The Chicago Blackhawks have continued to lock up young talent out of the college ranks. Scott Powers of The Athletic is reporting that the team has agreed to a two-year contract with Anthony Louis of Miami University (Ohio). The Redhawks’ season ended on Saturday with a series loss at the hands of the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, leaving Louis to make a decision about his future in the NHL.
Drafted in 2013 by the Blackhawks in the sixth round, Louis could have waited until August to become an unrestricted free agent and sign with any team. After a solid if unspectacular season he’ll honor his draft status and begin his professional career with Chicago. The 22-year old winger will likely head to the AHL for the remainder of this year and help the Rockford IceHogs finish up their season. The AHL squad is in last place, and could easily give Louis a taste of the professional ranks without risking anything.
An extremely undersized winger standing just 5’8″ 160-lbs, Louis relies on his speed and balance to beat defenders and create offense for himself. For all the offensive talent he possesses, he’ll be hard pressed to utilize it at the next level against players much bigger than him. Then again, that’s the story he’s faced his whole life and perhaps he’ll be able to follow the footsteps of other undersized players—like Johnny Gaudreau and Mitch Marner—and develop into an offensive threat. It’s a long way off for that though, as he has never shown the creativity or finishing ability of either.