-15 season in Sweden.
Simpson never matriculated to the NHL with the Hawks, and his rights were included in the trade sending Nick Leddy to those same Islanders before the 2014-15 season.
Between the Rensfeldt and Simpson selections, the Hawks selected another college-bound player. Defensemen Justin Holl was headed to Minnesota, where he skated four years for the Gophers. He signed with the Hawks’ AHL affiliate this season and played 66 games for the ECHL’s Indy Fuel before moving up to join Rockford this past season.
Chicago’s fourth pick in the second round may ultimately hold the most promise moving forward. With the 60th overall selection, the Blackhawks picked yet another college-bound player, defenseman Stephen Johns.
Johns played four years at Notre Dame and played his first professional season with Rockford last season. Unfortunately, his season was interrupted by injuries twice, with one cutting his postseason short. But he figures to be in the mix for the Blackhawks roster when training camp opens this fall as the Hawks deal with another round of cap-caused losses this summer.
With their third round pick, #90 overall, the Hawks selected Joakim Nordstrom. The young forward was named the captain of the IceHogs for the 2014-15 season and already played 54 regular season games with the Hawks. Nordstrom has also appeared in 10 NHL playoff games already as well, and could be in the mix for a fourth line role this fall as well.
Among the other four picks made by the Blackhawks in 2010, two others are in the organization today. Defenseman Nick Mattson, who played four years at North Dakota, recently signed an AHL contract with the IceHogs as his collegiate career came to a close. Chicago picked Mattson at the end of the sixth round (#180 overall).
Chicago’s final selection in the 2010 Draft was goaltender Mac Carruth, the second netminder they selected that summer. Now 23, Carruth has played 10 games over the last two seasons with Rockford with stops in the ECHL as well. As is the case with many goaltenders, Carruth’s development is coming along slowly and he may find his way to the NHL at some point.
The book is still out on the 2010 NHL Draft for the Blackhawks, and time will tell if someone from this group makes an impact on the ice at the United Center some day soon.