New Prospect Rankings, Chance In Red, Grapes Talks Toews, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

This week, The Athletic is rolling out their under-22 organizational rankings. As a reminder, at the mid-point of last season they had the Blackhawks fifth in the league — before they landed Connor Bedard and Oliver Moore (and the rest of the Blackhawks’ 2023 draft selections). I’ll also note that fifth overall was with no tape of Frank Nazar at the University of Michigan. Now, this is not a prospect ranking, but it considers all players who are under 22. So the New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks could make a legit case for the top spot. But it’s hard for me to think the Blackhawks aren’t in one of the top three overall spots.

They rolled out spots 25-32 on Monday. The only team to appear thus far in the Blackhawks’ division is the Colorado Avalanche at No. 25. Boston comes in dead last this year, followed by the Lightning, Islanders, Penguins, Oilers, Maple Leafs and Golden Knights.

One other note that came to mind as I looked at the teams at the bottom was the lack of high draft picks for the teams that lack young players. The Blackhawks own a first or second-round pick originally belonging to the Lightning, Leafs (two) and Islanders in the coming three drafts. Pittsburgh has two picks in the first six rounds in the 2024 draft. And Toronto has two of their six picks in the next three first two rounds remaining. So all of these teams better hit while it’s hot. And Toronto is going to have a decision to make with Auston Matthews and William Nylander in the coming 10 months.

  • Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper took the stage at the United Center this weekend, and he was wearing the iconic red home sweater of your Chicago Blackhawks. Love to see it!
  • The Chicago Tribune reported on Monday that the former home of Joel Quenneville in Hinsdale sold for $5 million in June. Q sold the property in 2021 for $4.27 million. So a nice little profit for the subsequent owner.
  • Over the weekend, Grapes talked about 19. Don Cherry, the best/worst dressed man in sports who never met a pocket square he couldn’t color coordinate with, had some thoughts about former Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. Being the proud Canadian he is, Cherry focused his comments on the ridiculous performance of Toews at the World Juniors in which he became a bit of a folk hero for his shootout performance against the United States. But he concluded that the Blackhawks are going to miss the Captain. He’s right.
  • Finally, it’s the time of year when a guy tweaking something isn’t ideal. And it looks like the Chicago Bears are going to deal with another injury for Teven Jenkins. My hope: Hinsdale Central (and Illinois) grad Doug Kramer gets some action. He looked good against Indy this weekend.
  • written by

    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

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