Kicking off our rankings on Tuesday at No. 25 is young forward Roy Radke. A sixth-round pick (No. 164 overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, Radke spent the 2015-16 season playing for the OHL's Barrie Colts. He recently participated in the Hawks' prospect camp and has some nice offensive upside going forward.
Birth date: Dec. 10, 1996
Acquired via: Sixth round (No. 164 overall) in 2015 NHL Entry Draft
Most recent stop: Barrie Colts (OHL)
Size: 6'3, 205 pounds
Highest ranking: No. 16
Lowest ranking: Not ranked
Radke, a Chicago-area native, is coming off an up-and-down season in the OHL. He started out hot, racking up 10 goals in his first 14 games, but went quiet during the second half and finished with 19 goals and 20 assists in 66 games. In the OHL playoffs, he failed to record a point in 15 games. So consistency remains a real issue for the 19-year-old, and it's why he probably won't sign with the Hawks this year despite being interested. Another season in the OHL could do some good.
There's reason to like Radke, who was picked in the sixth round in 2015. He's a large, strong forward and understands how to leverage that to keep possession and make plays. IceHogs coach Ted Dent had some praise for him during prospect camp: "He’s big. He skates. He’s got that long reach. I think he’s a winger, but he played center at camp this week. For all those guys, it’s just playing at a high place. It’s learning that everything is done fast."
Radke isn't as skilled as some other players higher on this list, but he has good NHL potential if he can improve his decision-making, adapt to a faster game and become a more dependable finisher. We've seen the flashes already. Now it seems like the Hawks are just waiting for him to start putting it together night-in, night-out.
What's next in 2016-17
Radke has been open to signing with Chicago, but it appears the team would prefer to wait another year while he develops. Most likely, Radke will return to the Barrie Colts, where opportunity awaits with several top scorers from last season's team gone, then sign an entry-level contract with the Blackhawks next spring if everything pans out.
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Second City Hockey's Top 25 Under 25 rankings
No. 25: Roy Radke
Honorable mentions: Radovan Bondra, Joni Tuulola, Mathias From, John Dahlstrom, Lucas Carlsson