What's The Blackhawks' Plan With Wyatt Kaiser?

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What’s The Blackhawks’ Plan With Wyatt Kaiser?

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks have 15 games left in their regular season, with the next five coming on their current road trip (which begins tonight in Nashville). So a college kid signing a contract and coming straight to the NHL isn’t necessarily an easy ask at this immediate moment, right?

For newly signed defenseman Wyatt Kaiser, life can come at you fast.

Kaiser’s final college game at Minnesota-Duluth was on Sunday, a 3-1 loss to St. Cloud State in which he registered an assist on the Bulldogs’ only goal; Blackhawks prospect Dominic James had the other (primary) assist.

So what’s next. For Kaiser, it was class, then contract.

Kaiser, 20, made the trip to Chicago on Wednesday and was at the morning skate — wearing No. 44 for those keeping track — in Nashville with the team on Thursday. That’s a pretty quick, big, jump for a player who was a third-round pick by the Blackhawks in 2020.

After the morning skate on Thursday, head coach Luke Richardson said they want to get him in a couple practices before throwing Kaiser into an NHL game for the first time. Richardson said they’ll practice on Friday between games (they play in Arizona on Saturday night), but they plan on Kaiser making his NHL debut at some point on the road trip.

Following the game in Arizona, the trip gets harder. The Blackhawks are in Colorado on Tuesday night, Washington on Thursday and back in Kaiser’s neighborhood to face the Wild on Saturday before returning to Chicago for an early evening game against the Canucks on Sunday the 26th.

The Blackhawks are burning the first year of Kaiser’s three-year, entry-level contract this season no matter how many games he appears in before the finale on April 13 at the United Center.

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