Chicago Blackhawks: Meet the 5 Newest Hawks Under Entry-Level Contract
The Chicago Blackhawks had a busy week signing some of their recent draft picks. GM Stan Bowman got five names on NHL entry-level contracts, including three players whose rights the 'Hawks were about to lose (via Sports World Report).
It's doubtful that we will see any of these players with the Blackhawks in the 2012-13 season. Some will finish their junior careers, while others may see time in Chicago's affiliates in the AHL or the ECHL.
Here is a look at each of the five signings, each of whom inked three-year deals.
Mac Carruth, G
Notes: Carruth just finished his second season as the starting goalie of the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. He just finished the playoffs with Portland losing four games to three to Edmonton in the league finals. He finished the playoffs with a 2.89 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage in 22 games.
That came after 63 regular-season games, where Carruth posted a 2.96 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage. Carruth also helped Portland to the WHL Finals in 2010-11.
I would expect Carruth to either back up a veteran in Rockford or get steady time in net in Toledo in the ECHL.
Kent Simpson, G
Notes: Simpson was one of Chicago's second-round picks in 2010 (Justin Holl and Steven Johns are still in college). He was in net for 60 games for the Everett Silvertips of the WHL, going 20-31-2-5 with a 3.33 goals against average and a .909 save percentage.
Rockford fans got a glimpse of Simpson when he was signed to a tryout agreement late in the season. He allowed three goals but made 38 saves in the IceHogs' season finale, a 4-3 shootout loss to Charlotte.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Simpson use his final year of junior eligibility next season, though that may come down to how he performs in training camp.
Joakim Nordstrom, F
Weight: 160 pounds
Notes: The 'Hawks selected Nordstrom in the third round of the 2010 NHL Draft. He got into 47 games for AIK in the Swedish Elite League last season, scoring three goals and three assists.
Nordstrom also played on Sweden's gold medal-winning entry in the 2012 World Junior Championships. He had four goals (second on the team) and an assist in those six games.
I'm not sure that Nordstrom is ready to bang in the AHL just yet. He may stay in Europe for another season.
Notes: As Chicago's second third-rounder in 2011, Dahlbeck has spend much of the last two seasons with Linkoping in the SEL. In 55 games last season, he had two goals and two assists. The season before, he had eight assists in 47 games.
Depending on how the rest of the summer goes, Dahlbeck could find his way to North America. A lot will depend on if Dylan Olsen is slated for Chicago or Rockford and if Shawn Lalonde has a future in the organization.
Notes: Clendening drafted in the second round last summer along with Brandon Saad, and decided to start his pro career after his sophomore season at Boston University.
A former member of the United States National Team Development Program, Clendening totaled 59 points (nine goals, 50 assists) and was a combined plus-19 in 77 college games. The organization seems impressed by the potential he brings.
Rockford seems a good bet for Clendening to make his professional debut in 2012-13.