The Chicago Blackhawks have finalized their 2021 opening night roster.
Following their training camp wrapping up on Tuesday afternoon, the team traveled to Tampa ahead of Wednesday night’s season-opener. And with that also came the final roster moves before dropping the puck.
ROSTER MOVES: Players assigned to @goicehogs ↕️
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 12, 2021
All four players who had to go through waivers from camp were unclaimed and sent to the Rockford IceHogs. Alexander Nylander, who had knee surgery prior to camp, was placed on Long-Term Injured Reserve (LTIR). Zack Smith, who was reportedly healthy and ready to join the Blackhawks for training camp, was placed on Injured Reserve (IR) with back issues. Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach will undoubtedly end up on LTIR at some point, but because of salary cap maneuvering, that has not happened yet.
The Blackhawks active roster heading into Wednesday night’s contest against the Lightning: Patrick Kane, Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat, Andrew Shaw, Pius Suter, Dominik Kubalík, Brandon Pirri, Mattias Janmark, Lucas Wallmark, Ryan Carpenter, Matthew Highmore, David Kämpf, Carl Söderberg, Duncan Keith, Connor Murphy, Ian Mitchell, Adam Boqvist, Calvin de Haan, Nikita Zadorov, Malcolm Subban, Collin Delia.
Aside from not having Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook available to start the season, and Carl Söderberg missing the first few games due to travel issues, there’s not much shock on the active roster coming out of camp. We’ll find out tomorrow what is keeping Seabrook away from the ice once the “unfit to participate” designation gets lifted. The biggest standout for me is that Brandon Pirri actually made the Blackhawks NHL roster.
The following players make up Chicago’s taxi squad: Brandon Hagel, Philipp Kurashev, Nicolas Beaudin, Wyatt Kalynuk, Lucas Carlsson, Kevin Lankinen.
The Taxi Squad has a combined eight games of NHL experience. Six of those games were played by Lucas Carlsson last season. Kalynuk, Kurashev, and Lankinen have not played an NHL game before. Without looking it up, this might be the least experienced taxi squad in the league. But that’s how it should be for a Blackhawks team looking to build up their young players.
Meanwhile, the following players who were at Blackhawks training camp have all been sent to the IceHogs: Andrei Altybarmakyan, Evan Barratt, Matej Chalupa, Anton Lindholm, Nick Seeler, MacKenzie Entwistle, Reese Johnson, Cam Morrison, Tim Söderlund, John Quenneville, Michal Teply, Chad Krys, Alec Regula, Matt Tomkins, Cale Morris.
There is some real potential with this group of players headed for the AHL. I’m particularly excited to see how Teply and Regula assimilate to the professional game, and how players like Entwistle, Söderlund, and Krys handle being some of the more experienced players on the IceHogs roster.