POSTED ON Thursday, 11.12.2015 / 5:27 PM CT
By Leah Pascarella - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
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POSTED ON Monday, 11.9.2015 / 3:37 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight prospects who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: D Ville Pokka, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 2GP, 1G, 2A

Pokka’s play has been a big reason the Rockford IceHogs are on an eight-game point streak, righting the ship after dropping three of their first four contests this season. The 21-year-old contributed one assist in Friday’s 4-1 win over Grand Rapids; he added another on Saturday against Milwaukee, then scored his first goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2 before the team ultimately lost in overtime. Pokka leads team defensemen and shares the overall team lead (among current roster players) with seven points in 12 games this season; he also leads the club with 29 shots on goal.

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POSTED ON Monday, 11.2.2015 / 4:10 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight prospects who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.

(Photo by Rudi Ayasse)

1st Star: RW Roy Radke, Barrie Colts (Ontario Hockey League)
The Line: 3GP, 4G, 1A, second hat trick of the season

Radke, the Blackhawks’ sixth-round pick this past summer, extended his point streak to four games by posting four goals and an assist in three outings with Barrie last week. The Chicago native opened the scoring in a 4-3 loss to Erie on Oct. 29, notched his second hat trick of the season in a 6-5 loss at Hamilton on Oct. 31, then picked up a helper in a 6-0 win at Mississauga on Nov. 1. Radke ranks second on the team with 10 goals and fifth with 15 points in 15 games this season.

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POSTED ON Friday, 10.30.2015 / 12:50 PM CT
By Leah Pascarella - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

ESPN released their NHL Future Power Rankings, analyzing projections for the 2018-19 season, and the Blackhawks came in strong with a first-place ranking in the Central Division and second overall.

The rankings take into account four criteria in order to determine future chances of success: roster, prospects, contracts/cap room and owner/coach/GM.

On a scale of 0-10, the Blackhawks received a 9.25 for owner/GM/coach, 8.75 for the roster, 5.25 for prospects and a 4.00 in the cap/contracts category, giving the team an overall weighted score of 7.02.

Tampa Bay ranked first in the league with a weighted total of 8.40, and the New York Islanders finished behind the Blackhawks with a score of 6.97.

Craig Custance of ESPN praised the leadership team of Head Coach Joel Quenneville, Chairman Rocky Wirtz and VP/GM Stan Bowman for their execution in building championship teams in the salary cap era as the Blackhawks roster ages and earns higher salaries.

Additionally, Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelley plays a major role in the continuing success of a team, overseeing the drafting of young stars like Teuvo Teravainen without the benefit of lottery picks.

If the past few years are any indication of the Blackhawks' success, the team will continue to climb the rankings and compete for more Stanley Cups in the years to come.

Click here to see the full list of Future Power Rankings.

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POSTED ON Monday, 10.26.2015 / 1:15 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight prospects who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: C Tanner Kero, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 3G, 1A

Kero earned CCM/AHL Player of the Week honors after posting three goals and an assist in three games last week to help the IceHogs get back to a winning record (4-3-0-0). The 23-year-old tallied twice—including the game-winner—and added a helper in a 3-2 victory over Iowa last Wednesday, then netted his sixth goal of the season in a 4-2 win over Milwaukee on Saturday. Kero currently shares ninth in the league with eight points in seven games, ranking third among AHL rookies.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.20.2015 / 1:41 PM CT
By Leah Pascarella - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

The 2015 championship rings have officially been given to all 2015 Stanley Cup champions! While most of the 2014-15 team gathered together for the ring ceremony at the Langham Hotel on Oct. 4, a few players who couldn’t attend got their rings hand-delivered. Vice President of Hockey Operations Al MacIsaac made the trip to Raleigh, N.C., to present Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom with their rings. MacIsaac also took a trip to Dallas to give Patrick Sharp his third championship ring and Johnny Oduya his second. Antti Raanta and Brandon Saad each received their rings when their new teams faced the Blackhawks at the United Center.

2014-15 Blackhawks Kimmo Timonen, Antoine Vermette, Brad Richards and Daniel Carcillo attended the championship ring ceremony.

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POSTED ON Monday, 10.19.2015 / 12:37 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight prospects who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.

(Photo by Amber Fry)

1st Star: LW Fredrik Olofsson, University of Nebraska-Omaha (NCHC)
The Line: 2GP, 2G, 2A

Olofsson had a breakout game last Friday, posting a pair of goals and a pair of assists in Nebraska-Omaha’s 4-3 win over Vermont. The 2014 fourth-round pick tallied the Mavericks’ first two goals of the contest, then assisted on the last two. Olofsson’s five points in four games share first among college freshmen, as he continues to impress in his debut NCAA season.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 10.14.2015 / 10:28 AM CT
By Leah Pascarella - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

The fans voted, and the results are in! ESPN The Magazine released the rankings for the 2015 Ultimate Standings. All 122 franchises across the four major pro sports leagues were ranked, and the Blackhawks came in at No. 17, making the organization the top team in Chicago for the third year in a row.

The Blackhawks came in fifth in the NHL behind playoff rivals such as the Tampa Bay Lightning and Anaheim Ducks. In Chicago, the Blackhawks finished ahead of the Bulls (66) and Cubs (77).

Winning three Stanley Cups in six years might have something to do with it, but playoff success only accounted for a small portion of the vote. Calculations were broken into eight categories, with the most weight placed on fan relations and "bang for the buck." Other areas included the team’s effort on the field and ownership of the team.

ESPN surveyed over 100,000 fans to rate their favorite franchises in 25 areas, from “has honest ownership” to “connects me to information I want about the team online or via mobile devices.” Mix that in with some calculations of how efficiently teams convert the money fans spend into on-field wins, and they came up with their formula.

Click here to view the full list of rankings.

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POSTED ON Monday, 10.12.2015 / 1:12 PM CT
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: C Tanner Kero, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 2GP, 2G, 1A

The Rockford IceHogs opened their 2015-16 campaign with a decisive 4-2 victory against the San Jose Barracuda on Oct. 9, powered by the line of Tanner Kero, Jeremy Morin and Marko Dano. Kero netted the team’s first goal of the season just 1:01 into the contest and tallied on a redirect early in the third period for the eventual game-winner; he also added an assist for a career-high three points. Kero is in his first full professional campaign after joining Rockford for the tail end of 2014-15, when he scored five goals in six regular-season games.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 09.29.2015 / 10:33 AM CT
By Harvey Wittenberg - Web Contributor / The Blackhawks Blog

With six Stanley Cups captured in 88 NHL seasons, the Blackhawks are setting their aim on number seven and are trying to become the first to repeat since Detroit turned the trick in 1997 and 1998, prior to the start of the hard salary cap.

It is interesting to note that when the Blackhawks won their first three Cups in 1934, 1938 and 1961, they opened the season at home. The most recent three Cup-winning campaigns in 2010, 2013 and 2015 saw the Blackhawks begin their schedule on the road.

Naturally, there is a ton of hockey with an 82-game schedule that will be decided before the regular campaign ends on April 9.

Taking nothing for granted, Coach Joel Quennville has repeatedly said the toughest task is making the playoffs. After all, the Los Angeles Kings failed to reach the playoffs last season after winning the Stanley Cup in 2014.

The Blackhawks are 38-31-17 (including two overtime losses) all-time in openers. The 1934 and 1961 Blackhawks teams both tied their openers, while the 1938 Cinderella team—which won the Stanley Cup, despite a losing regular-season record—was shut out in their first game.

The 2010 team lost in a shootout at a game played in Finland, but in the 2012-13 opener, the Blackhawks spoiled L.A.'s banner-raising ceremony; last season the Blackhawks beat Dallas 3-2 in a shootout.

Winning the first game of the season after enjoying the banner-raising ceremony against the Rangers would be great, but the long-term plan remains "One Goal" in retaining the coveted Stanley Cup for Blackhawk fans!

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