skip navigation

Where Are They Now: Black Hawks in the NHL 3/8

By WBH, 03/08/18, 4:15PM CST



The National Hockey League regular season is hitting its stretch drive.  Only about a month remains during the 2017/18 regular season.  It has been a year which has included alumni milestones, highlight goals, a spectacular showing in the All-Star Game and one NHL debut (so far).  With the playoffs looming, the opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup looks likely for four former Hawks.  At least one other is on a team hoping to boost themselves into the postseason picture.  

The games are getting ever more exciting.  Here’s what former Hawks have been up to lately on the game’s biggest stage:

Joe Pavelski – San Jose Sharks
(Waterloo: 2002/03 – 03/04)

The puck has been finding the net for the veteran forward at just the right time.  Pavelski has seven points (three goals, four assists) in the Sharks’ last three games.  That includes his third two-goal performance of the season last Thursday versus the Chicago Black Hawks.  The other two multiple goal efforts were also recorded within the last month.  Pavelski needs to score just twice more for his fifth consecutive 20-goal season.  He is only 16 points shy of 700 for his NHL career and currently leads the Sharks with 53.

Craig Smith – Nashville Predators
(Waterloo: 2006/07 – 08/09)

A comeback season for Smith may become the best of his seven years in the NHL.  In 63 games, he has 39 points (20 goals, 19 assists).  The former Waterloo captain’s current pace would put him at 49 when the schedule ends, just shy of the 52 he accumulated in 2013/14.  However, the 28-year-old has blown past his scoring stats from 2016/17 when he had a dozen goals and 17 assists in 78 appearances.  Nashville currently leads the Western Conference standings and is one point shy of having the NHL’s best overall record.

J.T. Brown – Anaheim Ducks
(Waterloo: 2008/09 – 09/10)

Brown has played nearly as many games this season with Anaheim as he did for the Tampa Bay Lightning before being claimed by the Ducks off waivers in January.    His 18 appearances on the west coast have included a goal and two assists.  Brown recorded a goal and three assists in 24 games for Tampa.  Visiting the Detroit Red Wings on February 13th, the 27-year-old skated in the 300th regular season game of his NHL career.

Vinnie Hinostroza – Chicago Blackhawks
(Waterloo: 2010/11 – 12/13)

Chicago fans may be disappointed that this season has not gone better for the team, but no one can be disappointed in the forward from the west suburbs.   Only called up in early December, Hinostroza has surpassed his scoring numbers from last season by more than 50 percent, even though he has appeared in only 36 games (last year, he dressed 49 times).  Receiving ice time with some of Chicago’s most prominent forwards, Hinostroza has seven goals and 16 assists.  His +7 plus/minus margin leads the team.

Brandon Montour – Anaheim Ducks
(Waterloo: 2013/14 – 14/15)

Montour had a high-scoring start for Anaheim.  The offensive pace has slowed for the speedy defenseman, but the blue-liner has been steady all year as Anaheim has moved to second in the Pacific Division.  At +17, his differential ranks second for the Ducks.  Spending his first full season at the NHL level, Montour has produced six goals and 19 assists in 65 games.  Thirteen of his points have come on the power play, and half of his goals have been game-winners.

Brock Boeser – Vancouver Canucks
(Waterloo: 2014/15)

An amazing rookie season has probably ended.  Even if a back injury suffered on Monday night ultimately puts Boeser out for the rest of 2017/18, it will still be the most productive first year for a former Black Hawk at the NHL level, ever.  The All-Star Game MVP award came amidst 62 appearances in which the former first round draft pick just missed averaging a point per game (29 goals, 26 assists for 55 points).  With 15 games remaining on the schedule, Boeser has nine more points than his next-highest scoring Vancouver teammate.

Ian McCoshen – Florida Panthers
(Waterloo: 2010/11 – 12/13)

In January, McCoshen missed several games due to an injury.  Opportunities for ice time have been inconsistent since then.  During a February 22nd game against the Washington Capitals, he did record an assist on Florida’s first goal of the night.  The Panthers went on to a 3-2 win against their Eastern Conference rivals.  McCoshen now has three goals and an assist in 34 appearances.

Justin Kloos – Minnesota Wild
(Waterloo: 2010/11 – 12/13)

Kloos made his NHL debut on October 24th during a 1-0 loss to Vancouver.  Since then, he has been with the Iowa Wild, recording 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) in 57 American Hockey League games.

Zach Sanford – St. Louis Blues
(Waterloo: 2013/14)

Injured in Blues training camp, Sanford took the ice for the first time this winter during a February AHL rehab assignment with the San Antonio Rampage.  He has skated in four Rampage games so far.

As a group, Waterloo’s NHL alumni have 206 points in 369 NHL appearances this year.  With about a month left on the schedule, 15 more goals will push their total to 100.  However the real goal is to reach the playoffs.  With the Predators, Ducks, and Sharks currently in position to qualify and the Panthers on the brink, several former Black Hawks could still be playing into April and May.

Visit Karen’s Print Rite at 2515 Falls Avenue in Waterloo or online at