Following Blake Hillman on our Top 25 Under 25 series at No. 17 is David Kampf. The Czech forward Kampf is yet another player on this list with NHL experience, with four goals and 11 points with the Blackhawks in 46 games last season.
Birth date: Jan. 12, 1995 (age 23)
Acquired via: Free agency
Most recent stop: Rockford IceHogs — AHL
Size: 6’2, 194 pounds
Contract: One year, $925,00 cap hit (entry-level deal)
Last year’s ranking: Unranked
The Blackhawks signed Kampf from his native Czech Republic, where he was playing with Pirati Chomutov in the Czech Extraliga. He put up 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists) in 52 games in 2016-2017.
Kampf split his first season in North America between the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL and the NHL. He played the most minutes on the Hawks’ fourth line, and scored his first NHL career goal on his birthday against the Winnipeg Jets when he redirected a Connor Murphy shot past goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and into the net.
Kampf ended the season in Rockford, tallying 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 33 regular-season games and one goal in 13 playoff games during Rockford’s run to the Western Conference Final.
What’s next in 2018-19?
Kampf will vie for a roster spot at center against prospects Luke Johnson and Tyler Sikura and newcomer Dominik Kahun. Johnson is the lone right-handed shot amongst the group. The competition will be stiff, but Kampf does have more NHL experience.
The main thing working against Kampf, however, is Marcus Kruger’s return. Re-acquiring Kruger from Arizona places a logjam at center, with Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz, Artem Anisimov and Kruger presumably occupying the center spots barring a trade.
Kampf will likely start next season in Rockford, but if there’s an injury, he’s in line to be called up.