(MCT) CHICAGO — With the present about as bright as can be after their second Stanley Cup in four seasons, the Blackhawks will turn their attention to the future this week when they hold their annual prospect camp.
"It's something we've put a lot of time and focus on and I think it's always nice to see these young players because it wasn't too long ago we had (Andrew) Shaw and (Brandon) Saad and (Nick) Leddy at this camp," general manager Stan Bowman said. "There are going to be some top-end players this year and hopefully not too far down the road they're going to be in the NHL lineup."
The Hawks have invited 51 players to attend the week-long camp, which begins Monday at Johnny's IceHouse West. It will conclude with three days of scrimmages with the team's hierarchy expected to be watching.
This year's first-round draft pick, Ryan Hartman (30th overall), is included in the group but won't be on the ice because of an injury. John Hayden (74th) and Anthony Louis (181st) will be on hand, as well as former first-round selections Phillip Danault ('11), Mark McNeill ('11) and Kevin Hayes ('10). Illinois natives Vincent Hinostroza ('12) and Alex Broadhurst ('11) also will participate.
"You bring our young players in and sort of show them a glimpse of what the Blackhawks are all about," Bowman said. "Some of these guys have never been to a camp before. You can't cover too much ground in terms of instruction in a one-week camp, but we want to try to get them acclimated to how we do things in terms of preparation and training and nutrition and then skill development and positional work."
Other invitees include Jake Chelios, son of former Hawks defenseman Chris Chelios, and goaltender Antti Raanta, who signed a one-year, free-agent contract after starring in Finland.
"We've got a great development staff that goes on the ice ... and we want to get (prospects) familiar with the city of Chicago and some teammates they're going to be with in the future," Bowman said.