USA Into Quarterfinals at WJC, Bedard's Eligibility, Prospect Rights Expiring, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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USA Into Quarterfinals at WJC, Bedard’s Eligibility, Prospect Rights Expiring, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

If you stayed up on Sunday night, the US played another late game at the World Junior Championship. Monday night concludes the pool play round of the tournament, with the quarterfinals set to begin on Wednesday.

  • The United States played perhaps their most dominant, complete game… for 52 minutes. Their attack against Sweden was consistent and relentless until the mid-point of the third period, when Sweden appeared to flip a switch and get their offense in gear.
  • Dominic James played a good, physical game. In the first period, he mixed it up and threw a big reverse hit against a much bigger player. James skated 12:30 in the game and won four of six faceoffs.
  • Landon Slaggert picked up one point in the game — the primary assist on what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
  • It’s worth another look (or two) at the game-winner, even though it made the score 3-0 at the time.
  • After stealing the show with two goals in the previous game, Wyatt Kaiser had a more quiet but effective night on the blue line for the US. He skated 15:44 in the game. While he didn’t make any highlight packages in this one, his sister might be the best player in the family.
  • For Sweden, Victor Stjernborg skated 11:44 and struggled against a really good American team in the faceoff circle. Stjernborg won just two of eight at the dot in the loss.
  • Here’s an idea of what the quarterfinals are shaping up to look like when they begin later this week:
  • Ethan Del Mastro and Canada will look to match the United States’ perfect run in pool play on Monday. And, like their American counterparts, the Canadians will face their first real test in the tournament against Finland. The game begins at 5 PM CT on NHL Network.
  • When you’re watching Canada and being shocked by the skill of Connor Bedard, it’s worth keeping in mind that he could play in… three more World Junior tournaments?? I do like how this is worded. Let’s keep speaking this into existence, shall we?
  • Back in the NHL world, Aug. 15 is the deadline for NHL teams to sign players who completed their natural college careers (read: 4-5 years to graduation). The Blackhawks have one player whose right will lapse on Monday: defenseman Joshua Ess. The Blackhawks drafted Ess in the seventh round in 2017 and he skated at Wisconsin for five years (including one that was cut short by the pandemic).
  • Slava Demin is also on this list, but he is likely returning for his pandemic year of eligibility and is reportedly transferring (again) to Merrimack.
  • Speaking of prospects, it sounds like one of the Cubs’ top young players could be back on the diamond this week. We’re excited for the future of Brennen Davis and hope he can get healthy and back to 100 percent soon.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab