Blackhawks

Blackhawks' Patrick Kane: 'I will be absolved' of any wrongdoing

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Blackhawks' Patrick Kane: 'I will be absolved' of any wrongdoing

Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane addressed the media during Thursday's training camp press conference at Notre Dame University for the first time since his involvement in an alleged sexual assault case in his hometown of Buffalo earlier this summer.

Kane expressed confidence that he is innocent, but wouldn't get into many details. 

[MORE BLACKHAWKS: Eddie Olczyk 'trusts' decision by Blackhawks to allow Kane at camp]

“This has been an incredibly difficult time for many people,” Kane said. “I cannot apologize enough for the distraction this has caused my family, my teammates, this incredible organization and, of course, our fans.

“While I have too much respect for the legal process to comment on an ongoing matter, I am confident that once all the facts are brought to light, I will be absolved (of any wrongdoing)."

Following his statement, Kane declined to answer any questions that didn't pertain to hockey.

"I wish I could answer (your) questions right now, but I can't due to legal process," Kane said.

[MORE BLACKHAWKS: Blackhawks release training camp roster]

Blackhawks President John McDonough also issued a statement regarding Kane:

"The Chicago Blackhawks organization prides itself on trying to make calculated and deliberate decisions. Based on information we have at the present time ,we recognize that Patrick Kane is dealing with a very serious situation. Based on our discussions with his legal representatives who are very close to this matter we have decided to have Patrick join us for training camp here at the University of Notre Dame. Furthermore, we have the utmost respect for the legal process and will have no further comment on this issue at this time."

NHL Draft Profile: F Brady Tkachuk

NHL Draft Profile: F Brady Tkachuk

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Brady Tkachuk

Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 196 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"I know Tkachuk isn't a center, but Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) is another player who comes to mind with his combination of size, strength, skill and nastiness. Tkachuk has impressive hand skills and his upside has only begun because I think there's lots of maturity and growth to come. I've seen his speed and skating improve each of the past three years and I think he'll still get stronger and his balance will get better. His man strength will come and it'll be like, 'Oh boy, look out.'"

NHL player comparable: Matthew Tkachuk/Wayne Simmonds

Fit for Blackhawks:

If you're looking for a player that checks all the boxes in this year's draft, it's Tkachuk. And man could the Blackhawks use a player like him.

He's got offensive skill, willingly goes to the greasy areas, can provide net-front presence while playing a top-six role, and perhaps the most important part for the Blackhawks: he's very close to NHL ready. The Blackhawks will be patient with whoever they draft, but there's also some urgency to turn things around in 2018-19.

If they can draft a player like Tkachuk who can potentially jump into the lineup as early as this upcoming season, that would be ideal. Because he's the type of player that can make an impact, not just get by.

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Quinn Hughes

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 170 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"He's got the puck skills, is a good skater, and is a guy with some high-end offensive talent. He wants to get right in there and play where it's hard and where you get rewarded. When he gets that puck on his stick, he wants to bury it."

NHL player comparable: Torey Krug/Kris Letang

Fit for Blackhawks:

It's no secret the Blackhawks are looking to restock their pipeline with some high-end defensemen. Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell are on the way. But the former isn't a lock to be a full-time NHLer this season and the latter will continue playing in college for the 2018-19 season.

Hughes, who shined at Michigan and the IIHF World Championship with Team USA, would have the best chance of the three to crack the Blackhawks lineup first. The problem is, he likely won't be available at No. 8, so if Hughes is the guy they're locked in on, they'd need to trade up to grab him. 

If they did that, Hughes would give the Blackhawks a third blue line prospect they can get excited about. He's a left-handed shot, which evens out the balance in the system, and he would become a prime candidate to eventually replace Duncan Keith as the team's No. 1 defenseman.