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Hockey Fri Jun 20 2008

On ice tidbits

A few hockey highlights while the rest of Chicago is focused on the Crosstown Classic.

In tonight's NHL draft, the Chicago Blackhawks used the 11th pick to select Kyle Beach, an 18-year-old center from Everett in the Western Hockey League. Although the team's more pressing needs were at left wing and defense, the 6-3, 205 power forward unique mix of scoring touch and grit was too much for Hawks GM Dale Tallon to pass up. The Hawks minor-league system is already somewhat deep, and unlike last year's No. 1 overall pick Patrick Kane, Beach isn't expected to contribute right away, letting the team take a chance on a player with a high upside. Expect the Hawks to address their other needs with veterans the rest of the offseason.
Rounds 2-7 of the draft continue tomorrow, and the Hawks have six more picks, starting with No. 72 in the third round.

Heading to the suburbs, Wolves coach John Anderson has earned a long-deserved promotion, as he was hired today as the head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers. Anderson led his team's to 4 championships in his 11 years as Wolves coach, including this year's Calder Cup. Anderson's Wolves teams posted a 506-283-24-28-47 (a .688 winning percentage) with him behind the bench, and all but one of his teams qualified for the postseason. His track record in the minors has earned him a shot in the NHL, and his familiarity with many of the younger players in Atlanta should help him implement his system with the team.

 
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Sav / June 21, 2008 4:57 AM

"Although the team's more pressing needs were at left wing and defense,"


Beach IS a left-wing.

Jeremy PiniakAuthor Profile Page / June 21, 2008 12:07 PM

My apologies, nhl.com's draft site has him listed as a center, but he does also play left.

Sav / June 21, 2008 3:42 PM

No problem.

Beach is sometimes called both, but describes himself as a LW. He's going to be a force in the slot and crease area. He's also played the point on the PP. Before all the injuries took their toll this year, he had 19 goals and 39 points in just 26 games. Hopefully, he can stay healthy enough to bury all those great Kane passes.

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