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Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25 for 2018: Alexandre Fortin at No. 22

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The winger missed 23 games with a groin injury, but still has plenty of promise with his skill set.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Alexandre Fortin had his first taste of professional hockey this past season with the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL. But his speed and skill that earned him a contract out of prospect camp in 2016 were hampered by a groin injury. Still, his skill set and youth have the Chicago Blackhawks’ hopeful that he’ll turn out to be consistent scorer.

Key information

Position: Left wing

Birth date: Feb. 25, 1997 (age 21)

Acquired via: Free agency

Most recent stop: Rockford — AHL

Size: 6‘0, 174 pounds

Contract: Signed through 2019 with $706,666 salary cap hit

Last year’s ranking: No. 12

Breakdown

Fortin looked poised for a solid campaign with the IceHogs this past season. He was coming off his third straight season in the QMJHL, where he posted 22 goals and a career-high 52 points in as many games despite playing with a sports-hernia injury. In the postseason, his career-high 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) ranked second on Rouyn-Noranda in seven games.

With such a promising QMJHL career, Fortin was expected to be in contention for a call up during the 2017-18 campaign. But he wasn’t one of the 12 IceHogs to be recalled.

For the second straight season Fortin was plagued by a lower-body injury that caused him to miss 23 games. He scored 21 points (four goals, 17 assists) in 53 games and appeared in only one playoff contest with Rockford.

During the Blackhawks’ prospect camp in July, Fortin told John Dietz of The Daily Herald that he feels 100 percent healthy again and knows he still has a “lot to learn.”

Hawks assistant general manager Norm Maciver acknowledged Fortin didn’t have a great season, but the organization still has high hopes for him. Maciver told Scott Powers of The Athletic that Fortin will have to work on becoming “physically stronger.” In the same piece, Fortin compared his game to Vinnie Hinostroza’s as both players are smaller and display plenty of speed and skill.

What’s next in 2018-19?

Fortin will likely return to Rockford another season as it’s tough to see him making Chicago’s roster with left wingers Brandon Saad, Nick Schmaltz, Chris Kunitz and Victor Ejdsell in place. If healthy, Fortin could be one of the first forwards to be recalled.