Justyna Gluch and Brennan Barry found themselves in rare form while attending the 2012 Prospect Camp for two days at Johnny’s Ice House. While taking in Thursday at both ice level and the upper stands for optimal coverage, Friday saw the two rubbing elbows with numerous staples of the Chicago Blackhawks media and organization in the designated “Media Only” section.
Some might call it infringement on the sanctity of “Do Not Cross” police tape. We like to call it “Seizing the Opportunity.” Regardless, with whatever vantage point, they barely blinked in order to provide the best possible overview of this year’s draft class…
Teuvo Teravainen-C/LW-18th overall
Shortly after being selected 18th overall in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Teravainen’s hands, stick handling and vision on the ice were widely compared to that of Patrick Kane, and he didn’t disappoint at camp. The versatile forward can play both wing and center, fares reasonably well at the face-off circle and avoids big hits like the plague, with the ability to change direction at the drop of a dime.
Teravainen displayed his keen vision and playmaking abilities notably while playing on a line with Terry Broadhurst and Mark McNeil during Friday’s scrimmage. It was an assist on Broadhurst’s second goal that opened many spectators’ eyes to exactly the type of player the Hawks selected. While his size was an apparent negative that caused teams concern, he was no less able to drive the puck to the net, avoiding most defensive attempts to stop him before a no-look pass to Broadhurst that found the twine.
Dillon Fournier-D-48th overall
N/A…as in did not attend.
Chris Calnan-RW-79th overall
Calnan had the pleasure and the handicap of skating on a line with Brandon Saad and Kevin Hayes on Friday. It was hard to tell weather Calnan was downright out-skilled by his line mates, or weather he was fulfilling a specific role. Either way it was hard for him to outshine or even stand out in their midst. After a few shifts of floating around, Calnan finally settled down in front of the net and waited for shots to redirect while Saad and Hayes worked the perimeter.
Overall, Jeremy Roenick’s nephew kept pace with Saad and Hayes, and was no more than a step behind on a few plays. While working the zone Saad found an open lane to pass the puck to Hayes, who in turn back passed it to Calnan. However Calnan was caught off-guard and missed a beautiful set up and possible scoring opportunity.
Garret Ross-LW-139th overall
Much like Calnan, Ross skated alongside some notable forwards: Pillip Danault, a center selected first round, 26th overall in 2011, and Joakim Nordstrom, a 2010 pick who landed a three-year contract with the Blackhawks on May 29. And much like Calnan, Ross was overshadowed by his line mates.
Ross often found himself battling for the puck in the corners and going to the dirty areas, and even had a few shots on goal when he found himself in the right place at the right time. However, he was unwilling to carry the puck, and upon receiving a pass he instantly looked for someone to dump it to, resulting in many unnecessary turnovers. With a little patience and confidence, there might be something to work with here.
Travis Brown-D-149th overall
Initial reports on Brown described him as “still developing” and “a little bit behind the curve,” and it definitely translated to his performance on the ice.
Brown was outclassed in every aspect of his game, often times turning over the puck in the neutral zone, on the power play and even in the defensive zone, directly resulting in a goal on free agent invitee, Andrew Hammond. He was outskated by the opposition and unable to keep pressure during an offensive rush. More often than not, it seemed Brown was shadowing Holl, rather than staying in position, and on several occasions he followed his defensive partner behind the net.
Despite the negative, Brown’s spirit wasn’t crushed, as his disposition on the bench and on every shift was very positive. The kid was not deflated by his lack of skill, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get him up to speed. In a draft class where a record-breaking eight defensemen were chosen with the top 10 picks, and 13 total in the first round, it was very unlikely that a fifth round pick would shine at prospect camp…but then again Andrew Shaw went 139th in the draft just a year prior.
Vincent Hinostroza-C-169th overall
What the Chicago native lacks in size, he makes up for in speed. The 5’9, 158lb center is fast, but he rarely skates with any purpose, more often than not skating right into the defense and ending up on his back. He does have a tendency to crash the net and cause traffic in front on the goalie, but the opposing defense is usually quick to react with a swift cross-check to the back of his head (hey, he IS short). He was also absolutely demolished at the dot by Brandon Saad, but I’d credit that more to Saad being awesome, than Hinostroza’s face-off abilities. If he can harness his speed, think before he skates, and put on a few pounds, there might be so potential there, but as it stands his ceiling is Michael Frolik.
Brandon Whitney-G-191st overall
N/A…as in didn’t see him.
Matt Tomkins-G-199th overall
Tomkins allowed two goals in the first period of Friday’s scrimmage. A bad turnover by free agent invitee, Miks Indrasis, resulted in a breakaway goal from Saad in the second frame, and another turnover at blue line resulted in a nifty goal from free agent invitee, Ryan Carpenter. Both Tomkins and Mac Carruth were replaced by free agent invitees half way through the second period.