POSTED ON Monday, 11.16.2015 / 2:28 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.

(Tyler Ingham/UND Sports)

1st Star: C Nick Schmaltz, University of North Dakota (NCHC)
The Line:
2GP, 2G, 4A

Schmaltz had a breakout weekend, posting six points to help North Dakota complete a two-game sweep of Miami University. Four of those points came in a big 6-2 win on Friday, as the 2014 first-round pick assisted on UND’s first three goals before starting—and finishing—an unbelievable passing sequence to cap off the scoring with his first goal of the season.

Watch the goal here:

On Saturday, Schmaltz assisted on the opening goal, then added the game-tying tally late in the third period to force overtime in an eventual 4-3 win. Schmaltz now shares the team lead with 13 points in 12 games during his sophomore season.

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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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