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.
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
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.
Fortin shows off his speed and nearly chips it to himself pic.twitter.com/4GL2hK5SPk— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) July 20, 2018
Henri Jokiharju defending Alexandre Fortin in 1-on-1 drill: pic.twitter.com/I6TGoOn8nY— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) July 16, 2018
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.