Injury Updates, Prospect Chatter, Beanpot Week, Seattle Adds Defense, and Other Blackhawks Bullets
The All-Star Break is officially over. It’s time for hockey, and the Blackhawks were back on the ice yesterday. Well, most of them. Seth Jones wasn’t back from Florida quite yet and Jonathan Toews was under the weather (non-COVID). The rest of the roster was in attendance, however.
- The Blackhawks practiced on Sunday and we got a few health updates. Forward Tyler Johnson was a full participant in practice and is “good to go” for Tuesday night when the Anaheim Ducks visit the United Center, which is great news. The Blackhawks’ offense has been better when he’s been in it this season.
- Defenseman Jarred Tinordi told us his mouth is fully operational and he’s back to eating somewhat decent meals. He still looks like he lost a decent amount of weight after surgery for a broken jaw. Head coach Luke Richardson said after practice said he probably won’t go on Tuesday night but might rejoin the team for Friday night’s game against Arizona. Tinordi told Ben Pope he celebrated being able to eat real food again by hitting up Five Guys. I can relate.
- Alex Stalock did some work after the rest of the team left the ice as he works his way back from concussion symptoms. Richardson said they hope he can join the team for the upcoming road trip but need to see how he responds to the on-ice work this week. Because Stalock isn’t ready yet, the Blackhawks recalled Jaxson Stauber from Rockford before practice on Sunday.
- Andreas Athanasiou appeared to need some repairs to his mouth on Sunday. Not exactly how he wanted to spend his Sunday afternoon, but he came back and showed off the nasty injury to a few teammates on the ice before the end of practice.
- In case you missed it on Sunday, Scott Wheeler at The Athletic finally reached the Blackhawks in his organizational prospect pool rankings. Chicago has moved all the way up to No. 5 overall in the NHL, which is awesome. When you consider the Blackhawks are in position to potentially have a top-three overall pick, already have four picks in the first two rounds of the 2023 NHL Draft and might add more between now and the trade deadline, the work general manager Kyle Davidson is doing is already starting to turn heads.
- Here’s what Wheeler wrote about the Blackhawks’ pool on the landing page for the entire NHL rankings:
After picking eight times in the first three rounds at the 2022 draft, the Blackhawks’ prospect pool is among the league’s most improved year-over-year. They’ve got a top prospect at centre, wing and defence, two solid goalie prospects, and strong depth across each position (especially at left defence!), with 11 prospects (nearly enough for two lists) who didn’t make the ranking but could have.
- The AHL hosted their skills competition last night and Lukas Reichel was part of the fastest skater event. Look at him go!
- Apparently Reichel has some added motivation at the All-Star Game this weekend. His parents flew in from Germany to watch him skate. Pretty cool that they were able to attend and support him.
- It’s Beanpot Week in Boston. Ryan Greene and Drew Commesso will look to help BU defend their title this year. If you aren’t familiar, this tournament means everything in the Boston hockey universe. It’s always a great watch. Boston College plays Harvard at 4 PM ET today, followed by BU against Northeastern at 7 PM CT.
- Speaking of those two guys, the picks the Blackhawks used to select them were acquired in deals that took place on the NHL’s Trade Deadline day. I included both in this morning’s look back at five deals that happened on deadline day that might have a significant impact on the current rebuild.
- It looks like we won’t see Dylan Guenther when the Coyotes are in town on Friday. He’ll join the Blackhawks’ prospects in Seattle for a WHL playoff run.
- The New York Islanders announced an eight-year extension with Bo Horvat on Sunday. The deal reportedly has an $8.5 million cap hit, which makes this a terrific deal for Lou Lamoriello and the Isles. With Horvat locked-up, the center market now turns its collective attention to Toews, Max Domi, Sean Monahan and some other veterans who might help a team down the stretch.
- Another trade went down on Sunday that caught my eye. The Seattle Kraken acquired defenseman Jaycob Megna in exchange for a fourth-round pick. He’s a solid 30-year-old defenseman who’s making the league minimum, making this a nice pickup for the Kraken. It’s also another affordable veteran defenseman off the trade market. Which, you know, helps the Blackhawks if they want to move any of their plethora of defensemen.
- Finally, it sounds like the players absolutely loved the new format at the Pro Bowl this weekend. Patrick was in Vegas for the events and wrapped a fun weekend in the desert.
Tinordi Hurt (Again), Toews Skating, Legends Cup Final, Frozen Four Set, and Other Blackhawks Bullets