On Mondays, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight players who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect/system stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.
|(Photo courtesy University of Michigan Athletics) |
1st Star: RW Tyler Motte, University of Michigan (BIG10)
The Line: 2GP, 2G, 2A
After a three-year absence from the NCAA tournament, the Wolverines punched their ticket last weekend by winning the B1G title, and Tyler Motte was at the center of the action. In Friday’s 7-2 semifinal win over Penn State, he contributed two assists, giving him 23 on the year. The next night, the 2013 fourth-round pick opened the scoring on the power play against Minnesota with his 30th tally of the season before adding an empty-netter to seal the 5-3 result. Michigan will open the NCAA tournament against old CCHA rival Notre Dame on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT.
|(Getty Images) |
2nd Star: C Dylan Sikura, Northeastern University (H-EAST)
The Line: 2GP, 3A
Northeastern completed an improbable turnaround last Saturday by winning the Hockey East championship, continuing a 21-2-3 run after beginning the season 1-11-2 and earning a trip to the NCAA tournament. Sophomore forward Dylan Sikura contributed three assists over the weekend—two in the Huskies’ 5-4 win over Boston College in the semis and one in the 3-2 title game victory against UMass–Lowell. Sikura finished the regular campaign with 28 points (sixth on the team) and 118 shots on goal (second) in 38 games. Northeastern opens the tournament against third-seed North Dakota on Friday at 1 p.m. CT.
|(Getty Images) |
3rd Star: D Gustav Forsling, Linkoping (SWE)
The Line: 2GP, 1G, 1A
Linkoping eased to a 2-0 series lead over Vaxjo in the Swedish Hockey League quarterfinals after winning 6-1 in Game 1 and posting a 3-2 come-from-behind victory in Game 2; Game 3 is scheduled for Monday. Forsling set up the opening goal in Game 1 last Thursday before tallying a power-play goal in Saturday’s tilt. The 20-year-old added a team-high five shots on goal in Game 2 and skated over 17 minutes in each tilt.
Honorable mentions: LW John Dahlstrom, Frolunda J20 (Elit); C Nick Schmaltz, University of North Dakota (NCHC)
Dahlstrom contributed three goals and an assist over two games with Frolunda J20, who were swept out of the postseason by AIK. The 2015 seventh-round pick tallied the game-tying goal in the third period to go along with an assist in Game 1, and was the only Frolunda player to convert in the shootout in an eventual 5-4 loss. Dahlstrom then scored twice in Game 2, a 10-3 loss; he finished the postseason with five points (4G, 1A) in four outings.
Schmaltz tallied a goal in each of North Dakota’s NCHC tournament games last weekend. The 2014 first-round pick opened the scoring just 49 seconds into their 4-2 semifinal loss to Minnesota–Duluth, then netted the only goal in next night’s third-place game, a 1-1 tie with Denver.
Around the system:
- Seven Blackhawks prospects will participate in the NCAA tournament, with five in action in the Midwest Regional, which will be contested on March 25-26 in Cincinnati. Check out the full bracket here.
- Defensemen Robin Norell and Robin Press are also in action in the SHL quarterfinals, as Djurgardens trails Frolunda 2-1 with Game 4 scheduled for Tuesday... Finnish blueliner Joni Tuulola was assigned to HPK’s U20 team at the conclusion of the SM-liiga season and has posted four helpers in four games.
- Two prospects in the Ontario Hockey League finished up their regular-season campaigns last week. Graham Knott notched two assists in three games for four-seeded, who will begin their playoff run against Ottawa... Roy Radke notched a multi-point game for Barrie in a 11-3 win over Sudbury on Saturday. The second-ranked Colts will face Mississauga in the first round. Game 1 of both series is scheduled for Thursday.
- Mark McNeill tallied the lone goal for Rockford in a 1-0 win over Charlotte last Tuesday. He also scored in the IceHogs’ 4-3 overtime loss to Chicago on Saturday and collected a helper in a 2-1 shootout win over Charlotte on Sunday, becoming the first player to reach the 40-point plateau for Rockford this season... Ville Pokka notched a goal and two assists in four outings last week, becoming the first IceHog to reach 30 assists during the campaign; he ranks third and leads team defensemen with 37 points this season... Bryan Bickell scored twice in four games last week, including a game-tying goal against Chicago on Saturday with just 9 seconds left in regulation and the lone regulation tally the next evening against Charlotte.
- Goaltender Drew MacIntyre went 1-1-1 in three starts last week, notching his first shutout of the season after a 30-save performance against Charlotte, his former team. The 32-year-old has a .933 save percentage in five games with Rockford so far... Mac Carruth picked up his first AHL win of the season on Sunday in dramatic fashion, stopping 33 of 34 in regulation against the Checkers before surviving a 13-round shootout by allowing just two conversions.