Right now, the Blackhawks theme song might be a Fleetwood Mac classic. “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow…” is what they’re telling us, so let’s get into it this morning.
There’s a game tonight in New Jersey for the NHL club, and we’ve got a news nugget below that could impact one of the Blackhawks’ upcoming opponents, but today’s bullets are focused heavily on prospects. We got new college rankings on Monday (we get them every Monday), but we also found out which players have received invites to the preliminary camps for the World Juniors for Canada and the United States.
- The Blackhawks play at the Devils tonight to finish off their three-game swing through New York and New Jersey. Jersey is one of the best teams in the NHL and they play fast, so this will be a totally different type of test than Sunday night’s game against the Islanders.
- The Blackhawks host the Nashville Predators on Dec. 21, which is two weeks from Wednesday (tomorrow). So the news that Preds defenseman Ryan McDonagh was heading on IR yesterday and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks could impact that game. He hasn’t really settled in as well in Nashville as the Preds would have hoped after a surprising summer deal brought him north from Tampa, but he’s still a really good veteran d-man.
- Monday brought the new USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine college poll. Denver jumped ahead of Minnesota, back into the top spot. Boston University climbed back up to No. 6 overall, leaping Michigan. And Ohio State made the biggest jump of the week (with UMass) moving up three spots.
- As a reminder, the Blackhawks have prospects at Denver (1), St. Cloud State (4), Boston U. (6), Michigan (7), Providence (11), Ohio State (14) and Notre Dame (19).
- Speaking of Boston University, forward Ryan Greene was one of the forwards named to Canada’s preliminary camp roster for the upcoming World Junior Championship on Monday afternoon. He’s one of five Blackhawks prospects who will attend Canada’s camp. When I dropped my updated top-20 rankings of the Blackhawks’ prospect group on Monday morning, I had Greene all the way up at No. 4 in the group. He’s having a terrific freshman season at BU and I’m excited to see him with a group of forwards that includes Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli.
- I’m also encouraged that Colton Dach received an invited to the Canada camp. He had a strong summer for the Blackhawks at development camp and looked great again in practices before the prospect showcase, but a concussion cost him most of his opportunity to work out with the NHL roster during the preseason. He suffered another concussion after reporting to Kelowna which held him out of games there as well. But he’s having a nice season as the captain of the Rockets so this invite is a great sign.
- Getting back to BU, Terrier alum Colby Cohen visited his alma mater and spoke with Blackhawks prospects Greene and Drew Commesso about their time with the Blackhawks this past summer for a new podcast from the organization. Colby asked Greene what he learned at development camp.
I learned a ton there. It was super professional you get treated like a pro there. So just to get a feel going in there and seeing how they run things and a lot of tips with little things on the ice and they value nutrition and things like that off the ice as well. Overall a great experience.
- Finally, you’ve gotta love seeing former players recruiting free agents to come to Chicago. What’s crazy about this one is Jon Lester played in both Boston and Chicago and won championships in both cities.