The Blackhawks made eight selections in the 2012 NHL Draft last weekend, adding four forwards, two defensemen and two goaltenders to a farm system already considered one of the league's deepest. But how are the newest Blackhawks viewed around the league and by the scouting community?
chicagoblackhawks.com took a look at what the draft experts had to say about the Blackhawks' selections, and will bring you their reports this week. Today's prospects: QMJHL defenseman Dillon Fournier, taken 48th overall, and Nobles (H.S.) winger Chris Calnan, who was selected 79th overall.
Dillon Fournier, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
HockeysFuture.com: "A puck-mover with great skating ability, Fournier spent a large chunk of the season playing at less than 100 percent health, and so it is difficult to get an accurate read on his potential. He is in a good situation with the Huskies, where they rely on him quite heavily and thus he gets opportunities in all situations. This not only allows him to improve on all aspects of his game, but also gives him the opportunity to round out his game, including utilizing some previously untapped offensive ability."
Hockey Prospectus: "Fournier is a pretty gifted defenseman who has a desirable upside, but did have shoulder issues this year—his offensive production was still pretty impressive. He is an above-average skater with nice overall mobility, good jump in first few steps, and a solid top speed. When it comes to his puck abilities, Fournier's technique is a lot like another QMJHL prospect, Brandon Gormley, in that he looks a little lanky when holding onto the puck but still exhibits soft hands and good one-touch ability, and moves the puck around effectively and efficiently. Fournier likes to do things offensively, but he sometimes will make some overly risky decisions, whether rushing up or doing too much with the puck. He is able to be somewhat effective defensively with his mobility and awareness, but physically he needs to bulk up a bit to show even a decent physical game. Also as a side note, when I watched Rouyn-Noranda, Fournier was lined up on his off wing, in the right defense slot as a left-handed shot."
Chris Calnan, Nobles and Greenough H.S. (Mass.)Red Line Report:
"Big-bodied winger goes straight to the net and causes problems. Doesn't do anything great, but does a lot of things well. Has good hockey sense and keeps things simple. Has good feet and gets to open ice for dangerous shots with a crisp release. An extremely hard worker whose energy and physical play help create a lot of turnovers. Strong on the forecheck—wins a lot of puck battles in corners and then makes plays quickly, not allowing defenders to get back into position. Excels in the tough, gritty areas. Moves well with the puck and makes plays at top-end speed. A good penalty killer who is responsible in his own end. Lacks true high-end skill level, but is an effective force."
Hockey Prospectus: "Calnan caught the attention of quite a few scouts this year playing high school hockey, as he displayed a good power forward type game while also flashing some offensive upside. He projects to have an average pro frame, although he's still a little thin and will need a few years of gym time like kids his age usually do. However, Calnan is a tough player who shows an above-average physical game with how he battles in the physical areas, drives the net and throws his body around, at times with a little recklessness. Calnan supplements this physical game with above-average skating ability, which makes him a threat in the transition game and on the forecheck. He has decent puck skills, and while he won't dangle a defender, he is able to make moves with the puck and has fine hand-eye coordination. Calnan also has good finishing ability and flashes the ability to score from mid-range with good shot mechanics and a notably accurate wrist shot. His main knock is a lack of hockey sense and creativity, and that may be the thing that keeps him from being a pro scorer and more of a third-line type, although I don't think that's his ceiling.