The 2010 NHL Draft is over and many writers are doing their analysis of the picks that their team (or teams) have made. Fans are wondering just who their team picked and what this means for the future of the franchise.
How will these new players be able to help their respective teams, either immediately or in the future? Who are these new guys, where did they come from, and what have they done before?
Let’s find out by taking a look at the first four prospects in the Blackhawks 2010 NHL Draft.
Kevin Hayes was drafted 24th overall by the Hawks. Hayes is a right wing and he comes to the Blackhawks from Nobel and Greenough in Massachusetts High School. His brother was also drafted by the Hawks during the 2010 NHL Draft.
Hayes is known to play a very intense game and has a lot of passion for hockey. He’s a solid playmaker who has the size (6’2”, 201 pounds) to play fast and with power. He is a strong skater who protects the puck well and keeps it away from opposing defensemen.
His puck shooting prowess is very good as he has a quick release and good puck control when bringing it through the trash on the ice.
Hayes can also help out with the assist as well because of his ability to pass the puck well. This allows him to work well with his teammates to understand where passes will be coming from and where the play is going.
He’s a very intelligent player and knows the ins and outs of the game. He does the little things very well and has a deep understanding of the game.
Hayes was part of the USA Team in the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and later on that year he played for the Cape Cod Whalers Under 18 Midget team.
Hayes will play at Boston College this coming fall.
After trading the 30th pick in draft to the New York Islanders for the Islander’s 35th and 58th selection, the Blackhawks drafted Ludvig Rensfeldt with the 35th pick. Rensfeldt, a product of Brynas Junior out of Sweden, plays left wing and is very tall (standing 6’3”) which is ideal for the game.
Some of the skills that he possesses include the ability shoot the puck or hold back to pass the puck to someone else depending on what the situation is.
He is also noted to be a very hard working player as well as strong competitor who likes to win. Rensfeldt also has the size that will allow him to gain position and work his way though others to get to the puck and win some of those battles.
There are some scouts out there that say that Rensfeldt does not play to his fullest ability and he fails to be consistent. He also struggles with some basic mechanics, like shooting the puck with wrist shots and has issues with strength at times. Some say that he isn’t the fastest skater on the ice either.
Rensfeldt is a big hitter though, but he’s not very consistent when it comes to playing physical and being aggressive. He has a lot of talent, but may just need some time to develop.
Some of the honors that Rensfeldt earned prior to coming to the Hawks include playing in the Under 18 World Championships this year and being one of the top three players on the team (which won a silver medal). He has ranked fourth in his league and second on his team with 50 points in 39 games.
The Hawks took the 43rd pick in the draft and traded it to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchage for Jimmy Hayes, the brother of first round pick Kevin Hayes. With the 54th pick in the draft, the Blackhawks took defensemen Justin Holl out of Minnetonka High School in Minnesota.
The first thing that you will notice about Holl is his size. He stands 6'2 and although he doesn’t pack a lot of weight, he can use his height to gain position.
He also can move around the ice well with speed and help provide offense from the defenseman position. In regards to his skills as a defenseman, he does struggle at times with his zone coverage and needs to work on that but overall, his skills are pretty good.
Holl had a great offensive season at Minnetonka and he is sure to grow during his time on college. While at Minnetonka, Holl helped lead his team to the 6AA Championship. He was also a finalist for the Mr. Hockey Award in the state of Minnesota and played for the Omaha Lancers in the United States Hockey League.
With the 58th pick in the draft, the Blackhawks took goalie Kent Simpson. Simpson played with Everett in the Western Hockey League and comes to the Hawks as pretty much a developmental pick.
Some of the positives that Simpson brings to the table for the Hawks include size and his ability to cover the whole net. He gets good position when the puck is coming his way. One thing that’s key for any of these guys (the ones that are drafted) is that they have steadily improved each and every season they've played.
Simpson has good body control while in the net and can control the rebound well. He stays still in the net watching the puck come down the ice and then makes his breaks on the puck in well timed movements. Simpson prefers to stop the shot (cover it up) and not necessarily slap it away.
Some highlights of Simpson’s career recording a shutout, being a member of Team Canada at the 2010 Under 18 World Championship, being a member of Team Pacific at the 2008 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge, and being named the 2009-2010 Everett Silvertips Scholastic Player of the Year.
Next : We will take a look the next four picks in the Blackhawks 2010 NHL Draft class.