Prospect Chatter, Seth Jones’ Impact, a Must Read, Draft Watch, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

The Blackhawks took Monday off after a couple rough games this weekend. They head to Dallas for a Wednesday night game against the Stars, who are playing very well right now. The schedule isn’t doing the Blackhawks any favors… if winning is the goal.

  • Patrick made the trip to Rosemont this weekend to watch the IceHogs battle the Wolves. The game ended with a thrilling overtime game-winner for the IceHogs, and some of the prospects impressed. But he was left wanting more from Lukas Reichel, the organization’s top forward prospect.
  • How important is Seth Jones to the Blackhawks? This was an interesting note from Scott Powers in his Monday notes at The Athletic:
  • From the analytics, the Blackhawks are especially feeling Jones’ absence around the net on both ends of the ice. In the Blackhawks’ first eight games with Jones, they were creating 9.59 high-danger chances per 60 minutes in five-on-five play and allowing 10.08 chances against, according to Natural Stat Trick. In the last 10 games without him, they’re creating 6.82 chances and allowing 13.27 chances.

  • Good news from practice on Tuesday: Seth is practicing with the rest of the regular roster. He hasn’t appeared in a game in November yet (and the Blackhawks’ record this month shows they need him)/
  • The new USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine college poll dropped on Monday and there was some interesting movement. St. Cloud State, which has benefitted from stellar goaltending from Blackhawks prospect Dominic Basse, jumped into the top three behind Denver and Minnesota. Aidan Thompson has continued to help DU since his entry into the lineup as well.
  • The Blackhawks have prospects at Denver, St. Cloud State, Michigan (Nazar is out), Providence, Boston University, Ohio State, Merrimack and Notre Dame. Minnesota-Duluth is not ranked this week.
  • How about this action from Drew Commesso over the weekend? Commesso and Basse have been two of the best goaltenders in college hockey this season, which is great to see for the future of the Blackhawks in net. However, with both players enjoying good seasons and it being around the time in their collegiate careers that top prospects sign NHL contracts, it will be interesting to see if the Blackhawks sign both when their seasons come to a close.
  • Since Thanksgiving is now just a couple days away, let’s check in with 2022 first round pick Sam Rinzel to hear what he’s thankful for this year. As a reminder, Rinzel has committed to play at Minnesota next year and is probably a couple years away from signing. But clearly the Blackhawks really like his long-term projection; they traded back into the first round for a third selection to take him (earlier than some thought he needed to come off the board).
  • Your Must Read non-Blackhawks related story of the day comes from The Hockey News. This is really good stuff about the inspiration behind a character in arguably the greatest hockey movie ever made.
  • In real life, Ogie is played by Bill Goldthorpe, who “might have been either the wildest or most colorful man ever to play the game,” as Stan Fischler wrote in More Bad Boys. With his signature bleached blond afro, ‘Goldie’ played for 10 minor-league teams and four WHA clubs between 1973-74 and 1978-79, racking up 1,132 penalty minutes in 194 games.

  • Entering Tuesday, the Blackhawks have crept back into a tie for the sixth spot in the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery. They’re now in position to have a decent chance of winning a top-three pick, which was the hope when the season began. And, as we reach Thanksgiving, we’re getting close to mock draft season beginning.
  • One prospect I’m keeping an eye on this season is Andrew Cristall, who plays with Colton Dach in Kelowna. He fits the Blackhawks’ new front office’s MO from this past draft: he can fly and he can score. He’s a creative, gifted sniper who might be in play for the Blackhawks if they don’t wind up in the top five overall picks. It would be great if he was still on the board when Chicago’s second pick (from Tampa) is on the board but his production (15 goals, 20 assists in 17 games) likely means he’s sprinting towards being picked in the lottery.
  • Finally, it’s always flattering when a player or his family members follow you on social media. When it’s a free agent who might be an interesting addition to the team? That’s intriguing. And a catcher who might be a terrific fit in Chicago raised our eyebrows yesterday.
  • 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

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