The BN Blackhawks Top 10 Prospects Rankings (Summer 2022 Edition)

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The BN Blackhawks Top 10 Prospects Rankings (Summer 2022 Edition)

Chicago Blackhawks

As we turn our attention to the future of the Blackhawks, the next generation is the focus. Kyle Davidson has said it. And if you watched the team on the ice this past season, you know it. So let’s take a second to think about the future.

Earlier this week, the Blackhawks failed to win the NHL Draft Lottery. So the Hawks’ top pick in the 2022 NHL Draft (right now) will come at No. 38 overall in the second round. Chicago has hit in the second round in the last decade; notably Brandon Saad (No. 43 in 2011) and Alex DeBrincat (No. 39 in 2016).

But let’s take a moment to consider what the Hawks have in the system right now. Most analysts believe the Blackhawks have only one prospect who cracks a top-75/100 list across the entire NHL (Lukas Reichel). But that doesn’t mean the Hawks have no value in the system.

Who are the ten best prospects available to Davidson as he heads into his first summer as the general manager of the Hawks? Here’s our list.

1. Lukas Reichel, C/W

Age: Turns 20 on May 17
Acquired: 2020 NHL Draft — 1st round (No. 17 overall)
Shoots: Left
Ht: 6-0  Wt: 170
Contract Expires: 2024

In his first professional season, Reichel was impressive with Rockford. He led the team both in goals (21) and assists (36) and his 57 points are a new rookie record for the IceHogs. He appeared in 11 games with the Blackhawks this season, which means the club burned the first year of his ELC. Is that ideal? No. But he got valuable experience. He was used as a wing with the Blackhawks while up, so we’ll see if that’s his position moving forward. There’s a lot to like about his game; he brings speed and skill elements that the Hawks lacked at the NHL level this season.

2. Ian Mitchell, D

Age: 23
Acquired: 2017 NHL Draft — 2nd round (No. 57)
Shoots: Right
Ht: 5-11  Wt: 173
Contract Expires: 2023

We’ve talked about Mitchell some on the site recently as he’s become a big part of the IceHogs’ lineup. Mitchell has 47 games of NHL action on his resume over the past two seasons; he scored three goals with four assists in 39 games last year but spent most of the 2021-22 campaign in Rockford. His time in Rockford has been useful and, with Isaak Phillips as the IceHogs’ top pair, he has started to realize the complete game he showed at the University of Denver in a solid college career. He should be in the mix for regular minutes in Chicago next year, and I still firmly believe there’s a lot of upside to Mitchell’s future for the Blackhawks.

3. Alex Vlasic, D

Age: Turns 21 on June 5
Acquired: 2019 NHL Draft — 2nd round (No. 43)
Shoots: Left
Ht: 6-6  Wt: 200
Contract Expires: 2024

Vlasic had three good years at Boston University and signed with the Blackhawks late this year. He appeared in 15 games with the Blackhawks and averaged 14:19 on ice per night, including some limited short-handed action. Vlasic showed a willingness to move the puck or skate with it and was an effective shot blocker in Chicago. He did not get assigned to Rockford (Alec Regula did) for the AHL playoffs; Chicago opted to give him the summer off after appearing in 32 college games and 15 in the NHL this season.

4. Alec Regula, D

Age: Turns 22 on Aug. 6
Acquired: via trade from Detroit for F Brendan Perlini (Oct. 28, 2019)
Shoots: Right
Ht: 6-4  Wt: 208
Contract Expires: 2023

Regula was originally a third-round pick (No. 67 overall) by the Red Wings in the 2018 NHL Draft. His grandfather was the Wings’ team dentist for years, so getting traded away from his hometown team must have been awkward. Maybe payback for Chelios? We can only hope. Regula went pro last year after three really good seasons with the London Knights, where he was the captain. Derek King used Regula a lot this season; he averaged 17:53 over his 15 games and saw time on both special teams. Like Vlasic, he brings good size to the ice that the Hawks have lacked for some time. Maybe Stan Bowman’s final gift to the organization will be acquiring Regula for Perlini?

5. Arvid Söderblom, G

Age: Turns 23 on Aug. 19
Acquired: Signed as UDFA — May 2021
Ht: 6-0  Wt: 170
Contract Expires: 2023

We’ve discussed the Blackhawks’ plans in net for next year previously, and recently looked at some potential veteran additions before next season. What has become clear in recent weeks/months is the Blackhawks believe Söderblom could be a good NHL goaltender, and next season might be his first real opportunity to show that to the organization. He appeared in three NHL games this season.

6. Isaak Phillips, D

Age: 20
Acquired: 2020 NHL Draft — 5th round (No. 141)
Shoots: Left
Ht: 6-3  Wt: 205
Contract Expires: 2024

Phillips has emerged as a potential steal for the Hawks from the 2020 draft class. He saw four games of NHL action this season but spent the majority of the second half skating on Rockford’s top pair with Mitchell — and they’re really good together. He has good size and plays a physical game. You’ll notice that Vlasic, Regula and Phillips are all at least 6-foot-3 and north of 200 pounds. What was missing from the Hawks’ organizational depth as recently as three years ago — decent size on the back end — is now an area of strength. Phillips may get another year of run in Rockford to develop because of the crowded NHL roster, but he could be a real player in Chicago in the future.

7. Jakub Galvas, D

Age: Turns 23 on June 15
Acquired: 2017 NHL Draft — 5th round (No. 150)
Shoots: Left
Ht: 5-11  Wt: 161
Contract Expires: 2023

Galvas has been another nice development on the blue line in Rockford. He’s a solid, effective skater who moves the puck well. He appeared in six games with the Blackhawks this year; all five defensemen on our list got a cup of tea in the NHL this season. Glavas scored two goals with 18 assists in 59 games with the IceHogs this season.

8. Drew Commesso, G

Age: Turns 20 on July 19
Acquired: 2020 NHL Draft — 2nd round (No. 46)
Ht: 6-2  Wt: 180
Contract Expires: N/A

Commesso lost two potential World Juniors experiences to COVID over the past two years, but did get some run in the Winter Olympics after making the USA roster. He’s a good prospect with a lot of upside and may be the long-term answer in net for the Blackhawks, but expecting him at the United Center in the next 2-3 years might be a bit aggressive. He’s returning to Boston University for a junior season next year.

9. Landon Slaggert, W

Age: Turns 20 on June 25
Acquired: 2020 NHL Draft — 3rd round (No. 79)
Shoots: Left
Ht: 6-0  Wt: 182
Contract Expires: N/A

In an absolutely loaded Big Ten this year, Slaggert earned All-Big Ten Honorable Mention recognition after scoring 12 goals with 14 assists in 40 games. His brother, Graham, was one of the captains for the Fighting Irish this year. He finished the year tied for third on the team with three game-winning goals and scored a couple on the power play as well. He’s a projectable prospect who, like Commesso, was draft off the US National Under-18 team. I’d like to see him get some time in Rockford after another season in South Bend, but he could be a nice player down the road.

10. Colton Dach, C

Age: 19
Acquired: 2021 NHL Draft — 2nd round (No. 62)
Shoots: Left
Ht: 6-4  Wt: 196
Contract Expires: 2025

Kirby’s “little” brother has similar size and many fans were hoping the Blackhawks would keep the family together. Unlike his older brother, it appears the organization is going to give Colton time to develop. He is signed and reported to Rockford after a strong junior campaign that saw him score 29 goals with 50 assists in 61 games with the Kelowna Rockets in the WHL. He needs to work on his skating, but getting into the professional ranks will give the Hawks the ability to help him work on that aspect of his game.

Just Missed

Michal Teplý, F
Josiah Slavin, F
Nolan Allan, D
Mike Hardman
, F
Andrei Altybarmakyan
, F
Evan Barratt
, F
Wyatt Kalynuk
, D (2022 RFA)
Wyatt Kaiser, D
Jaxson Stauber
, G

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab