Best Prospects on EARTH, WINDS of Change, FIRE in Their Bellies (And Other Blackhawks Bullets)

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Best Prospects on EARTH, WINDS of Change, FIRE in Their Bellies (And Other Blackhawks Bullets)

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks will kick off their 2022-23 season today with general manager Kyle Davidson and head coach Luke Richardson meeting the media. Tomorrow, practice. The new years is upon us, hockey fans! Let’s get… excited…

  • Interested in the Blackhawks’ future? Check out this pre-draft show on Thursday. As The Godfather (Bob) says, tanking is a time-honoured tradition and the Blackhawks are full participants this season.
  • These are the best prospects on earth — and, supposedly, the best class in almost two decades. We spent some time looking at some of the prospects who will be featured *after* Connor Bedard in their draft show who might be in play for the Blackhawks.
  • Each of these players looks like he will have a strong, bright NHL future. So while fans in Chicago, Montreal and Philly (we exclude Arizona because are there fans out there?) are hoping for the top pick, only one team gets that honor. And we shouldn’t be as upset with No. 2 as Buffalo was with Jack Eichel.
  • Earlier this morning we asked an important question that will be on the minds of everyone in the cities we just listed (except, again, Arizona): is our team bad enough to have the best odds of making the first pick (Bedard)? The Athletic asked that question about the Blackhawks this week in their season preview.
  • Indeed, the winds of change were blowing at the United Center this summer. Did the Blackhawks do enough to be the bottom of the barrel?
  • Starting tomorrow we’re going to see some new guys on the ice for the Blackhawks. Max Domi, Colin Blackwell and Andreas Athanasiou signed with the Blackhawks and each has something to prove. Can Domi be a top-six forward again? Can Athanasiou be a 20+ goal guy again? Can Blackwell stick in an NHL lineup for 75-80 games and make an impact?
  • The upside of all three of these skaters is why some think the Blackhawks might have an interesting roster. Interesting — not good. But there could be ample value in Domi and Athanasiou at the trade deadline if they can recapture the offensive game they showcased earlier in their careers.
  • Each of these three guys should be motivated to have a big year, and they’ll get the opportunity in Chicago.
  • If anyone on the roster should have fire in his belly it’s Petr Mrazek, who was unceremoniously dumped on the Blackhawks by Toronto at the draft this summer. He isn’t good; hasn’t been in a couple years. But Joe Yerdon at Bleacher Report actually tanked him 24th in his goalie power rankings earlier this week.
  • The Mrazek/Alex Stalock combo is the best case for the Blackhawks being at the bottom of the league this year in my opinion. But each of them — like the three guys we just discussed — has a lot to prove this year.
  • Happy 21st of September to those who celebrate. Perhaps my title and the bolded clues throughout this post make more sense now.
  • Scott Powers at The Athletic gave us one thing every player on the Blackhawks’ roster needs to prove during training camp. For Tyler Johnson, Powers wrote “That there’s a reason for him to be in Chicago.” Well, if he’s good there isn’t… right? Quite the conflicting situation for a veteran with two years left on his contract.
  • Finally, a prospect in the Cubs organization had a hat trick last night. Three home runs?!? Let’s go!!

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