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 18-year-old forward and Winfield, Ill., native stands out as the smallest Blackhawks prospect, at 5-foot-7 and 145 pounds. Despite his size, the team is high on his skilled game, drafting him in the sixth round. He will begin his freshman year at Miami University in Ohio.
What have you had to do with your play to make up for the size difference?
It's been a lot of hard work, I've been having that all my life. I use that as a motivation to get better and stronger to help me on the ice.
Being an Illinois native, was Blackhawks hockey a big influence on you?
I've been watching them since I was a little kid. It's my dream to play here. To be part of this organization is an awesome feeling.
Any memories of coming to the city when you were younger?
Just going to Hawks games a lot. My uncle had season tickets so we used to sit on the glass every game. It was awesome watching the hometown team.
Was it surreal just being out there?
Yeah, it's a great feeling. Putting on a Hawks jersey is an awesome feeling. Just a start to a long road ahead.
Do you have a favorite player?
Lately, the last few years [Patrick] Kane has been the player I look up to.
Any similarities between the way you play?
I play a similar style to him. Very skilled, playmaker, I'm quick, I'm fast. Get in the corners if I have to, not afraid to do that.
Favorite things about Chicago?
I just like the city life, it's awesome. You're able to walk around everywhere. It's a very, very nice city. Neat and organized in every way possible.
Favorite city food?
I've always liked the Italian restaurants downtown, the Chicago-style hot dog is good. I know more about it because I'm from Chicago than the other guys. Italian beef—it's all good.
Cubs or Sox?
I cheer for them both, but if they go head to head I'm more of a Cubs fan.
Scott King is a RedEye special contributor.
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