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Previewing Prospect Camp by the numbers

by Brad Boron / Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks open their annual prospect camp Monday (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean / Chicago Blackhawks).

Starting Monday, some of the top young prospects in the world will descend on Chicago for the Blackhawks’ annual Prospect Camp. The five-day camp, which will take place at Johnny’s IceHouse West, is a chance for these players to show Blackhawks Hockey Operations how they’ve progressed over the year, while the coaches on and off the ice help give these budding Blackhawks the tools to move on to the next level with training on fitness, on-ice skills and more.

Here is a preview of the upcoming camp, by the numbers:

Number of attending prospects who have played in the NHL. While Prospect Camp is generally for players who have not been regulars at any level of North American professional hockey, forward Brandon Saad played in two regular-season and two playoff games with Chicago last year. When he returned to the OHL, he led the league, scoring 1.73 points per game in the regular season.

Blackhawks “legacy” prospects at this year’s camp: draftee Chris Calnan’s uncle is Jeremy Roenick, and free agent Jake Chelios’ father is former team captain Chris Chelios.

Number of invited prospects who played on league champions this season: Kevin Hayes and free agent invitee Pat Mullane won the NCAA title with Boston College, while Alex Broadhurst and the Green Bay Gamblers won the USHL’s Clark Cup. Goaltender Mac Carruth and the Portland Winterhawks came within one win of claiming the WHL championship.

Participants at last summer's Prospect Camp who played for the Blackhawks this past season (Jimmy Hayes, Dylan Olsen, Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw). While it remains to be seen just how many of this year’s prospects will don the Indian Head sweater one day, next week’s camp is the next step toward NHL glory for all of the participants.

Prospect Camp participants who signed entry-level contracts with the Blackhawks this summer: Carruth, Adam Clendening, Klas Dahlbeck, Joakim Nordstrom and Kent Simpson.

Illinois natives invited to this year’s camp. Three players—Alex Broadhurst, Vincent Hinostroza and Paul Phillips—are former Blackhawks draft picks. Alex’s brother, Terry, signed an entry-level contract as an undrafted free agent last season and should start next year in Rockford. Defenseman Steven Spinell and forward Matthew Lindblad are free agent invitees.

Invited players who took part in the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four. During the tournament, Boston College (Kevin Hayes,  Pat Mullane) defeated Ferris State (free agent invitees Kyle Bonis and Aaron Schmit) 4-1 to take home the title. The University of Minnesota (Justin Holl) and Union College (Matthew Bodie, Daniel Carr and Terry Grosenick, all free agent invitees) fell in the semifinals.

With 29 former draft picks in camp, no draft class is better represented than 2011, which boasts nine players participating this year. Among them will be first-round draft picks Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault, as well as other top prospects including Saad, Clendening and Michael Paliotta. The only two members of that class who will not appear in camp are Andrew Shaw, who joined the Blackhawks full-time last year, and goaltender Johan Mattsson, who will sit out due to injury.

Age of the prospect camp’s youngest participant, 2012 first-round draft pick Teuvo Teravainen. The Finnish prospect, who scored 11 goals and 17 assists with Jokerit in his homeland’s top league last season, will not turn 18 until Sept. 11.

Number of prospects at camp who spent last season playing in the NCAA. While the Canadian major-junior hockey leagues tend to produce many of the biggest names in each year’s draft class, the college ranks have grown rich in NHL-quality prospects, as evidenced by the large number of college players at this year’s prospect camp. Three 2012 draft picks—Calnan, Hinostroza and Matt Tomkins—are all tentatively committed to joining a collegiate program within the next two seasons, as is 2011 pick Sam Jardine.

Height (in inches) of the camp’s tallest participant, 6-foot-9 defenseman Viktor Svedberg, a free agent invitee from Vastra Frolunda HC in Sweden. That’s a full 14 inches taller than the camp’s shortest prospect, Russian forward Mihail Plotnikov.

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