Chicago Blackhawks prospect Kyle Beach(notes) scored 52 goals in 68 games last season for the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League. That's pretty promising for the Stanley Cup champions; but a little further to the right on Beach's stat sheet also shows "186 PIMs."
When he wasn't scoring goals, he was agitating opponents in various ways. The 20-year-old may have soft hands, but several incidents during his junior days gave some the impression that he has just rocks north of the eyebrows.
Last week, while partaking in the Blackhawks' summer developmental camp, Beach added another story to his growing presence when he and Norwegian import Mathis Olimb mixed it up not once, but twice during a scrimmage.
Here's video via Ms. Blackhawks of the second scrap: (Beach is in white)
The 24-year-old Olimb signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks last month and, according to ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers, he'll reportedly be out of action for at least four months with what looks like a shoulder injury.
Beach has four inches and about 30 pounds on Olimb, causing some to ask why the pair of fights was necessary. Chicago general manager Stan Bowman addressed maturity concerns with Beach's game. From the Daily Herald:
"I don't look at it as a maturity level, I think that's part of his game," Bowman said."That's actually what sets him apart from a lot of guys. He scored 52 goals last year, which was a great year. A guy that can do that as well as be tough to play against, you don't want him to lose that edge.
"That's a part of his game that's made him what he is so we don't want to discourage it. You have to do it at the right time, which I guess is something you can talk to him about. He's certainly proven himself to be a multi-faceted player and we're going to need that down the road."