Young Stars Breaking Out, Bowey Moved to Taxi Squad, NCAA News, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Young Stars Breaking Out, Bowey Moved to Taxi Squad, NCAA News, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks continue to get points in the standings, even if wins are not piling up. After dropping their first three games of the season in regulation, the Blackhawks have at least one point in seven of their last eight games. The Carolina Hurricanes at the top of the Central Division and the Blackhawks in sixth-place are separated by just two points so far this season, but based on points percentage it’s a much wider gap.

The top-four teams in each division go to the postseason and currently the fourth-place team in the Central, the Tampa Bay Lightning, has a .786 points percentage. Compare that to the Blackhawks’ .455 points percentage in sixth-place and you can figure that the playoffs are still not in the future for Chicago.

So, you have to take the points when you can get them and more importantly focus on what developing players are taking away from each game. For Chicago, the young players have lived up to and exceeded expectations already this season.

•   Nicolas Beaudin is one of those players who had a breakout last night. Coming off the COVID Protocol list, Beaudin played 20:01 minutes in the shootout loss to the Hurricanes, and was quarterbacking the second powerplay unit. It was a big step up in confidence and responsibility for Beaudin in his rookie NHL season.

•   Also coming off the COVID Protocol list and having a big return game was Alex DeBrincat. He missed more time than Beaudin, but came back with two primary assists on both game-tying goals against the Hurricanes. He’s now tied for second on the team in points with Dominik Kubalík, both with eight points. DeBrincat has five points in his last three games played.

•   Kevin Lankinen moved to 3-1-3 on the season with the shootout loss. He has a .935 save percentage and a 2.09 GAA in seven starts over the last eight games for the Blackhawks. Lankinen ranks first in both categories for rookie goaltenders, and leads the NHL in save percentage for goalies with at least five appearances this season. His 2.09 GAA ranks third amongst NHL goalies with at least five appearances. He’s been very, very good for the Blackhawks.

•   Pius Suter and Philipp Kurashev have been big breakthroughs for Chicago this season, as well. Each rookie has four goals a piece, tied for the lead among all rookies in goal scoring. Suter’s six points have him tied for third among rookies this season, while Kurashev is alone in fourth for rookie scoring with five points.

•   Zooming out, the Blackhawks are led in scoring by Patrick Kane, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. He has 11 points in 11 games after notching a goal last night. He has four points in his last three games, and with the goal last night, moved into a tie for sixth all-time in points (1,033) by US-born players with Doug Weight.

•   In NCAA news, the Blackhawks have two players that are nominated for postseason awards. Josiah Slavin out of Colorado College is nominated for the Hobey Baker Award as NCAA Player of the Year, and Boston University’s Drew Commesso is nominated for Mike Richter Award for the NCAA’s Top Goaltender.

•   And finally in prospects news, Michal Teply and Wyatt Kalynuk have been assigned to the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL, with Madison Bowey being recalled to the Blackhawks Taxi Squad. Bowey was recently signed to a two-year deal with Chicago and sent to the IceHogs. Rockford begins their season on Friday at home against the Cleveland Monsters.

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Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.