With all the hype surrounding the prospects the Blackhawks can select with the #3 pick in the 2019 Draft, it’s crucial to know who the Blackhawks already have in their prospect system.

The Blackhawks have a strong prospect pool of players that will fight for roster spots as soon as next season. Their prospects focus primarily on high-end defensemen with a plethora of high ceiling forwards.

  1. Henri Jokiharju – Defenseman

Henri Jokiharju had a heck of a 2018-2019 season. After having a strong training camp, he ended up making the Blackhawks and having a huge role under Joel Quenneville in the beginning stages of the season.

Jokiharju was playing over 20 minutes a night and was paired up with Duncan Keith. He was poised with the puck and had amazing confidence as an 19 year old in the NHL.

Through Jokiharju’s promise, he showed a decline. He struggled with the physicality and was forced out of position too much in the defensive zone. Under new head coach Jeremy Colliton, Jokiharju lost minutes and was eventually sent down to the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL.

Jokiharju finished the year in Rockford with 17 points in 30 games and was a +7.

Look for Jokiharju to be on the Blackhawks roster full time in 2019-2020 as he should make an impact immediatley in the Blackhawks top 4.

2. Adam Boqvist – Defenseman

The 8th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft showed what he is capable of this season with the OHL’s London Knights.

Boqvist had 20 goals and 40 assists in the regular season but it was in the OHL playoffs where Boqvist turned heads.

Boqvist led London in goals with 10 in only 11 playoff games. He was a threat every time he had the puck and was a dynamic force on the powerplay.

It’s clear that Boqvist is an outstanding offensive defenseman, but what is still not clear with him is the defensive side of the puck. Boqvist struggled defensively in the OHL and was often seen out of position and out of coverage.

This is normal for a rookie, 18-year-old defenseman, so look for Boqvist to improve on that for next season.

I believe the best spot for Boqvist to play next season is back in London in the OHL. I think he can still develop this defense more and look to be more consistent in the defensive zone. The London Knights have a great coach in Dale Hunter who will surely look to unlock Boqvist’s true potential.

Blackhawks arrival: 2020-2021

3. Ian Mitchell – Defenseman

Of all the Blackhawks prospects, Ian Mitchell may be the most underrated of them all. Ian Mitchell brings everything you want in a defenseman. He is the type of player you build a team around as he is a potential future captain of a team.

Ian Mitchell brings a strong 2 way game and can run a power play from the back end. Ian Mitchell is returning to the University of Denver for his Junior season as their captain. Look for Mitchell to be a point per game for Denver and lead them back to a National Championship again.

Blackhawks arrival: 2020-2021

4. Phillip Kurashev – Forward

Phillip Kurashev is currently the best forward in the Blackhawks prospect system. A fourth-round pick in 2018, Kurashev had a strong season in the QMJHL but it was on the national stage where he shined.

Playing in the World Juniors with Switerzland, Kurashev scored 6 goals in 7 games and was one of the best forwards in that tournament. He also had 4 points in 8 games in the World Championships a couple weeks ago playing against men and current NHL players.

Look for Kurashev to play the entire 2019-2020 season with Rockford in the AHL and be one of their top point producers.

Blackhawks arrival: 2020-2021

5. Evan Barratt – Forward

Evan Barratt had a great breakout season for Penn State in the NCAA. Barratt recorded 43 points in 32 games and was fourth in the nation in points per game.

Barratt is a 2-way center who brings grit, skill, and tenacity. He’s the type of center who can be played on a checking role or on the power play in the front of the net causing havoc.

Barratt will most likely return to Penn State for his Junior year where he will look to try to win a Hobey Baker award as the best college player.

The Blackhawks will look to sign Barratt after his Junior year and place him as a top 9 checking center.

Blackhawks arrival: 2020-2021