Defensive Development, Top Picks Talk in Rockford, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

On a rainy Thursday night in early-May when my wife had work to do so I couldn’t disappear to see the new Marvel masterpiece in a theater, the National Hockey League provided four playoff games to help me fill a few hours and support my insomnia.

Sadly, while our Blackhawks aren’t in these playoffs, you couldn’t watch any of the games without seeing a familiar name last night. Indeed, there were five former Hawks on four of the eight teams in action last night. We’ll update their performances in a little bit. But first a few other nuggets of note.

•   Earlier this week, Scott Powers at The Athletic wrote a really good story about the year defenseman Ian Mitchell spent developing in Rockford. One quote from Mitchell was telling:

“I think I’ve always been an offensive player and now I think I’m really strong two-way player where I can be on the top penalty kill and can be on the power play,” Mitchell said. “Whatever the coaches needed me to do, I can play that role. Of course, everyone loves getting points and scoring, but I’ve taken a real onus and a real enjoyment of defending too this year. So I really feel like I’m rounding up my game.”

•   I’ve been a huge fan of Mitchell’s since he was a freshman at the University of Denver. He arrived on their campus with Pioneers coming off an NCAA championship and immediately emerged as a top-pair, every-situation defenseman. Lots of scouts raved about the maturity of his game as a teenager. With his time in Rockford this year it appears that maturity is showing itself valuable once again.

•   The Hawks’ first and second-round picks from last summer’s draft, Nolan Allan and Colton Dach, met with the media in Rockford on Thursday to discuss becoming professionals and their seasons in juniors. The IceHogs host Texas in the second game of their playoff matchup at 7 PM CT on Friday night.

•   How’d the former Blackhawks do in their playoff games on Thursday night?

Artemi Panarin, NYR — 1 goal, 2 assists, 19:04 on ice
Gustav Forsling, FLA — 1 assist, +4, 4 hits, 21:08 on ice
Anthony Duclair, FLA — 1 assist, 13:08 on ice
Trevor van Riemsdyk, WSH — 3 blocked shots, 16:55 on ice
Nikita Zadorov, CGY — 1 hit, 15:03 on ice

•   Fun fact about your new Hawks writer here at BN: I have written two books about the Blackhawks. My most recent book, Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline hit shelves in October of last year. The greatest anthem singer on the planet, Jim Cornelison, wrote a marvelous foreword for this book. It’s a photo-driven history of the franchise from 1926 to the end of the 2020-21 season. Give it a look on Amazon!

•   The checkbooks were out in Boston on Thursday. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety handed out $5,000 fines to both Brad Marchand for slashing Pyotr Kochetkov and Derek Forbert for slashing our old friend Teuvo Teravainen. Carolina has a 2-0 series lead on the Bruins. They play the first game on Friday night on TNT.

•   As we wait for the NHL Draft Lottery next week and, ultimately, the actual draft to come around in July, we can start staring at names in a vacuum. NHL Central Scouting released their final rankings of the top prospects entering the upcoming draft on Thursday. Let us know who you want!

•   The GOAT knows.

•   This one hurts on so many levels…

•   Nikola Vucevic deserves some extra love.

written by

Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

more blackhawks news

Number Change Buzz, Tax Advantages, Names Engraved, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Okay, I slept on it and I still need to get my soapbox out for a moment. On Friday afternoon, the Blackhawks announced the new jersey numbers for their eight veteran additions this summer and signed top draft picks. That...

All the New Blackhawks Got Numbers (and a Few Returners Made Changes)

On Friday afternoon, the Chicago Blackhawks announced the numbers for the newest members of the organization. Here they are: 15 -- Craig Smith 25 -- Alec Martinez 39 -- Laurent Brossoit 55 - Artyom Levshunov 59 -- Tyler Bertuzzi 77...

TJ Brodie’s Family, Blue Line Fit Reasons He Chose the Blackhawks

The flurry of reports surrounding the Blackhawks signing free agents on July 1 was wild to watch unfold. We woke up that morning to reports that Tyler Bertuzzi was coming to Chicago and the dust didn't start to settle until...

Every Shift at the Draft, IceHogs Schedule Drop, Seth Slander, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

The Blackhawks released the final episode of the 2023-24 edition of their "Every Shift" behind-the-scenes series. In this episode, they take us to the 2024 NHL Draft. As always, it's a good watch. You get a little more insight into...

The Rockford IceHogs’ 2024-25 Schedule is Out

Blackhawks fans are starting to get excited about the coming season -- in Rockford. With all of the additions the Blackhawks made to their NHL roster, the IceHogs could have one of the best rosters they've had since (at least...

Good(?) News For Blackhawks Fans in Season Predictions

For the last week or so, we've been talking about a lot of offseason thoughts from around the NHL interwebs about the moves that have (and haven't) been made thus far in the summer. The universal sentiment around the Blackhawks...

We’re No. 1! Moore’s a Beauty, Rockford’s Opener, Marcel’s Back, McLellan, Stamkos, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Hey, the Blackhawks were ranked No. 1 -- in summer improvement. At The Athletic, Dom Luszczyszyn ranked the entire NHL based on how much better teams got with their offseasons to date and Chicago came in on the top of...

Teuvo, Improvement, Farewell CapFriendly, Sharpie in Philly, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

First, the news of the week for the Blackhawks. On Tuesday morning, the Blackhawks formally announced the team will return to Milwaukee for another “Home Away From Home” preseason game at Fiserv Forum against the St. Louis Blues. The game...

Let’s Talk About the Blackhawks “Winning” and “Losing” a Trade

A roster move on Tuesday morning and some conversation around it on social media made me think about how we define whether or not the Blackhawks "won" or "lost" a trade. It's complicated. And there can be a lot of...

Nazar Love, a Line Thought, Another Fun Fact, Front Office Moves, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Because today marks 91 days until the start of the 2024-25 Blackhawks season, we open with a little love for the current No. 91 -- Frank Nazar. Remember that time he scored a breakaway goal in his first NHL game?...

Latest News

Seattle Storm vs. Atlanta Dream: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Atlanta Dream (7-15) will attempt to break a six-game losing streak when they visit the Seattle Storm (15-8) on Sunday, July 14, 2024 at Climate Pledge Arena. The matchup airs at 6:00 PM ET on FOX13+, Prime Video, and...

Where to Watch Argentina vs. Colombia: Copa America 2024 TV Channel, Start Time and Live Stream

The 2024 Copa America final is set for 8:00 PM ET on July 14, with Argentina going head to head against Colombia at Hard Rock Stadium. Argentina eliminated Canada in its semifinal game, while Colombia grabbed the win against Uruguay.You'll...

Dodgers vs. Tigers: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Los Angeles Dodgers (56-40), led by Shohei Ohtani, visit Riley Greene and the Detroit Tigers (46-50) at 1:40 PM ET on Sunday.The article below will provide you with everything you need to watch Los Angeles take on Detroit.When is...

Storm vs Dream: Best Bets, Player Props & Computer Picks – July 14

The Atlanta Dream (7-15) will hope to break a four-game road slide when taking on the Seattle Storm (15-8) on Sunday, July 14, 2024 at Climate Pledge Arena, airing at 6:00 PM ET.If you are trying to gain an edge...

Giants vs. Twins: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – July 14

On Sunday, the Minnesota Twins (54-41) are visiting the San Francisco Giants (46-50), at 4:05 PM ET, in the final game of a three-game set.Curious about who's playing for the Giants and the Twins? Keep scrolling to get full injury...

Braves vs. Padres: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – July 14

In the final game of a three-game set at PETCO Park, the Atlanta Braves (52-42) play the San Diego Padres (50-48), Sunday at 4:10 PM ET.Looking to see who's available to play for the Braves and the Padres? Keep reading...

Orioles vs. Yankees Probable Starting Pitchers – July 14

The Baltimore Orioles (57-38) look to end to a five-game skid as they host the New York Yankees (58-39) on Sunday at 11:35 AM ET.The Orioles will give the nod to Dean Kremer (4-5) against the Yankees and Carlos Rodon...

Storm vs Dream Prediction: Picks, Live Odds & Moneyline – July 14

The Atlanta Dream (7-15) will look to turn around a six-game losing streak when they visit the Seattle Storm (15-8) on Sunday, July 14, 2024 at Climate Pledge Arena. The game airs at 6:00 PM ET on FOX13+, Prime Video,...

Diamondbacks vs. Blue Jays: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

Ketel Marte and the Arizona Diamondbacks (48-47) host Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays (43-51) on Sunday, with first pitch at 4:10 PM ET.See how to watch the Arizona-Toronto matchup below.When is Diamondbacks vs. Blue Jays and when...

How to Watch Hall of Fame Open 2024: TV Schedule, Live Stream Links – Monday, July 15

The menu at the Hall of Fame Open on July 15 includes eight matches in the round of 32, including Mackenzie McDonald (ranked No. 96) against Rinky Hijikata (No. 77). How to watch, you ask? Go to ESPN for the...

more blackhawks news