Blackhawks

Rizzo walk-off propels Cubs to win over Cardinals

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Rizzo walk-off propels Cubs to win over Cardinals

The Cubs remained quiet on the trade front as of Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field.
The action was on the field.

Anthony Rizzo's two-run home run in the 10th capped a 4-2 victory, as the Cubs completed a series victory over the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. It marked a stark contrast to a week ago, when the Cardinals outscored the Cubs 23-1 in three games.

The Cubs improved to 14-9 in July.

Carlos Beltrans solo home run off Shawn Camp tied the game 2-2 in the eighth. The Cubs left two on base in the bottom of the inning.

Starter Paul Maholm continued his dominating streak. He became the first Cubs left-hander in modern history to allow one or fewer runs in at least six innings for at least six consecutive starts.

Maholm gave up a run, struck out five and walked four in 6 23 innings. He exited with two outs in the seventh after giving up a run and loading the bases with a double and two walks. Manuel Corpas ended the inning with a strikeout.

The Cubs went ahead 1-0 when David DeJesus led off the first with a triple and scored on Starlin Castros groundout.

The Cubs added another run in the second when Darwin Barney led off with a double and scored on an error on an attempted double play by the Cardinals.

The Cardinals cut the lead to 2-1 in the seventh on Tyler Greenes sacrifice fly after David Freese singled and Matt Carpenter doubled against Maholm.

Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright allowed two runs, struck out five and walked one in six innings.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

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

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

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

Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 189 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"Kotkaniemi has been a top-six forward for his league team in Finland all season and had a very solid U18 season relative to his historical peers in the league. He has very good hands that are high-end, if not flashing elite. He can make very skilled plays off an entry, but what impresses me is how well he can control the puck and keep plays alive."

NHL player comparable:

Fit for Blackhawks:

There isn't a player that has climbed the rankings in such a short amount of time than Kotkaniemi, who was initially projected to go outside the top 10 but could go as high as No. 3 overall. It's likely because there aren't many high-end centers in this draft, and he's the top one.

If Kotkaniemi happens to slip to No. 8, it may be hard for the Blackhawks to pass up on him. He's versatile, too, which is always a bonus, especially when playing under Joel Quenneville. But if they view him as a center, here's how the Blackhawks would look down the middle: Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz, Kotkaniemi and Artem Anisimov.

Um, yeah. That'll work.