Two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup for the second time in four seasons, the Blackhawks are searching for future stars at their prospect camp. The training sessions run through Friday at Johnny's IceHouse West (2550 W. Madison St.) and are open to the public.
RedEye sat down with 2013 draft picks and Illinois natives Ryan Hartman and Anthony Louis to talk about growing up in Chicago, their favorite baseball teams and how they plan to make it to the NHL.
The Blackhawks' top draft pick this year is merely an observer at camp, as he underwent shoulder surgery two months ago. However, there is still a great deal of anticipation about Hartman, 18, being a part of the organization.
Hartman grew up in West Dundee, Ill., and his style is already being compared to Andrew Shaw's. (Think: Taking on 6-foot-9, 255-pound Boston Bruin Zdeno Chara.) The hard-nosed Hartman plans to to play for the Plymouth Whalers in the Ontario Hockey League for another year before trying to go pro.
How has Blackhawks hockey been an influence on you growing up in Illinois?
Watching them over the years has definitely been a big part. Obviously, being a fan of the Blackhawks and being here is really awesome.
People compare you to Andrew Shaw. Any similarities with the way you play?
For sure. He's a tough player, he's a hard-nosed type guy, and that's kind of like how I like to play. I like the physical side. At the same time, I like scoring goals, I like creating offense. He does a good job of that too.
Are you a chirper like he is?
Yeah. [Smiles.] yeah, I get a little vocal, yeah.
Any memories of coming to the city when you were younger?
The Shedd Aquarium, going down to the beach, went to a few Blackhawks games. Actually made it to a Bulls game when Michael Jordan played. I don't really remember it, but I got a few pictures from games.
Favorite things about the city?
The whole experience [of] just being down in the city. There's always things going on—like there's a movie being shot right by our hotel. Being on the beach and you got the lake right by it …
Favorite player growing up?
My dad liked Eric Daze a lot. But when I got older I liked [Patrick] Kane and [Jonathan] Toews when they started coming into the league. They're pretty fun to watch.
Cubs or Sox?
Cubs.Scott King is a RedEye special contributor.
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page. Sports' Facebook page.