Blackhawks

Blackhawks 2019 NHL Draft capsules: Scouting reports and analysis

Blackhawks 2019 NHL Draft capsules: Scouting reports and analysis

VANCOUVER — A recap of the Blackhawks' selections in the 2019 NHL Draft, and their scouting reports, including analysis from VP of amateur scouting Mark Kelley:

Round 1, pick 3: Kirby Dach, center

Round 2, pick No. 43: Alex Vlasic, defenseman

— What you need to know: Vlasic, 18, is a Wilmette native and played for the Chicago Mission. He compiled 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in 27 games for the United States National Team Development Program junior team last season, and 27 points (four goals, 23 assists) in 61 games for the Under-18 team. He also registered one assist in seven games at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship for Team USA.

Vlasic is committed to play at Boston University next season and expects to play there for at least two years before making the jump to the NHL. His cousin is Sharks defenseman Marc-Eduoard Vlasic, somebody he idolizes and tries modeling his game after.

— Scouting report: Vlasic is a 6-foot-6, 198 pound defenseman and described himself to be a "defensive defenseman, kind of a shutdown guy." He's a player that wants to be out there in the final five minutes protecting a lead.

— Player reaction: "It's kind of a crazy moment. I didn't know which team was going to pick me, and then for the hometown team to call my name out there was pretty crazy. I know my family members were pumped for sure."

— Analysis from Kelley: "When you watch him play, his size and length gives him a great presence. He's very efficient, clean moving the puck. For a guy that size he has good mobility. I just think the whole package he fit in well with that team and I think his size gives his teammates a little bit of space too."

Round 4, pick No. 105: Michal Teplý, forward

— What you need to know: Teplý, 18, registered nine points (four goals, five assists) in eight games for Bili Tygri Liberec Under-19 team before joing the top division in the Czech Republic, where he accumulated two points (both assists) in 15 games. He played the rest of the season with HC Benatky and Jizerou, where he racked up 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 23 games. 

Teplý also tallied three assists in five games for the Czech Republic at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was the 14th-ranked European skater by NHL's Central Scouting.

— Scouting report: Teplý is a 6-foot-3, 187-pound winger and is known to be strong and creative with the puck. His best attributes include stickhandling and passing.

— Player reaction: "I'm an offensive player. I like to score goals."

— Analysis from Kelley: "Big, right shot, usually plays on the off side. He's a shooter. Great one-timer, real good wrist shot, good skater. One of the things that was very attractive for us this year was every time we went to see him, incrementally, month to month, his skating was getting better. I think with the growth spurt that he had, he's growing into his body acclimating and he's an exciting player for us."

Round 4, pick No. 123: Antti Saarela, forward

— What you need to know: Saarela, 17, registered 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 24 games for Lukko in Liiga, the top professional league in Finland. He also recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in five games at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship for Finland, which captured the gold medal. He was the 24th-ranked European skater by NHL's Central Scouting.

— Scouting report: Saarela is a 6-foot, 190-pound center who's known to have great puck skills and plays with high energy. 

— Analysis from Kelley: "I think the best way to describe him is he plays fast, he's very competitive, very hard, a real good pursuit guy, has a good skillset but I think it's his overall 200-foot game that's attractive." 

Round 6, pick No. 167: Dominic Basse, goaltender

— What you need to know: Basse, 18, posted a 1.91 goals against average and .924 save percentage in 42 games for Select Hockey Academy Under-18 team. He also appeared in two regular-season games at the United States Premier Hockey League level, where he had a 1.50 GAA and .938 save percentage and also a 2.67 GAA and .938 save percentage in two postseason contests.

— Scouting report: Basse is listed at 6-foot-6, 179 pounds. From The Athletic's goalie expert Cat Silverman: "Should need a little adjustment jumping to DI NCAA after spending most of his high school playing for a DC-area high school, but good size and he's been head and shoulders above the competition for a few years."

— Analysis from Kelley: "The first time I went to see him this year I drove in a snowstorm. Luckily it was 45 minutes from my house to get there and I got there and I get situated and I looked out there, watched a little warmups, the game starts and he was on the bench. So he was coming off between periods, he was the last guy and I said to him, 'Hey, you! When are you playing?' And he told me: 'I'm going to be the starter tomorrow and Monday.' So I came back. He caught my eye. But on him, [head USA scout] Mike Doneghey and [goaltending scout] Dan Ellis ... they liked him. I think what we liked is the project. He's going to Colorado College, they're very, very high on him. That one's going to take a little bit of time development, but he's 6-5, athletic."

Round 7, pick No. 194: Cole Moberg, defenseman

— What you need to know: Moberg, 18, has spent the last two seasons with Prince George in the Western Hockey League, where he accumulated 40 points (13 goals, 27 assists) in 61 games this past season. His minus-33 rating ranked towards the bottom of the WHL, but his offensive production spiked from Year 1 to Year 2.

— Scouting report: Moberg is a 6-foot-3, 198-pound defenseman and is known to have great hockey sense, is competive and has an absolute cannon of a shot. He has experience playing forward.

— Analysis from Kelley: "Right-shot defenseman. A little behind the curve for us. We thought this year he really came on. Playing at Prince George isn't the easiest with the travel and what have you, but he's game he just kept getting better and better. We brought him into Chicago, thought he did real well in the off-ice training and then on the ice also."

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Dave Bolland made another monumental play in 2013 playoffs before '17 Seconds'

Dave Bolland made another monumental play in 2013 playoffs before '17 Seconds'

Former Blackhawks forward and two-time Stanley Cup champion Dave Bolland is mostly remembered for the '17 Seconds' in which Bryan Bickell and he each scored with under 1:16 left in regulation to take a 3-2 lead and win the Stanley Cup in 2013's Game 6 of the Final against the Boston Bruins. 

Another remarkable play made by Bolland can be seen on NBC Sports Chicago's "Hawks Rewind" of Game 7 of the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday at 4 p.m.

The Hawks had climbed back after being down 3-1 in the series, due to three straight losses, to force a game seven at the United Center. It was the last year the longtime rivals would be in the same conference. 

With 1:47 remaining in regulation, a Niklas Hjalmarsson goal, that would have given Chicago a 2-1 lead, was disallowed due to controversial roughing penalties behind the play for Brandon Saad and Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey. 

Things were looking grim for the Hawks, who had valiantly battled their way back, seemingly only to be cheated out of a victory they earned. Saad had been launched into the Wings' bench and picked up and thrown down to the ice by Quincey. The Hawks rookie forward received his roughing penalty for retaliating by barely swatting at Quincey from his back. The game should have been over.

Everyone remembers what came next: Brent Seabrook's beautiful overtime goal to propel the Hawks through the rest of the postseason and his yell to the UC rafters while being mobbed by his teammates after the fact.

Seeing the determination and fight that the Blackhawks had against insurmountable odds and the way they pulled out one of the most memorable goals and wins in team history, it was hard not to feel that the Cup was theirs already at this point, unless you were a member of the team that still had a lot of work to do.

"You can't really sit there and say, 'We're going to win this,'" Bolland said over the phone. "The Stanley Cup is a tough trophy to win, it has to be the hardest trophy to win out there. But we had a great team that year. I think we had a lot of leadership through Seabs and Tazer and Kaner. All the guys that went through 2010, we knew what it felt like. When you get that first feeling of hoisting it, you want to do it over and over and over again."

What fans may not remember is that Bolland unequivocally made a play to get Seabrook the puck and without him, one of the greatest goals in franchise history never happens. There's no certainty the Hawks would have won Game 7 without the OT sequence that unfolded either.

"That Game 7 against Detroit was a big game," Bolland said. "I know I went and hit (Gustav) Nyquist and Seabsy picked up the puck and had a great shot and put it in the back of the net for the 'W'."

"Hit" is phrasing it modestly. Bolland pulverized Nyquist, with a clean crunch sending him into the boards and down to the ice. The puck Nyquist was carrying found Seabrook, who skated it into the offensive zone and placed a wrist shot perfectly over Jimmy Howard's glove from the high slot 3:35 into overtime. 

Bolland was justly credited with an assist for his efforts. 

The play he made set the table for the goal that saved the Hawks' 2013 postseason life and gave them momentum and confidence they'd ride the rest of the way. 

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Ever wonder how "Chelsea Dagger" became the Blackhawks' goal song?

Ever wonder how "Chelsea Dagger" became the Blackhawks' goal song?

Ever wonder how "Chelsea Dagger" became the Blackhawks' goal song?

If you've been to just one Hawks game in the past decade, the team's goal song — the Fratellis' "Chelsea Dagger" — is still probably on repeat in your head.

Not only is it a catchy tune, but it's become synonymous with the Blackhawks' renaissance and decade of dominance. For the vast majority of the past 10 years, when Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and other already legendary Hawks were having big nights and playoff series were being won, you were hearing the "do do do do do do" chorus. 

In a Zoom conference call interview with NBC Sports Chicago, former Blackhawks intern Matthew Benjamin said he would work the song into the rotation during 2008-09 preseason games when he was controlling the music. 

"They were trying to do some other songs, and pretty much right from the get-go, give them a lot of credit for trusting me to run the music and trusting an intern basically three or four months out of undergrad, working for an Original Six team to try this out," said Benjamin, a diehard and lifelong Detroit Red Wings fan whose car with a license plate reading "WingsIn7" could be spotted in the UC employee parking lot while he was helping write Blackhawks history.

Benjamin had been playing the song for Hawks employees around the office before getting a crack at playing tunes for games.

Former president of the Blackhawks John McDonough and executive vice president — still with the team — Jay Blunk were at Madison Square Garden to see the Hawks take on the Rangers for the 08-09 season opener and came to the realization that the organization may need one standalone goal song after hearing the same one repeated in New York four times.

According to NBC Sports Chicago Blackhawks pre and postgame host Pat Boyle, prior to 08-09 the Hawks mostly played Joe Satriani's "Crowd Chant" and had individual songs for players like Jonathan Toews ("Johnny B. Goode"), Patrick Kane ("Rock You Like a Hurricane") and Patrick Sharp ("Sharp Dressed Man"). 

McDonough and Blunk polled Blackhawks headquarters and the overwhelming majority determined a lone goal song was needed.

Due to Matthew's persistence, the song made it into Pete Hassen and Ben Broder of the marketing department's top three. It was worked into games more and more, along with a Fall Out Boy and Gwen Stefani number. 

The Madhouse on Madison responded the most to the Fratellis' jam and the rest is history.

"When you see something . . . the work, the time you put into it and you see it kind of come together, you see other people enjoying it, it's a nice thing," Benjamin said.

As he told his story, there seemed to be some relief and closure for Matthew, who spoke very highly of his time with the Hawks, for finally receiving some acknowledgement in helping provide the theme song for the golden age of Blackhawks hockey.

"This is something that I've known that I've been a part of. I've told some people [but] it's pretty hard for anybody to believe me, It's not like there's a lot of proof," he said.

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