Meet the Former Blackhawks and IceHogs Heading to the Winter Olympics

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Meet the Former Blackhawks and IceHogs Heading to the Winter Olympics

Chicago Blackhawks

With the release of the Men’s Canadian Olympic roster yesterday, we finally have the rosters of all 12 teams heading to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics revealed. The Chicago Blackhawks organization, including the Rockford IceHogs, will have players representing them on nine of the 12 countries participating. Two prospects and 14 former players comprise the 16 total players going to the Olympics having ties to the organization. Here’s a rundown of who will be there in Beijing in a week and a half.


•   Drew Commesso

One of two Blackhawks prospects heading to the Olympics, Commesso is the top goaltending prospect in Chicago’s system. Maybe the top goaltending prospect they have had since Corey Crawford. He’s been a two-year starter at Boston University and would have had two appearances for the U.S. at the 2021 and 2022 World Junior Championships, but COVID kept him off the 2021 roster. His stint as the starting goalie for the 2022 U.S. World Junior squad was cut-short after just one game, a 3-2 win over Slovakia where he made 23 saves. At just 19-years-old, Commesso already has had opportunities to represent the U.S. at the World Junior Championships, World Championships, and now the Olympics.


•   Matt Tomkins
•   Chris DiDomenico

Speaking of goaltender prospects, former IceHogs and Indy Fuel (ECHL) goaltender Matt Tomkins will be with Team Canada. This will be the second time that Tomkins has an opportunity to represent Canada, having played for the Canadians during the 2019 Spengler Cup. Tomkins was a seventh-round pick by Chicago in 2012 and played in 36 AHL games with the IceHogs and 79 ECHL games with the Fuel.

Chris DiDomenico, selected as a reserve player for Canada, had two stints with the Blackhawks organization from 2010-2012 and then again in 2018. His 2018 run with the IceHogs was his last run of play in North America, joining Rockford via trade and then recording 23 points in 22 games in the regular season. DiDomenico was a key figure in the IceHogs’ 2018 Calder Cup Playoff run, leading the team with 18 points in 13 postseason games.


•   Artem Anisimov
•   Artur Kayumov

The Russian team is one of the favorites in this year’s tournament as they look to defend their 2018 Gold Medal. Former Blackhawks centerman Artem Anisimov will make his 11th appearance representing Russia internationally, having made two appearances in the World Junior Championships, six previous appearances at the World Championships, he was part of the 2014 Olympic team and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey team. He had some of his most productive years of his NHL career in Chicago from 2015-2019.

Along with Anisimov, Chicago’s 2016 second-round pick Artur Kayumov will be with team Russia as a reserve player.


•   Marcus Krüger
•   Lucas Wallmark
•   Joakim Nordström
•   Fredrik Olofsson
•   Lars Johansson

The most populous team with Blackhawks connections, Sweden will have five previous Blackhawks and IceHogs players, highlighted by Stanley Cup winners Marcus Krüger and Joakim Nordström. Krüger played with both the IceHogs and Blackhawks in his professional career, skating in 472 games with Chicago and winning the 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cups. Nordström also played with the IceHogs and Blackhawks in his professional career, skating in 54 games with Chicago and being a part of the 2015 Stanley Cup team.

Along with Krüger and Nordström, Lucas Wallmark had a cup of coffee (16 games) with the Blackhawks during last season, Fredrik Olofsson was a former draft pick by Chicago, and Lars Johansson spent one season (2016-17) with the Rockford IceHogs.


•   Ville Pokka

One of the more successful IceHogs in recent years, Pokka was one of those “4A” players who was really good in the AHL but not good enough for the NHL. He skated in 266 AHL games for Rockford and tallied 127 total points. He was traded, one-for-one, in 2018 for Chris DiDomenico. For Finland, Pokka will be making his eighth international appearance with three stints on the World Junior Championship teams, three appearances on the World Championships teams, and playing on the 2016 World Cup of Hockey team.


•   Dominik Kahun

A flash in the pan with the Blackhawks, Kahun made his one season with Chicago count, skating in all 82 games during the 2018-19 season and recording 37 points in his rookie NHL season. Over the next two years in the NHL, he split 104 games between the Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, and Edmonton Oilers, recording 46 points. It was surprising to see him not stick around in the NHL beyond last season and has been playing for SC Bern in the Swiss National League this season. He has 39 points in 35 games this year.

Kahun will be making his tenth appearance with the German National team, having three runs on the World Junior Championships teams, five appearances in the World Championships, and was part of the 2018 Olympic team previously.

Czech Republic

•   Michael Frolík

In his time with Chicago, Frolík was one of the unsung heroes of the Blackhawks as a defensively responsible forward and a key part of the 2013 Stanley Cup Championship team. He skated in 136 NHL games with Chicago, 858 in his NHL career. He was with the Montreal Canadiens last season but only skated in eight NHL games and two AHL games with Laval Rocket. He is currently playing with Lausanne HC in the Swiss National League and has 14 points in 19 games this year.


•   Peter Regin

The Blackhawks acquired Regin in February of 2014 from the New York Islanders and the skated in just 21 NHL games with Chicago between then and the 2014-15 season. He spent the majority of his time in the organization with the Rockford IceHogs during the 2014-15 season, recording 41 points and playing in 69 AHL games that year. It was also his last season in North America before heading back to Europe to continue his playing career.


•   Marko Dano
•   Tomáš Jurčo

A pair of prospects that never turned-out for the Blackhawks, Dano and Jurčo will be making their eighth and seventh appearances internationally for the Slovakian team. Jurčo was part of the 2014 Slovakian Olympic team, recording one goal in four games during the tournament. He spent a season and a half with the Blackhawks organization between the 2016-17 and the 2017-18 seasons, skating in 39 NHL games and 36 AHL games with the Rockford IceHogs. Dano had a shorter stay with Chicago in his North American professional career, skating in just 13 NHL games and 34 AHL games with the IceHogs during the 2015-16 season.

The Men’s Olympic tournament consists of 12 teams that will be split into three groups during preliminary play with Group A consisting of Canada, USA, Germany, and China. Group B has Russia, Denmark, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic, while Group C has Finland, Sweden, Slovakia, and Latvia. Play begins on February 9 and runs until the Gold Medal game on February 20.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

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