MORE Prospect Rankings, Remembering Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 10 Years Later, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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MORE Prospect Rankings, Remembering Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 10 Years Later, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Welcome back to the work week after the long weekend. Hope you were able to enjoy your Labor Day! I spent my Monday building a high-chair, a pack-n-play, and a crib in anticipation of my daughter coming into the world in a few short weeks…yeah, it’s all started to set-in now. Crazy times!

Anyway, let’s get into the hockey, eh?

•   After doing a Chicago Blackhawks Prospect Pyramid myself, The Athetic’s Corey Pronman released his own tier-style rankings of the best Under-23 players in the NHL or in NHL farm systems.

•   I’m not surprised to see which Blackhawks land on Pronman’s list and where they land. Kirby Dach is listed relatively high as a “Bubble NHL All-Star” and Lukas Reichel is within the top 100 players, listed as a “Middle of the Lineup” player. Hard to argue against those kinds of evaluations. But, out of the nearly 200 players on the list, those were the only two representatives for Chicago. That will need to change if the Blackhawks are going to be built back up into real contenders soon.

•   A player that may or may not end up being in play for the Blackhawks in the 2023 NHL Draft is Russian phenom Matvei Michkov. The 16-year-old is playing in the KHL, Russia’s top professional league, and is already on pace to potentially be the highest-scoring player in the 18-and-under category…

•   Some pretty impressive names on the list, too.

•   Speaking of the 2023 NHL Draft, the already presumed top overall draft prospect is Connor Bedard. Playing in the WHL last season as a 15-year-old, Bedard scored 28 points in 15 games and finished tied for the team-lead in scoring with the Regina Pats, playing nine fewer games than Ryker Evans, who he was tied with.

•   Needless to say, heading into his first full WHL season, the expectations for Bedard are growing, if that was even possible at this point.

•   I’m not sure when Henry Staal will be draft-eligible, but you know with his family lineage, he’ll likely make his way to the NHL some day like his Dad and uncles…

•   Start ’em young!

•   A touching moment at the Cubs game yesterday as Blackhawks legend Chris Chelios sang the seventh inning stretch and honored the late Tony Esposito.

•   We love you Tony O!

•   In Women’s professional hockey news, the NWHL is rebranding. According to Marisa Ingemi of the Seattle Times, the league will now be known as the Premier Hockey Federation…

•   And here is the rebranded logo:

•   You can find more information on the rebrand here. The league says the intention behind the change was to change the focus of the league to being “based on the skill and talent of its athletes as opposed to their gender.” The league’s rebrand also makes it the first professional league in North America to drop the “Women’s” label from the league’s title.

•   Announcing a major re-branding this close to the start of the season is a big change. I get the motivation behind the change, but it’ll take some getting used to not calling the league by the old NWHL name. The PHF 2021-22 season begins on November 6th.

•   Today is a somber day in international hockey history. On September 7, 2011, the plane transporting KHL club Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed in Russia and all but one of the 45 passengers on board did not survive.

•   Among those lost in the crash were Igor Korolev, Alexander Karpotsev, and Pavol Demitra. You can read more here about those lost and the enduring memory of one of the worst days in hockey from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News.

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all can enjoy your Tuesday!



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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