Another day, another blowout win for both the United States and Canada at the World Junior Championship. The Blackhawks’ prospects have made a significant impact in all three games for the US, and it was the guy on the blue line who made the headlines on Saturday.
- The United States ran away with another big win on Saturday afternoon, beating Austria 7-0. Blackhawks’ blue line prospect Wyatt Kaiser stole the show on Saturday, scoring two goals in the first period and earning Player of the Game honors for the US. Patrick broke down his terrific performance and had a few notes on the games of Landon Slaggert and Dominic James as well.
- The Blackhawks will have four prospects playing in the late game tonight. Victor Stjernborg will skate for Sweden against the trio of Hawks’ prospects on the US roster.
- On Sunday night (9 PM CT, NHL Network), the US can clinch the top spot in their group against Sweden. It’s a big game for the United States who have, frankly, dominated everyone they’ve played thus far. None of their games have been particularly close by the middle of the third period, if not the middle of the second. Sweden will be the toughest opponent the US has played yet by far.
- Canada followed the US and had their hands full with Czechia for a while. Canada allowed a short-handed goal during a five-minute power play and were down one late in the first before rolling off the next four goals (two in the first, two more in the second period).
- The highlight of the game was Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Kent Johnson (who went to Michigan) scoring a “Michigan” goal to break a 1-1 tie late in the first period.
- Yeah, we’re gonna give you another angle of that goal because it was ridiculous.
- Ethan Del Mastro, the Blackhawks’ lone prospect on Canada’s roster, was credited with two shots on net in 15:06 on Saturday.
- Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times shared a nice profile of Meghan Hunter, the Blackhawks’ assistant general manager of hockey operations.
- Here’s what Hunter told Pope about the rebuild:
“It’s going to take a while,” she admitted. “You have to get good assets in the draft, and you’ve got to get them in the first round. It’s kind of why we did what we did this year, to kickstart that rebuild now. But you have to strip it down so you can get better. We’re in it for the long haul.”
- Pope points out that Hunter is one of just six female assistant general managers in NHL history. However, five of those six have been promoted into their current roles during this calendar year.
- The guys at NHL.com published their team-specific fantasy hockey preview for the Blackhawks on Sunday. To say it isn’t kind is an understatement. They have three Blackhawks eclipsing 40 points this coming season: Patrick Kane, Seth Jones and Jonathan Toews. Not 65 or 70 points… 40. Taylor Raddysh is the only other relevant player mentioned, and the project him to produce 35 points.
- These are NHL.com’s rankings. I would submit Max Domi is an interesting play for a fantasy hockey roster because he’ll have a big role in Chicago and has shown the ability to be a 20-30 goal guy in the past. Andreas Athanasiou could be in line for a big role (potentially on a line with Kane) and could also have sneaky value with the Blackhawks.
- In case you missed it, NHL.com’s fantasy experts published their top 250 player ranking for the coming season. The Blackhawks did not rank well. In fact, most didn’t even crack the top 250 at all.
- Finally, since it’s World Juniors time and we’re focusing on the Blackhawks’ prospects, let’s stay with the youth movement idea and enjoy this absolute tank from Cubs prospect Kevin Alcantara.