For NHL fans, the anticipation for the announcement of Olympic rosters continues to build. More so, Chicago Blackhawks fans can anticipate at least five Olympians representing the United States and Canada alone.
However, fans should also be aware of Blackhawks prospects currently playing in international competition. One such example is 19-year-old Vince Hinostroza, who scored the United States’ final goal during their 5-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the IIHF World Junior Championship.
Hinostroza, a small 5-foot-9, 170-pound center currently plays his hockey at the University of Notre Dame, one of the nation’s better hockey programs. Drafted 169th overall out of the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks, Hinostroza plays alongside fellow Blackhawks standout prospect Stephen Johns at Notre Dame. He is also on the U.S. National Team with Blackhawks first round pick Ryan Hartman.
The Bartlett, Ill. native will hopefully be able to put on some weight and complete his game while at Notre Dame, as his USHL career has been potentially marred by injury. His first season in Waterloo ended in knee surgery. His second season ended in an upper body injury, whilst he suffered a broken arm in his third year.
However, when healthy, Hinostroza has been an incredible scorer, totaling 60 points during the 2012-2013 USHL season to go along with a +22 rating. Per Hockey’s Future, Hinostroza has a strong fore check and net-front presence from the center position reminiscent of Andrew Shaw.
The Blackhawks, thanks to Brandon Pirri and Teuvo Teravainen, are incredibly talented at the center position, but Hinostroza may emerge from Notre Dame and into the ECHL, depending on his progress. From there, the Chicagoland Prospect could end up making his way through the ranks, as his ceiling remains right on the threshold of the NHL.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486.