Hawks Insider

Blackhawks rookie rankings: Top 10 after 2020-21 season


The Blackhawks finished the 2020-21 season with 11 rookies on their roster. Here's where each of them rank at the conclusion of the campaign.

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We're going to lump these two together, given their short looks with the team. Johnson was credited with 22 hits in five games while Regula appeared in only three contests and averaged 12:22 of ice time. The Blackhawks simply wanted to give each of them a taste of the NHL as they take the next step in their development process.


Entwistle appeared in only five games, but didn't look out of place as the fourth-line center. He picked up his first career NHL assist in just his second game and scored his first career NHL goal in his fourth game. At 6-foot-3, 184 pounds, Entwistle is a big-bodied forward who can be a defensive specialist.


The Blackhawks signed Hardman to an entry-level contract at the end of March and inserted him into the lineup shortly after his quarantine period ended. He registered three points (one goal, two assists) in eight games while averaging 10:59 of ice time, but most notably had 38 hits. He brings a physical element to the fourth line and isn't afraid to go to the greasy areas.


Beaudin quietly had a successful season with the Blackhawks and you could argue he probably should've gotten a longer look. He had six points (two goals, four assists) in 19 games while averaging 13:47 of ice time, but had a stretch where he was playing on the first power play. He took one of the biggest steps from last season to this season, and the Blackhawks are hoping he can take another one next season.


The Blackhawks, selfishly, wished Mitchell was on the team last season but he elected to return to Denver for his junior year and served as the captain. Finally in the mix, Mitchell secured a spot in the lineup out of training camp and came out strong out of the gates. But then he hit a rookie wall as the competition got tougher and rotated in and out with the taxi squad. He finished the season with seven points (three goals, four assists) in 39 games while averaging 15:02 of ice time. He's at his best when he's playing with swagger, and the Blackhawks want him to get back to that level.


The Blackhawks probably expected Kurashev to spend the majority of the season in Rockford, but he played well enough to stay on the NHL roster all year long. He recorded 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 54 games, bouncing around all four lines and between center and wing. You can see the potential in his game, but finding that consistency is the next step in his development.


It was an up-and-down rookie campaign for Suter, but overall, a success. He spent the majority of the season centering the top line with Patrick Kane and finished fourth on the team in goals (14) and points (27). Suter is probably better suited on the wing and playing in a middle-six role, but his versatility is something the Blackhawks appreciate.


The biggest surprise of the season? That would be Kalynuk, who tied Duncan Keith for the team-lead among defensemen with four goals despite playing in only 21 games. He also added five assists. In his final eight games, the 24-year-old blue liner averaged 19:27 of ice time. He was playing in all situations and didn't look out of place. Expect him to play a key role next season.


Lankinen had a terrific first half of the season after going 9-3-3 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .924 save percentage in his first 15 starts. He tailed off in the second half, but still finished with a .909 save percentage and ranked second among all rookie goaltenders with 17 wins. Have the Blackhawks found their potential No. 1 goaltender of the future?


Hagel was barely on the radar going into the season and he turned out to be the most consistent rookie of them all. He finished with nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points, which ranked fifth on the Blackhawks. Hagel also scored two overtime goals, becoming the second rookie in franchise history to accomplish that feat; Brent Seabrook is the only other.


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