Rockford, Ill.-The Chicago Blackhawks have selected 18 players in the past two National Hockey League entry drafts, four of which have already officially become members of the Chicago Blackhawks organization.
Today, during icehogs.com’s coverage of NHL Draft Week, we are looking at the previous two years of Blackhawks draft picks, where they are, and what they accomplished during the 2010-11 season.
Four players are already playing in the Blackhawks organization from the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Dylan Olsen, Brandon Pirri, Marcus Kruger and David Gilbert have either already played for the Rockford IceHogs or the Chicago Blackhawks, and Byron Froese has signed for the upcoming 2011-12 season.
Olsen, selected in the first round (28th overall) in 2009, played 42 regular-season games with Rockford tallying four points (0g-4a). Before coming to the IceHogs, the 6-3 defenseman notched 13 points (1g-12a) in 17 regular-season tilts with a plus/minus rating of +8 with the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs and also helped Team Canada win a silver medal at the World Jr. Championships.
In the second round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the Blackhawks selected Pirri. The 6-0, 160-pound center skated in 70 games with the IceHogs racking up 43 points (12g-31a) in the 2010-11, most among Rockford rookies. Pirri also made his NHL debut with Chicago appearing in one game.
Dan DeLisle, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota Duluth (NCAA), who was drafted 189th overall, is one of three players from Chicago’s 2009 draft not to have signed with the organization yet. The 6-foot-5 winger was plagued with injuries that limited him to 31 games for the NCAA Division I National Champion Bulldogs. DeLisle finished with six points (4g-2a) and a plus/minus rating of +6 in those 31 contests.
Froese, drafted in the fourth round (119th overall), was signed by the Blackhawks to a three-year entry-level contract on May 31. The Winkler, Manitoba native shared ninth in the Western Hockey League with a career-high 43 goals, including a league-leading 24 power-play markers, and ranked third on the Red Deer Rebels with a career-best 81 points in 70 regular-season games. Froese also helped the Rebels adding five goals and two assists in nine WHL postseason tilts.
Kruger, 21, broke into the NHL with the Blackhawks this year on March 23. Kruger, who was selected 149th overall in the fifth round, played seven games with the Hawks. The Stockholm, Sweden native tallied 35 points (6g-29a) in 52 regular season tilts for Djurgardens IF Stockholm while notching a +12 rating.
Paul Phillips, 19, currently plays for the University of Denver (NCAA). Phillips, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound center was selected by the Hawks in the seventh round (195th overall). The Darien, Ill. native finished the 2010-11 season with four points (0g-4a) with a rating of +2 in 38 regular-season tilts. Phillips also added 96 hits and blocked 46 shots for the Pioneers.
Gilbert, 20, was selected 209th overall in the seventh round by the Blackhawks. The Chateauguay, Quebec native tallied three points (2g-1a) in five games for the IceHogs after accumulating a career-high 51 points (28g-23a) in 52 games along with a +22 plus/minus rating with the QMJHL Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL) during the previous 2010-11 season.
David Pacan, 20, was selected 177th overall in the sixth round of the 2009 draft. The 6-3 center was dealt on February 9th to the Florida Panthers along with Hugh Jessiman and Jack Skille for Michael Frolik and Alexander Salak.
In 2010, the Blackhawks selected 10 players in the NHL Entry Draft, none of which have yet worn an IceHogs or Blackhawks sweater.
Kevin Hayes, brother of Jimmy Hayes who skated in seven contests for the Rockford IceHogs in the 2010-11 season, is entering his sophomore year at Boston College (NCAA). Hayes was drafted in the first round (24th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Hawks. The Dorchester, Mass. native participated in the Blackhawks Development Camp in July 2010. In his freshman year at Boston College, Hayes skated in 31 regular-season tilts while tallying 14 points (4g-10a.
Ludvig Rensfeldt, 19, was the first of four second round selections by the Blackhawks in 2010. Rensfeldt, chosen 35th overall, skated with Bofors IK in the European Lower League for 11 games compiling seven points (5g-2a) in 2010-11. The 6-2, 194-pound left wing also skated with Brynas IF Gavle in the European Elite League tallying one point (0g-1a) in 16 games with a plus/minus rating of -1.
Justin Holl will begin his sophomore year at the University of Minnesota (NCAA) this fall, skating in 25 tilts for the Golden Gophers in 2010-11 tallying seven points (1g-6a) with a rating of +3. Holl made his college debut on Oct. 8 where he notched the game-winning goal against the University of Massachusetts. The Minnetonka, Minn. native was selected by the Hawks 54th overall in the second round.
Kent Simpson, Chicago’s third round pick (58th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, appeared in 53 tilts for the Everett Silvertips (WHL) in 2010. The goaltender finished the year 21-20-9 with a goals-against average of 2.78 and a save percentage of .916.
Stephen Johns, Chicago’s final second round selection last summer, finished the 2010-11 season with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (NCAA) tallying 13 points (2g-11a) in 44 contests. The Wampum, Penn. native, who was drafted 60th overall, was the fourth-highest drafted Western Pennsylvanian behind R.J. Umberger (16th overall, 2001; Vancouver), Grant Lewis (40th overall, 2004; Atlanta) and Mike Weber (57th overall, 2006; Buffalo).
Joakim Nordstrom was selected in the third round (90th overall) by the Hawks. The 6-foot center skated in 12 contests for the Almtuna IS (Sweden Lower League) tallying an assist. Nordstrom also skated for AIK in the European Elite League also finishing with one point (0g-1a) in 11 regular season contests.
Rob Flick, 20, had a break out year in 2010 finishing with 57 points (27g-30a) in 68 games with the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors (OHL). Flick also finished 16th in the 2011 Ontario Hockey League playoffs with 16 points (8g-8a) in 20 playoff tilts for the Majors. The 208-pound center was drafted by the Hawks 120th overall in the fourth round in 2010. Flick’s Majors lost in the Memorial Cup Championship game to St. Johns this past May.
Check out icehogs.com 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 18th 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.