2021 TSP: Chicago Blackhawks Prospects

Lukas Reichel, 2021 Chicago Blackhawks Prospects
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Welcome to the 2021 Top Shelf Prospects series. As we go through the Summer of 2021 LWOH will be featuring a team-by-team look at the top prospects in the NHL. You can find all the articles here.  Since we had an extensive NHL Draft preview, we will not be reviewing the players who were drafted in the 2021 draft, as there have been no games since then, and our reports on them will not have changed. Today, we look at the 2021 Chicago Blackhawks Prospects.

What we will be doing is linking you to those articles, as well as taking a look at prospects that were acquired before this year’s draft; their progress, and their chances of making the 2021-22 roster of the NHL team in question. We will also bring you one sleeper pick – a player who was either drafted in the 4th-round or later, or was an undrafted free agent signing who we pick as our dark horse to make the NHL. For those wondering, the cut-off for what is or isn’t a prospect is typically about 50 NHL games played (including playoff games) or is 25 years old. These are not hard or fast rules though, and we may make some exceptions depending on the circumstances.

2021 Chicago Blackhawks Prospects

Blackhawks Off-Season

After missing the playoffs, the Blackhawks have been one of the busiest teams in the NHL this off-season. They traded away Duncan Keith, Adam Boqvist, Nikita Zadorov, and a number of draft picks including the 12th overall pick in the 2021 Draft while adding two marquee names in Seth Jones and Marc-Andre Fleury. They also made a solid under-the-radar signing in defenceman Jake McCabe and traded for Tyler Johnson, helping Tampa to dump his contract. The biggest addition may be an internal one though. After missing all of 2020-21 with an immune system issue, Jonathan Toews is skating and should be back for the new season. General manager Stan Bowman has clearly signalled that missing the playoffs again will not be acceptable and that he wants the Hawks to rise back up the standings. Now it’s up to the team to do it on the ice.

2021 NHL Draft Picks: Nolan AllanColton Dach, Taige Harding, Ethan Del MastroVictor Stjernborg, Ilya Safonov, Connor Kelley, Jalen Luypen
Graduations: Kirby Dach, Philipp Kurashev, Adam Boqvist (traded), Pius Suter (free agent), John Quenneville (expansion),

 

2021 Chicago Blackhawks Top Prospect: Lukas Reichel

Left Wing — shoots Left
Born May 17th, 2002 — Nuernberg, Germany
Height 6’0″ — Weight 170 lbs [183 cm/77 kg]
Drafted by Chicago Blackhawks in the 1st round, #17 overall, at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

Reichel spent last season with Berlin in Germany’s top men’s league. He put up 10 goals and 27 points in 38 games. He also added two goals and five points in nine playoff games. Reichel helped Berlin to the DEL Championship. He also played for the German team at the Men’s World Championships, scoring two goals and six points in nine games.

Skating

Reichel is a very good skater. He shows good speed and power in his stride. His explosive first step and good acceleration make him dangerous off the rush. He also has very good agility and edgework, allowing him to make quick cuts and get away from defenders both with and without the puck. Reichel’s skating makes him tough to contain in one-on-one situations. He also has a very strong lower body for his age. He can fight through checks and get to the dirty areas of the ice. Reichel has very good balance. It is tough to knock him off the puck. He could stand to build up a stronger upper body though, as this will help him to also win battles for loose pucks.

Offensive Game

Reichel scores the majority of his goals in tight to the net. He has quick hands and can deke a goalie in tight, or get the puck up quickly into a tight area. He also can bang in a rebound, quickly one-time a pass, or deflect in a teammate’s shot. From further out, his wrist shot is very accurate and features a good release. Reichel’s quick hands allow him to toe-drag and quickly change the angle before shooting. His shot also has decent power. This is also true of his one-timer. He gets it off effectively but still has room to add a bit more velocity. As he gets stronger, this may help his game.

Reichel can also play the role of a playmaker. His strong possession skills help him to control the puck down low and extend plays. This can help him to set up teammates for scoring chances once they get open. Reichel combines his skating ability with his quick hands, and if a defender gives him a little too much room, he can make a quick move and drive the puck to the net. His soft hands can also lead to a quick dangle and then a pass to a teammate. He is also effective as a forechecker, pressuring defenders and forcing them to make mistakes. Once they do, he can quickly take advantage with excellent vision and a knack for knowing where his linemates will be.

Defensive Game

Reichel’s defensive game is a bit of a work in progress. He needs to be more consistent in keeping his feet moving in the defensive zone. Reichel has a tendency to be caught flat-footed at times which lets his man get away from him and be open for a pass. There are other times where he supports the defence down low and applies effective backpressure against the rush. Other times he can leave the defensive zone early, looking for the long stretch pass to create something in the transition game. Reichel is a smart enough player in the offensive end, that he should be able to play better defensively once he matures and is coached effectively on his responsibilities.

Outlook

Reichel has the skills to develop into a top-six winger at the NHL level. He will need some time to continue to develop though. Putting muscle on his frame and rounding out his defensive game are the main concerns right now. He will likely play another season in Europe next year, and be a huge part of the German team on the national stage going forward.

 

#2 Prospect: Nicolas Beaudin

Left Defence — shoots Left
Born October 9th, 1999 — Chateauguay, Quebec
Height 5’11” — Weight 175 lbs [180 cm / 79 kg]
Drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1st round, #27 overall at the 2018 NHL Draft.

Beaudin had a strong year in his second year as a professional. He played 19 games for the Blackhawks, putting up two goals and six points in 19 games. He also played nine games with the IceHogs, putting up two goals and 10 points. Beaudin finished the year playing with Team Canada at the World Championships scoring one assist in 10 games and winning a gold medal.

Skating

Beaudin is a slightly above-average skater but given his size deficiency, he must continue to improve to reach his ceiling in the NHL. His speed is good going forwards and he has worked hard to improve his first step and acceleration. His stride is getting smoother. He has the speed to be strong on the rush or to go back quickly to retrieve dump-ins to his corner. Beaudin also needs to continue to work on his backwards skating, as he can have some issues defending against quicker forwards. Beaudin has a strong lower body and good balance. He is strong on the puck and battles well given his size deficiency. His pivots, agility, and edgework are also better moving forwards than backwards. He’s made good progress over the last couple of years but there is a bit more room to grow here.

Offensive Game

Beaudin is a very good stick handler and passer. He plays the role of power play quarterback, setting up teammates, and being creative at the blue line. He is very smart and anticipates the play, spotting open teammates and hitting them with tape-to-tape passes through tight openings. Beaudin is also very good on the rush. He protects the puck well and can skate the puck out of tight situations. He also is willing to rush the puck up the ice. Beaudin’s vision helps him to make a strong first pass, and to start the transition game for his team.

Beaudin could stand to add a little more power to his shot. His slap shot has improved but can be even harder as he continues to add upper body strength. He maximizes the effectiveness by getting it through to the net and keeping his shots low, encouraging his teammates to get rebounds and tip-ins. Beaudin is most effective when sneaking down from the line and using his wrist shot. His wrister is strong, accurate and features a quick release. Beaudin is always pushing the pace and looking to get involved offensively. He will need to pick his spots better at the next level.

Defensive Game

Beaudin’s skating can be an issue in the defensive end of the ice. His gap control can be a problem. Defending against the rush, he backs off too much, as he is careful not to be beaten wide. This opens up passing and shooting lanes for an opponent. When the play is down low in the zone, he works hard to keep attackers to the outside and uses a quick poke check to steal the puck. However, his size can be an issue when facing bigger opposition.

Outlook

Beaudin has some work to do but is capable of playing in the NHL at this point. He will compete for a spot on the Hawks third pair. The Hawks must decide if it is better to have him in the NHL, or playing big minutes in the AHL. Beaudin could develop into a top-four defender and a power-play quarterback but still needs a bit more time developing.

 

#3 Prospect: Ian Mitchell

Right Defence — shoots Right
Born January 18th, 1999 — Calahoo, Alberta
Height 5’11” — Weight 174 lbs [180 cm / 79 kg]
Drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2nd round, #57 overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft.

Mitchell had a second first pro season with the Blackhawks. He spent just five games with Rockford in the AHL, picking up an assist. He spent most of the season in Chicago, scoring three goals and seven points in 39 games.

Skating

A little undersized, Mitchell makes up for it with very good skating ability. He has good speed and acceleration in both directions. His strong first step allows him to win races for loose pucks. The overall speed allows him to join the rush, or to pinch in at the blue line and still get back defensively at lower levels. He needs to be a bit more conservative at the NHL level though, as he’s not at the elite level that allows him to get away with mistakes.

Mitchell also has very smooth pivots and edgework. He can transition from offence to defence quickly (and vice-versa). His lateral agility is also very good. This allows Mitchell to stay in front of the puck carrier, as well as to move and open up shooting and passing lanes. Mitchell needs to bulk up though. His lack of muscle mass allows bigger, stronger forwards to push him off the puck and give him issues in containing the cycle.

Offensive Game

Mitchell is very good at starting the transition game. He can skate the puck out of dangerous areas and avoid the forecheck, before making a crisp pass to a teammate. He is especially effective at going for the long home-run pass to a streaking forward behind the defence. Mitchell is also effective at leading the rush himself. He can quarterback the play from the blue line, with the poise to control the puck, and the vision to make strong passes. He can also walk the line to open up shooting and passing lanes.

Mitchell improved his strength and the power on his shot over his time in college. That led to more goals for the University of Denver but hasn’t quite translated at the NHL level yet. He is smart to keep it low and on the net, leading to rebounds and tip-ins. However, he could still improve in this area. While the shot is decent, it can still become even better. A little more muscle in his upper body is likely to make that happen.

Defensive Game

Mitchell has good feet and maintains good gap control. His quick stick makes him difficult to beat in one-on-one situations. It also helps him to poke check the puck away from opponents. His size does become a bit of concern when trying to clear the front of the net or battling in the corners against bigger and tougher opponents.

Outlook

With plenty of NHL experience this past season, Mitchell heads into camp with a bit of an advantage over other young Blackhawks defenders looking to make the team out of camp. The Hawks would like to see Mitchell’s NCAA scoring translate a bit more at the NHL level going forward. This will help him to lock down a top-four defence spot in future years.

 

#4 Prospect: Wyatt Kalynuk

Left Defence — shoots Left
Born April 14th, 1997 — Brandon, Manitoba
Height 6’1″ — Weight 180 lbs [185 cm/82 kg]
Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 7th round, #196 overall, at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft but did not sign.
Signed with the Chicago Blackhawks in July 2020.

After signing with the Blackhawks as a free agent, Kalynuk had a solid first pro season. He put up four goals and nine points in 21 games with Chicago. He also added two goals and 10 points in eight games with Rockford.

Skating

Kalynuk is an excellent skater.  His skating ability is the basis of his two-way game. Kalynuk has a very good stride which gives him good acceleration and speed in both directions. He reaches that speed in just a few steps. The real bread and butter of his skating is his lateral agility and edgework. Kalynuk is excellent in his lateral movement. He also makes good turns and his crossovers help him to add power and speed coming out of turns. Kalynuk has crisp pivots and can transition from offence to defence quickly. He needs to add a bit of core strength though to be stronger on the boards and in front of the net.

Offensive Game

Kalynuk handles the puck well and marries this with his skating ability. He can start the transition game from his own end. Most of the time this leads to a good breakout and dangerous transition but he does get himself in trouble with the occasional bad giveaway. On the powerplay, he shows good vision and passing skills. Kalynuk uses his agility and lateral movement to walk the line and open up passing and shooting lanes. He can also make a quick dangle with his stick to create further space. He does a good job of spotting the open man and setting up scoring chances.

Kalynuk loves to sneak down from the point and let off a strong wrist shot from the top of the circles. He has a good release on his shot and it is also accurate. He also has a good, but not great, slap shot and one-timer that he uses from the point. Kalynuk does a good job of keeping his shot low, allowing teammates to get deflections and rebounds.

Defensive Game

Kalynuk also uses his lateral mobility and good pivots and edgework to play a strong defensive game as he’s tough to beat in one-on-one situations. He has all the skating necessary to maintain good gap control, but he needs to learn how to use it. Kalynuk can back off too much at times, and give his man too much ice in front of him. While he’s not a huge hitter, Kalynuk is capable of rubbing out his man on the boards and fighting for loose pucks. He could stand to add more upper body strength though. His positioning and active stick help him to cut down passing lanes as well. Kalynuk has all the tools to be a good defender, that said he needs to clean up his giveaways as well as avoid other rookie mistakes going forward.

Outlook

As one can see on this list, the Blackhawks have a number of defenders who are close to NHL ready. Thanks to his three years at the University of Wisconsin before going pro, Kalynuk is the oldest, most experienced, and most physically developed of the defenders profiled so far. This gives him a bit of a leg up when competing for a spot in the Hawks lineup. Even if Kalynuk does not make the team, he likely won’t spend much time in Rockford and should be amongst the first call-ups if an injury occurs.

 

#5 Prospect: Wyatt Kaiser

Left Defense — shoots Left
Born July 31st, 2002 — Ham Lake, Minnesota
Height 6’0″ — Weight 173 lbs [183 cm/78 kg]
Drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 3rd round, #81 overall, in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

Kaiser had an excellent freshman season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He quickly earned his way into top-four minutes on a strong college team and had 10 assists in 28 games.

Skating

Kaiser is a very good skater. His stride is close to textbook perfect. This gives him excellent acceleration and very good speed in both directions. He is extremely mobile thanks to his excellent edgework and agility. Kaiser can change directions on a dime. He also moves extremely well laterally. His crossovers allow him to accelerate out of turns and gain power. His pivots are also crisp, allowing Kaiser to transition from offence to defence, and vice-versa, quickly and efficiently. He is also strong on his skates for his age, allowing him to win battles along the boards and in front of the net. Kaiser is likely to improve this aspect of his game as he matures and gets stronger.

Offensive Game

Kaiser pairs his sleek skating with good puck skills. This allows him to carry the puck, both out of his own zone and through the neutral zone. He can help generate effective zone entries. He also has good vision and playmaking skills. He needs more consistency though. Most of the time, he makes a great first pass or can set up a teammate with a pass in the offensive zone. However, there are times where he also makes some bad giveaways. The tools are there though and this can be worked on.

Kaiser uses his lateral mobility to create offence. His ability to walk the line changes angles and opens up shooting and passing lanes. His quick hands can also beat a defender and get them out of position so he can make a play. Kaiser needs to add some power to his shot though. This may come as he gains upper body strength. His slap shot is not really a threat from the point right now. He should focus on keeping it low and on the net in order to create rebounds and deflections.

Defensive Game

Kaiser is extremely strong defensively. He uses his strong backwards skating and his excellent lateral mobility to maintain very good gap control. While he is not a huge hitter, he is willing to play physically if an opposition forward tries to get by him along the boards. He also is willing to battle along the boards and in front of the net for loose pucks. Kaiser has strong positioning away from the puck as well, cutting down passing lanes and creating turnovers. His strong skating allows him to retrieve dump-ins and other loose pucks and skate them out of the zone. He can also make a good first pass to start the transition game but needs to work on consistency here as there are some glaring turnovers.

Outlook

Kaiser is headed back to Minnesota-Duluth for his sophomore campaign. With the heavy competition for spots on the Hawks blueline, he could use a couple of years there. The Hawks hope that his offensive skills can be refined with the Bulldogs before he signs his first pro contract.

 

#6 Prospect: Drew Commesso

Goaltender — shoots Left — catches Left
Born July 19th, 2002 — Boston, Massachusetts
Height 6’2″ — Weight 180 lbs [188 cm/82 kg]
Drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2nd round, #46 overall, at the 2020 NHL Draft

Commesso played 11 games for Boston University, putting up a 2.99 goals-against-average and .915 save percentage last season. He also was selected for Team USA at the Men’s World Championships, but as the third string goalie, did not play.

Skating and Talent Analysis

Commesso is 6-foot-2 and takes full advantage of every inch. He gets well out of the net, cutting down angles and challenging shooters. He is able to get back quickly if an attacker drives the net and tries to beat him on the deke. Powerful legs also allow Commesso to get from post to post quickly. He tracks the puck well and anticipates plays well, allowing him to get square to the puck. His angles and positioning are almost always spot on.

Commesso gets down in the butterfly quickly. His strong legs take away the bottom of the net. Meanwhile, his quick glove hand is effective at taking away the top of the net. He fights to find the puck through traffic, competing well when screened. Like many young goalies, Commesso will need to work on his rebound control. He often kicks pucks out in front of the net instead of getting them safely into the corners. Commesso is good at catching pucks on his glove side, but shots on the high blocker can also lead to rebounds. Commesso’s compete level and his athleticism help him to recover and he can often make a big save even with those rebounds going out.

Puck Handling

Commesso is an excellent puck handler. He gets out of his net often to cut off dump-ins and acts as a third defenceman back there. This helps his team to start the transition game quickly and limits the oppositions’ forecheck. Commesso is accurate with his first pass to his defenders. He’s even been known to clear the puck off the glass and out of the zone when killing penalties. He can also make a long pass and hit a forward in the neutral zone if the other team gets caught making a line change.

Mental Makeup

Commesso is calm and composed in the net. He does not let a bad goal get to him and is prepared to make the next save. His composure provides leadership, as the NTDP defence seemed to play better and more confident when he is in net, as opposed to when his back-up, Noah Grannan took the crease. He has not shown that leadership in college yet, but was just a freshman. Commesso does not get rattled when facing a lot of shots or heavy traffic. He is also ready to make the next save even when his team has controlled the puck for long stretches. He remains focused in all situations. Commesso also reads the play well, knowing when his teammates need him to freeze the puck for a whistle, or when he should keep it moving so they can make a quick counterattack.

Outlook

Young goaltenders often need time to mature and Commesso is no different. More game time in the NCAA with BU will certainly benefit him. It will also allow him time to get in the gym and build a bit of a leaner body which he will need to go through the stresses of pro hockey in the future. He is a potential number one goalie down the road if he can continue to develop. He will likely spend the season with Boston University and potentially one or two more.

 

#7 Prospect: Nolan Allan

The Blackhawks drafted Allan with the 32nd overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Allan. As no games have been played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.

 

#8 Prospect: Evan Barratt

Centre — shoots Left
Born February 18th, 1999 — Bristol, Pennsylvania
Height 6’0″ — Weight 190 lbs [183 cm / 86 kg]
Drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 3rd round, #90 overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft.

After a successful college career, Barratt had a solid first pro season with Rockford. He put up five goals and 14 points in 27 games.

Skating

Barratt has improved his first few steps and his skating stride. While he could still use a bit more work in this area, he’s improved them to where they are at a decent enough level. Barratt will never be confused for a speedster but he should be able to get by well enough to keep up with the play. His agility and edgework are decent. He can quickly change directions, and get around a defender. Barratt also has good lower body strength. His balance is good, and he can fight through checks when carrying the puck and take it to the net. While improvements have been made, Barratt could still stand to work on lengthening his stride and making it less choppy going forward.

Offensive Game

Barratt is a sniper. He has the hockey IQ to read the play and settle into a soft spot in the offensive zone, waiting for a pass from a teammate. Once he gets that pass, he can fire the puck. He has an outstanding wrist shot, and his release is NHL ready. He also has a very good one-timer. Most of his goals come from the slot, but he can also set up in the right face-off circle. Barratt can also create his own shot as well as shots for linemates. He has the soft hands to protect the puck, and the passing skill and vision to set up a teammate.

Barratt can also play a gritty game. He chases down loose pucks and gets involved in board battles. His motor is relentless and helps him to manufacture something out of nothing. Barratt isn’t afraid to throw a hit or to take a hit to make a play. His forechecking ability causes issues and creates turnovers. Despite his average size, Barratt plays with reckless abandon, to the point where he can sometimes get himself into penalty trouble by being too aggressive.

Defensive Game

Barratt is advanced defensively. He brings the same relentless puck pursuit and gritty play in all three zones. This makes him a key penalty killer for Penn State, as well as someone trusted in all situations. His positioning is good, as is his anticipation, helping him to create turnovers.  He wasn’t given the same penalty kill responsibilities with Rockford but showed a strong defensive game at 5v5.  He could grow into that penalty kill role.

Outlook

Barratt will return to Rockford as he needs a bit more time to be NHL-ready. There isn’t really enough creativity for Barratt to become a top-six centre, but with this shot, strength, and defensive game he could become a third-line player.

 

#9 Prospect: Colton Dach

The Blackhawks drafted Dach with the 62nd overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Dach. As no games have been played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.

 

#10 Prospect: Alex Vlasic

Alex Vlasic Scouting Report

Defence — shoots Left
Born June 5th, 2001 — Wilmette, Illinois
Height 6’6″ — Weight 198 [198 cm / 90 kg]
Drafted in the 2nd Round, #43 Overall, at the 2019 NHL Draft.

Vlasic showed improved offence in his second year at Boston University, picking up three goals and eight points in 16 games in his sophomore season. Unfortunately, the Huskies season was a shortened one, due to Covid-19.

Skating

Like many bigger defencemen, Vlasic’s skating has been a concern. However, he has started to improve that area of his game and it has helped him at both ends of the rink. He has decent speed and acceleration but will obviously never be confused for a speedster. Vlasic has improved his agility and edgework but more improvements can still be made in these areas. This has helped him to improve his gap control and to better defend in one-on-one situations. Vlasic shows good balance and decent strength at the junior level but can improve this before he goes to the pro game.

Offensive Game

Vlasic is better known for his defensive game than his offence but there are still some skills here. His slap shot and one-timer are decent but could use a bit more power. This may come as he adds more upper body strength. He has a good wrist shot and is effective at sneaking down from the point to get it off especially on the power play. Vlasic has shown some ability to walk the line in order to open up passing lanes for that shot.

His best offensive skills are seen in the transition game. Vlasic makes a strong first pass out of the zone. He also has the ability to make the long breakaway pass to a streaking winger. Vlasic is not the type of player to lead the rush or take the puck end-to-end. However, he does have some puckhandling skills and can make a move to get the puck out of danger in his end and create space to start that transition. He doesn’t seem confident enough to carry the puck on a regular basis though.

Defensive Game

Vlasic uses his big body to his advantage, especially in his own end. The towering defender already uses his size effectively to clear the front of the net and win battles on the boards. He can also lay a devastating hit if a forward comes down his side of the ice with their head down. However, he is disciplined enough not to get himself out of position looking for that huge hit. His long stick helps him to take the puck off of opponents and cut down passing lanes. However, he could be even better if he can add muscle to his frame and become even more powerful in these areas.

Outlook

It often takes big defenders a little longer to develop, and Vlasic is likely to follow that trend. He is a bit of a project at this point. However, he has the type of size that scouts salivate over and is a good skater for his size, with some puck skills. This package makes him an intriguing project with the potential to be a top-four defender in time. Vlasic could use another year at the college level but might be a candidate to sign in the spring.

 

Sleeper Prospect: Michal Teply

Right Wing/Left Wing — shoots Right
Born May 27th, 2001 — Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic
Height 6’3″ — Weight 187 lbs [191 cm/85 kg]
Drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 4th Round, #105 Overall, at the 2019 NHL Draft.

Teply played one game in the top Czech league and three games in the second division, putting up three assists to start the season. He also put up two assists in five games at the World Juniors. Teply also played 18 game games for Rockford, putting up five assists.

Skating

Teply has some good traits as a skater given his size but there are also some real deficiencies. His agility and edgework are very high-end. They help him to change directions quickly and avoid defenders. His first few steps could use some work, as could his acceleration. The top-end speed is also a bit below average. This could hold him back at the next level.

Teply could stand to add more muscle, especially his core strength. This would help improve his balance and also allow him to be stronger on the puck. However, this is not a huge concern as he has a good frame and it is not unusual for 19-year-olds to need to mature physically and add muscle.

Offensive Game

Teply is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer. He has outstanding vision and hockey IQ. Teply sees the play well and is able to anticipate where his linemates and opponents are headed. He uses his long stick to protect the puck and extends plays until they can get open. Once they do, Teply can make a quick pass through a seam. He finds the open man on the cycle and makes a smart pass. By moving the puck quickly, Teply is able to generate offence. He played the point on the power play this past season, controlling the game and setting up teammates in the offensive zone.

Teply also has a very good release on his wrist shot. However, he will need to add power before it is a real threat. This is another area that could improve as he continues to add muscle. Teply has the soft hands to make plays and score goals in tight to the net. However, he needs to be more willing to play a physical game. Against physical defenders, he has a tendency to shy away and play a perimeter-based game. Teply is a strong stick-handler who makes plays at top speed, particularly off the rush or generating zone entries.

Defensive Game

Teply is already pretty good at the defensive end of the ice but there are still places his game can improve. He is willing to backcheck and support the defence. However, he is not a physical player and needs to improve his strength to contain opponents in the cycle game. A long stick allows Teply to intercept passes and start the transition game. He could use some continued coaching on his positioning though. Teply is good at staying with his man away from the puck, preventing scoring chances.

Outlook

Teply has the potential to be a top-six winger but must improve some deficiencies in his game. More muscle could help him to be stronger on the boards and improve his physical game. It could also add to a better wrist shot. However, these are minor fixes. Teply has a lot of high-end playmaking ability. If he is able to improve those areas of his game, he could be a top-six forward at the NHL level in a couple of years. Teply could be in Rockford, or could play for the Winnipeg Ice as an overage player next season.

 

Other 2021 Chicago Blackhawks Prospects

It’s hard to call it a full-scale rebuild, but the Blackhawks have been amassing talent for several years now. As one can see, with six of their top 10 prospects being blueliners, the Hawks have plenty of talent on defence. The team has already traded young defenders in Adam Boqvist and Lucas Carlsson but still have plenty more. There are still other prospects worth watching at the back end though including Alec Regula, Slava Demin, Chad Krys, Jakub Galvas, Michael Krutil and Isaak Phillips. In goal, the Hawks also have Arvid Soderblom and Dominic Basse. Other forward prospects worth watching include Mackenzie Entwistle, Landon Slaggert, Jake Wise, Antti Saarela, Ryder Rolston, Andrei Altybarmakyan, Mike Hardman, Artur Kayumov, and Niklas Nordgren.

2021 Chicago Blackhawks Prospects Main Photo:

AUGSBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 04: Lukas Reichel of Eisbaeren Berlin controls the ball during the DEL match between Augsburger Panther and Eisbaeren Berlin at Curt-Frenzel-Stadion on October 4, 2019 in Augsburg, Germany.(Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)