With the 11th overall pick in the 2008 NHL draft the Chicago Blackhawks select forward Kyle Beach. That might be the last time people in Chicago even heard Beach's name.
Over the last five years the Hawks and their fans have been waiting on Beach to make his debut in Chicago. To finally prove he is everything scouts that he could be and overcome the things that made him slide to the 11th pick in the draft.
Well it looks like GM Stan Bowman is willing to give Beach one more chance.
It would appear that Beach might get a chance to earn the spot that was opened by the trading of Dan Carcillo on Tuesday. However Beach is going to have to beat out other players who have clearly passed him by over the past few years.
Brandon Pirri, Jeremey Morin, Jimmy Hayes, Ben Smith and Drew Leblanc have all been widely discussed as guys with a shot of making the team this year. Not once has Beach's name been mentioned. Actually most, myself included, thought that the Hawks would let him leave the organization this summer.
Beach has everything you want in a hockey player. He is big (6'3, 208 lbs), can score (52 goals in 68 games in WHL) and he will drop the gloves and play hard. However much like Carcillo he tends to take stupid penalties and is at times too eager to drop the gloves. He also has missed time due to injuries suffered during fights, which has allowed other prospects to pass him by.
This past season he played in 66 games for the Icehogs and scored 16 goals and tallied 10 assists. He also served 204 penalty minutes. That's over three minutes a game. He also wasn't called up this past season to play in the final regular season game or be a "black ace" during the postseason. He of course was involved in the brawl this past season that saw seven players get suspended. Video of that is below.
This clearly is the last chance for Beach with the organization and to make the team. It will be interesting to see if he can finally put it all together and beat out the competition in training camp. Maybe knowing his back is really against the wall will be the motivation he needs.
Should be interesting to see this play out.
In other news the Rockford Icehogs have decided to bring back the older brother of Blackhawks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank.
Now it will be interesting to see if both the Brookbank brothers will stay part of the Hawks family or could Sheldon be following Carcillo out of town to make room for a young guy. A lot of story lines still to watch during training camp.