Blackhawks

Hockey in the blood: Hawks prospect Beau Starrett trying to live out dream

Hockey in the blood: Hawks prospect Beau Starrett trying to live out dream

For Beau Starrett, there are a few good reasons to be one of four brothers who grew up playing hockey: the competition was right under the same roof and you never had to go far to assemble a pickup game.

“We had a goalie, a defenseman and two forwards. Almost a full starting lineup,” the Blackhawks prospect said. “My dad paves roads and highways for a living, so we have a nice big, sealed, coated driveway. We used to get out there all the time to play some 2-on-2 street hockey. We get along well, like to hoot and holler at each other but we had a blast with it and pushed each other.”

Two of Beau’s brothers, Pete and Troy, entered the business world following their collegiate hockey careers at Harvard and Babson College, respectively. His other brother, Shane, a goaltender out of the Air Force Academy, signed with the Edmonton Oilers in April. As for Beau, he’ll keep working toward that degree, but becoming a professional hockey player is still the No. 1 goal.

“Obviously the sky’s the limit,” said Starrett, who’s attending his fourth Blackhawks development camp. “Everyone here is here for the same job and competing for that one spot to make the Blackhawks. You do the best in our organization to get that job.”

Starrett is used to the competition from those pickup games with his brothers. The same goes for the pro-hockey inspiration. Starrett would love nothing more than to one day face his brother Shane, who was undrafted and coming off a stellar sophomore season with the Air Force Academy (26-6-4) when the Oilers signed him to a two-year, entry-level deal this spring.

“He’s a goalie, so it was always fun to test him and see how good he is. He took the road less traveled; going to Air Force, you definitely don’t see players from that program signing pro contracts. We’re best friends. We push each other, and I’m so proud of him to have signed a deal with Edmonton,” Beau said. “It’s definitely be a huge dream for me and my parents to maybe play against him in the NHL one day. We’ll see how that goes and who my parents would root for in that game.”

[Calling it a career: Brian Campbell retires, joins Blackhawks front office]

This fall Beau Starrett will enter his junior year at Cornell. Off the ice, he’s a communication major with a business minor – “I like to say I’m pretty versatile in the classroom,” he said. Asked what part of his game he’s improved most on the ice, Starrett said the mental side of it. He credited Dave Marks, the Blackhawks’ mental skills coach, for a lot of his progress.

“Starting from Christmas on I improved the mental part of my game. It definitely carried over on the ice. take for granted,” he said. “You can work out and bench press all you want, but it starts with the mental part of the game. I tip my cap to Dave Marks. I feel very confident out there, I feel good.”

Starrett has been motivated by his brothers all his life. Two have found post-college success in business world while another is pursuing his NHL dream. Beau wants to be the next one making a career on the ice.

“I was skating at 2, being the youngest of four. As far as I can remember I’ve been on the ice and it’s always been a dream to play in the NHL,” he said. “I chose to develop as a player. Each year I want to get better and pursue my dream.”

NHL Draft Profile: F Oliver Wahlstrom

NHL Draft Profile: F Oliver Wahlstrom

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

Oliver Wahlstrom

Position: Right wing
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 205 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"Wahlstrom already has an NHL-caliber shot with a quick release and the ability to create space for himself and linemates. He's most known for his goal-scoring ability and elite shot, and can hit a one-timer as good or better than many professional players."

NHL player comparable: Phil Kessel

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks would probably prefer to take a defenseman at No. 8, but because four of them might go inside the Top 7, the best available player on the board is likely to be a forward. And there's a decent chance that could be Wahlstrom.

Wahlstrom would immediately become Chicago's top prospect, and a player that has the potential to slide into the top six when he reaches the NHL — whenever that may be.

He's committed to college for the 2018-19 season, so it's doubtful he would join the team until at least 2019-20, but Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley said in our draft preview edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast that it wouldn't deter them from picking him. 

And it shouldn't, because you don't want to waste a player of his caliber's entry-level years developing in the minors if he's not ready yet.

"I think the way we would evaluate it is, we project them, we try to get a timeline on when we think they might be NHL ready," Kelley said. "But we're also looking for where they are in their development curve and want their ceiling is. I think in some players, you have to be a little bit more patient for them to reach their ceiling. That doesn't necessarily mean that players can't exceed their development curve, I think we saw that with Alex DeBrincat last year."

NHL Draft Profile: D Rasmus Dahlin

NHL Draft Profile: D Rasmus Dahlin

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

Rasmus Dahlin

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 181 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"Is the clear-cut No. 1, pro ready prospect for the 2018 draft. He has the skating, skills and elite hockey sense that can dictate the style of play and the pace of a game, whether it's with or without the puck. He finds ways to contribute and get the job done in all situations."

NHL player comparable: Nicklas Lidstrom

Fit for Blackhawks:

There is zero chance the Blackhawks can snag Dahlin, because it's highly unlikely the Buffalo Sabres would consider moving out of the No. 1 spot, and even if they did it would require a king's ransom. But for the sake of this exercise, what would Dahlin do for the Blackhawks organization?

Well, he's a player who immediately slots into your Top 4 and has the potential to emerge as Chicago's best defenseman in the next year or two. We're seeing it in Boston with Charlie McAvoy, Philadelphia with Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov, and Columbus with Zach Werenski and Seth Jones where these young defensemen are changing the directions of their franchise's.

That's what Dahlin would do for the Blackhawks, who are in desperate need of a young, impact blue liner. Now back to reality.