Mathieu Sheridan The Hockey Writers
Prospects News & Rumors: Chalupa, Thornton & Groshev
The Chicago Blackhawks announced that they have loaned a prospect overseas, the Sarnia Sting announced that they have received a commitment from one of their draft picks, and we take a look at a Russian prospect who raised his draft stock this past season in our Prospect of the Day.
Blackhawks Loan Czech Prospect Chalupa Overseas
The Blackhawks have announced that they have loaned Czech prospect Matej Chalupa to Mountfield HK for the start of the 2020-21 season. The native of Prague, Czech Republic went undrafted and was signed by Chicago on May 29, 2020.
Chalupa spent this past season playing for the HK Hradec Kralove of the Czech Extraliga. In 50 games, he managed to score 7 goals and added 17 assists for 24 points to go along with 20 penalty minutes. Over the course of five seasons playing in the Czech Extraliga, he has managed to score 11 goals and added 28 assists for 39 points.
It will be interesting to see how Chalupa fits into the Blackhawks plans moving forward. He plays the game the right way and knows what his role is when he goes out onto the ice. He will most likely spend a few seasons playing in the AHL before making the jump to the NHL but he has the chance to be a solid forward down the road.
Sting Prospect Thornton Commits to Team
The Sarnia Sting announced that goalie prospect Anson Thornton has committed to the team for the upcoming 2020-21 season. He was originally selected third overall in the 2020 Under 18 Priority Selection.
Thornton has experienced success in the past as he was a part of the 2019 Don Mills Flyers who went on to win GTHL and OHL Cup Championships. In four games played in the OHL Cup, he managed to post a 1.21 goals against average and a .909 save percentage.
“We are very excited to welcome Anson and his family to our program,” said Sting general manager Dylan Seca in the official press release. “Anson has worked extremely hard to put himself in the position to play in the Ontario Hockey League. Our Goaltending Coach Franky Palazzese has scouted and trained with Anson for the past two seasons and we were drawn to his work ethic and determination. Along with those great qualities, he has the athletic ability and skill set to succeed.”
Prospect of the Day – Maxim Groshev
For our Prospect of the Day, we will be taking a look at Russian prospect Maxim Groshev. Currently ranked 25th amongst European skaters by NHL Central Scouting, he has the chance to make some noise down the line.
Groshev spent this past season playing for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of the KHL. In 36 games, he managed to score one goal and added six assists for seven points to go along with four penalty minutes. Groshev also represented his country on the international stage where he managed to score two goals and added one assist for three points in 23 games.
THW’s own Eugene Helfrick thinks that Groshev has the chance to break into the league and become an option in just a few years.
“If Groshev is able to continue developing his game in a meaningful way while playing in the KHL, then he will be quickly vying for a starting gig out of training in maybe just two or three years. Even if it takes a few years, he will likely force his way into a fourth-line role at the worst for the franchise that selects him.”
Related: THW’s 2020 Draft Guide
Groshev may not have as high of a ceiling as some other draft eligible players but he has the size and skill that will make him an attractive option come draft day. At the end of the day, it is up to Groshev on how good of a player he will become. All we can do is sit back and wait.
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