Leading up to the Blackhawks’ 2018 development camp, The Rink will profile the Hawks’ top 10 unsigned prospects.
Next on the list at 8th is center Evan Barratt of Penn State University.
2017–18 Team: Penn State (NCAA)
Date of Birth: February 18, 1999
Place of Birth: Bristol, PA
Weight: 187 lbs
Acquired: 2017 NHL Entry Draft, 3rd round, 90th overall
Evan Barratt is an intriguing prospect because of the skills he possesses. Barratt is considered as a two-way player with decent offensive ability who is responsible defensively. The Blackhawks drafted him out of the US National Team Development Program, a team they enjoy frequenting. Barratt is one of eight players the Hawks have drafted from the team since 2010.
Barratt’s best offensive trait is his play making ability. He has great vision and hockey sense, allowing him to be an excellent passer. Barratt excels at finding teammates in prime scoring areas. He also has a very good wrist shot with an excellent release.
Barratt is a good skater who does not mind throwing his body around to cause havoc offensively. While not a player who focuses on his physical game, other teams are certainly aware when he is on the ice. He is a difficult player to play against and finds ways to get under the opposition’s skin.
Barratt showed off these abilities in a game against the University of Minnesota last season. Barratt and Ryan Lindgren, a prospect for the Boston Bruins, got into an altercation and received matching minor penalties. While the players were in the penalty box, Lindgren gave Barratt a piece of his mind. The majority of the time Lindgren was yelling at Barratt, Barratt mimicked a crying baby in response. When the two came out of the penalty box, Barratt leveled Lindgren with a huge, clean hit. Later in the shift, Barratt showcased his high-end shot with a perfectly placed wrist shot that hit the crossbar before going in the goal. Needless to say, it was quite the shift for Barratt.
Implications for the Blackhawks
Barratt could be a nice option for the Hawks down the road if he pans out. While he will likely not be a high-end scorer at the NHL level, he has the potential to be a reliable player who can chip in offensively in a depth role for the Blackhawks. He will need some time, but might be a nice option for the team in the future.
Barratt needs to add more muscle to his frame to be ready for the NHL. He will continue his development at Penn State, where he will likely spend at least two more years before turning pro. Barratt would likely benefit from a year in Rockford as well before stepping into the Blackhawks’ lineup. With this trajectory, Barratt would not be in the NHL until at least 2021–22.
Barratt projects as a middle-six center at the NHL level, most likely in a third line type of role. Barratt’s sound two-way game and ability to play in all situations makes him an ideal third line pivot option.
What others are saying
“He gets things done. If he has to break down the front door to do it, he does that. He’s a great teammate, not so great to play against.”
— Mark Kelley/Chicago Blackhawks VP of Amateur Scouting
“One of the better two-way forwards in the (2017) draft in terms of having a complete understanding of duties and responsibilities in the defensive zone. A Keystone Stater from Bristol, he’s a very good playmaker who produces at both even strength and on the power play. Barratt is a hard-nosed, 200-foot center with excellent vision, but he can also throw his weight around and be relentless on the forecheck. Barratt was one of Team USA’s top point producers at even strength, but his elusiveness and soft touch during the man advantage enabled him to create plays against static zone defenses. He owns a ridiculous wrist shot, and he’s quick enough to escape from a board battle and fire a quality shot on net — one that goalies have a tough time handling from any angle. Finishing around the net could be an area he needs to work on, but he can wear a defender down to the point where he will get multiple opportunities all on the same shift.”
— Steve Kournianos/The Draft Analyst