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2021 Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25: Honorable mentions

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Just missing the list, Caleb Jones was on three lists and Michal Teply was on two.

Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers
Caleb Jones, formerly of the Edmonton Oilers skates during a game against the Vancouver Canucks
Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Second City Hockey will drop the puck on its 2021 Top 25 Under 25 ranking series by looking at two players who were included on ballots, but did not earn enough voting points to make the 25-man list. The voters for this year’s installment consisted of all four SCH writers, who submitted individual ballots.

Caleb Jones

Position: Defenseman
Birth date: June 6, 1997 (24)
Acquired via: Trade with the Oilers
2021-22 Team: Blackhawks (NHL)
2021 NHL regular season stats: 4 points (zero goals, four assists), six PIM, 23 SOG, 0.0 S%, 13:36 ATOI, 49.19 CF%, 50.04 xGF%, 54.17 oZS% in 33 games
Size: 6-foot-1, 194 pounds
Contract: One year, $850,000
Rankings: 24 (Dave, LBR), 25 (Mil); Unranked (Shepard)
Last T25U25 ranking: N/A; #6 on Copper and Blue’s 2020 list

Jones will get NHL games at some point this season.

Whether it’s at the beginning of the year, the middle or closer to the end when the Blackhawks are either likely injury-plagued or out of playoff contention, he will see time in the NHL. After all, the last time Jones played the majority of his season in the AHL was 2018-19 and he hasn’t played an AHL game since Dec. 7, 2019.

At 24, though, coming off a 2021 season when Jones had only four assists in 33 games and was removed from the Oilers’ lineup in the playoffs, his ceiling is not the highest and he likely tops out as a good bottom-pairing defenseman, somebody who can move the puck in limited minutes.

Last season with Edmonton, his ice time was limited to an average of just 13:36 and that may put a damper on what he can do in Chicago. However, he is a more proven NHL asset than some other players higher on the list.

Michal Teply

Position: Left wing
Birth date: May 27, 2001 (20)
Acquired via: 2019 NHL draft, fourth round
2021-22 Team: Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
2021 AHL regular season stats: 5 points (zero goals, five assists), six PIM, 31 SOG in 18 games; two points (zero goals, 2 assists) in 5 WJC games
Size: 6-foot-3, 187 pounds
Contract: Three years, $820,000 AAV
Rankings: 24 (Mil), 25 (Shepard); Unranked (Dave, LBR)
Last T25U25 ranking: No. 19

In his first AHL season, Teply scored just five points in 18 games, all assists. It’s a bit troubling that Teply went without a goal his games at the upper levels — both in the World Juniors and in the AHL. Teply remained a good playmaker, though, especially for a rookie who’s now heads back to the WHL for what’s expected to be a full season with that league.

Teply scored 29 goals and 63 points in 54 games in his first North American season in the WHL in 2019-20 and if he displays that same potential again, he could rise on this list closer to where he was last year. With Teply’s size and capable skating, he could be a good power forward in the NHL.

This WHL season will be a chance to prove that potential still exists.