Blackhawks

Duncan Keith enjoys skills-competition afternoon with son

Duncan Keith enjoys skills-competition afternoon with son

LOS ANGELES – Colton Keith walked a few steps ahead of Duncan Keith as they entered the locker room, the 3 1/2-year-old carrying his dad's stick and wearing his gloves. For the elder Keith, this is his fourth All-Star appearance. But having his son with him makes this one that much more special.

"He's only three but he has all the teams memorized pretty good already," Keith said. "It's special to have him here, to share this with him. It's special for me to see the fun that he's having and get him to see everyone."

Keith said his son was excited for the entire All-Star weekend, from staying at the same hotel with fellow Blackhawks all-stars Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Corey Crawford to calling Toews "Sir Toes" and joining his dad on the ice for Saturday's skills competition.

"He gets what's going on, maybe not to the full extent but he enjoys coming to the games," Keith said. "The happiest I see him is when he's banging on the glass in warmups and he's already skating on his own. I know he loves it, loves being around it."

Keith said his son's favorite moment was meeting Brent Burns during the Saturday's festivities. Burns was happy to oblige.

"I just know how special that is from last year, doing that with my son," Burns said. "That's what it's about. It's allowing these guys to get in there and get a piece of our life. That's all you want as a father, to allow them to get into that life a little bit. It's just special. It's something he'll be able to carry on for the rest of his life."

As for Colton's favorite player? Nope, it's not dad. It's Marian Hossa.

"One of his first words was horses, so Hossa was there," Keith said. "I'll take that, though. That's not a bad guy to try to emulate."

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.