Proud American Hockey League Affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks

Our Town Or Team
Buy Tickets

IceHogs News


By: Mike Peck
Photo by Jim Orlando
Draft kicks off on Friday night

Rockford, Ill.- For 210 kids vying to accomplish their dream of playing in the National Hockey League, that dream will be one-step closer to reality this weekend when the NHL conducts its annual entry draft at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

All 30 NHL teams will participate in the seven-round draft that begins on Friday night with the first round starting at 6 p.m. Rounds two through seven will be on Saturday starting at 10 a.m.  Coverage of the draft will be on Versus, TSN and the NHL Network.

Draft picks have served as the core of the Rockford IceHogs since the team joined the American Hockey League as the primary affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Rockford became the top affiliate of the Blackhawks before the 2007-08 season and during that time, 118 different players have suited up and played for the IceHogs. Of those 118 players, 71 (60.2%) of them were drafted by an NHL team, including 35 (29.7%) by the Blackhawks.

Last season, 26 of the 36 (72.2%) players to suit up and play for Rockford were selected in the annual NHL Entry Draft, including 11 (30.5%) skaters who were chosen by the Blackhawks. So when watching this weekend’s draft, fans will be watching future IceHogs skaters walk across the stage.

But don’t expect too many, if any, players selected this weekend to don an IceHogs sweater during the 2011-12 season. The 2010-11 IceHogs roster didn’t feature any draft picks from the 2010 draft, but six from the 2009 event.

To further break down last season’s IceHogs roster, relevant to the NHL Draft, it contained eight players who were selected in the first round (Kyle Beach, Hugh Jessiman, Nick Leddy, Dylan Olsen, Philippe Paradis, Jeff Taffe, Hannu Toivonen and Ivan Vishnevskiy). Beach (2008) and Olsen (2009), however, were the only two first rounders picked by Chicago.

There were also seven second-round draft picks on the IceHogs ‘10-11 roster (Jassen Cullimore, Simon Danis-Pepin, Jimmy Hayes, Ryan Johnson, Igor Makarov, Jeremy Morin and Brandon Pirri) and just three of them, Danis-Pepin (2006), Makarov (2006) and Pirri (2009), were selected by the Blackhawks.

Cullimore had the distinction last season as the oldest draft pick on Rockford’s roster as he was chosen by the Vancouver Canucks in the second round (29th overall) of the 1991 NHL Draft.

The 26 drafted players from last season’s Rockford squad were selected by 13 different teams, including two by Atlanta (Morin-2009 and Garnet Exelby-1999), Toronto (Chris DiDomenico-2007 and Hayes-2008) and Vancouver (Cullimore-1991 and Andrew Sarauer-2004).

In the modern day of the NHL salary cap, the draft remains a crucial factor in a team’s long term success. The likes of Bryan Bickell, Dave Bolland, Troy Brouwer, Dustin Byfuglien and Niklas Hjalmarsson were draft picks by Chicago, worked their way through Rockford and the AHL to become Stanley Cup Champions with the Blackhawks.

Other Chicago draft picks on the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship team include Adam Burish (2002) Patrick Kane (2007), Duncan Keith (2002), Brent Seabrook (2004) and Jonathan Toews (2006). Of the 26 players Stanley Cup roster, 10 (38.5%) of them were selected by Chicago in the NHL Draft.

Check out all week as we preview the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Monday: Impact the draft has had on the IceHogs
Tuesday: We’ll look at who the experts think the Blackhawks will choose in the draft
Wednesday: A breakdown of the Blackhawks #1 overall draft picks over the past 20 years
Thursday: A look at the 1st round draft picks who played for Rockford last season and overall
Friday:  An update on the progress of all of Chicago’s draft picks from the 2009 and 2010 draft

Season Tickets On Sale For 2011-12: It'll be a long summer without IceHogs hockey and season ticket packages for the 2011-12 season are now on sale. To find a ticket package that quenches your hockey thirst, call (815) 847-6399.

Search Archive »

Browse by Month »

January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
December 0200