Frozen Four Brackets Set, College FA Recruiting, Rangers Rolling, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Frozen Four Brackets Set, College FA Recruiting, Rangers Rolling, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks will be incredibly well represented in the NCAA men’s hockey tournament this year. Frank Nazar (Michigan – No. 3), Aidan Thompson (Denver – No. 4), Drew Commesso and Ryan Greene (Boston U.), Dominic Basse (St. Cloud St.), Jake Wise (Ohio State) and Slava Demin (Merrimack) are all in the field hoping for a shot at the Frozen Four in Tampa.

  • This means we also know which teams’ seasons are over, a list that includes Landon Slaggert and Notre Dame. We’ll see if the Blackhawks get a deal done with Slaggert to start his pro career in either Chicago or Rockford for the rest of this season. Chicago has already signed his ND teammate, Ryder Rolston.
  • Ben Pope wrote about Wyatt Kaiser‘s NHL debut, which came in the Blackhawks’ 4-2 loss in Arizona on Saturday night. I appreciated Kaiser’s assessment of his own performance.

“I played a pretty solid game — pretty simple, nothing too crazy,” Kaiser said. “[I] made a few iffy plays, but [I’m] still learning the systems and figuring everything out.”

  • As a reminder, Kaiser had just one actual practice under his belt when he jumped into an NHL game for the first time, so learning and “figuring everything out” is an important reality for the young defenseman.
  • Could the Blackhawks add another college player to the roster soon? When the Blackhawks waived Pavel Gogolev and subsequently terminated his contract, it opened up five contract spots in the organization for the remainder of this season; they already used one on Kaiser. Scott Powers wrote on Monday morning that the Blackhawks are expected to be in the mix for Colorado College forward Hunter McKown. As Powers writes, McKown doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of what we’ve seen from the Blackhawks’ front office thus far in some regards but offers something else they desperately need.

McKown doesn’t fit the prototype of forward Davidson has been after mostly so far. McKown doesn’t have superb speed or skating ability. But what he does possess — an elite shot and offensive skill — the Blackhawks don’t have a whole lot of among their forward prospects.

  • Speaking of free agents the Blackhawks could/should/will be in the mix to sign, I’m going to leave this one here for future reference. Michael Bunting is a 27-year-old forward who has reached the 20-goal mark in consecutive seasons while making under $1 million. He hits unrestricted free agency this summer. With the amount of cap space the Blackhawks have to use this coming summer, Bunting is a player I have circled that interests me to possibly add to the top six.
  • To say the Rangers had a weekend is an understatement. For whatever it’s worth, Patrick Kane now has seven points in nine games since the trade.
  • Finally, another reminder that the Chicago Bears are doing work this offseason. It’s an exciting time to keep up with what the Bears have been doing and looking ahead to a draft in which the team has already made a huge trade. Be sure you’re following our Bears coverage.

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