The Kids in The Stalls

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(Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)

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By Scott King @ScottKingMedia 

Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville has already accepted the inevitable. When it comes to a handful of spots on the 2016-2017 roster, the Hawks are hiring, and the jobs have to go to some youngsters.

“I’m very comfortable with it,” Quenneville said. “It’s almost like you see more depth in our team, organizationally.

“I see more speed to our team, way more depth on the backend, some potential defensemen that can emerge with some time and some experience. So that’s a positive sign.

“Up front, I thought Vinnie [Hinostroza] really jumped out this week. I thought he had a really good week, his speed… When you watch the playoffs last year you see that one thing that kind of sticks out in the game, that one ingredient that really is noticeable is speed. He gives us that.”

Blackhawks Vice President and GM Stan Bowman was also very pleased with what he saw at prospect camp. “I thought this year was the best we’ve had in terms of the caliber of player, the effectiveness of the week in terms of just the level of play,” Bowman said.

“The scrimmages were high-pace for summer hockey. You got guys like Tanner Kero, Hinostroza and [Ryan] Hartman, they’ve played games [with the Hawks]. I thought they were exceptional.

“I think they’ve taken their game to another level. You can put Tyler Motte and Nick Schmaltz in that same group. Those guys haven’t played NHL games, but just watching the way they played, and [Gustav] Forsling on defense, I thought that group was really playing some excellent hockey. So I think the future’s bright.”

Other young guns that stuck out for the Blackhawks at this week’s prospect camp were 19-year-old winger Alexandre Fortin who lead all Hawks hopefuls with 5 goals. The forward was passed over in the last two NHL drafts.

Fortin’s linemate throughout camp, 21-year-old Dylan Sikura, caught the eyes of both Quenneville and Bowman with his seemingly constant puck possession and exceptional skating ability.

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