How To Watch This Weekend, Bedard Wants to Play, Prospects Impressing, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Last night I enjoyed cigars and a nice cocktail (or two) with one of my neighbors and he asked me how the Blackhawks’ prospects looked the last couple days. As we conversed, I found myself comparing the vibe on the ice with the prospects to the first couple days of preseason football practice when I was in college. Everyone returned to campus and warmly welcomed each other back into the fold. Freshman introduced themselves to the sophomores and juniors and seniors. The “old guys” showed the young guys how it works. And we were all pushing in the same direction.

There’s a friendly teammate atmosphere on the ice. In years past, that wasn’t the case at these camps. There were years where it felt like a bunch of independent contractors fighting for a job — literally. Like the tryouts my son goes to for travel baseball. These guys are having fun, joking around and interacting like they’ve been best friends for years and just got back together after the summer off. That bodes incredibly well for the future of the franchise if they’re building relationships off the ice as well as chemistry on the ice.

  • The big news we’ve all been waiting to have confirmed. Yes, the Blackhawks will be streaming both games this weekend for the Tom Kurvers Prospect Showcase. And we’ll have the talented Joe Brand and Charlie Roumeliotis on the call. So clear your calendar and find somewhere to watch because this will be our first time seeing Connor Bedard in a Blackhawks’ sweater in “game” action. We’ll stay on top of the lineups this weekend to see if Bedard will play in both games or just one, though.
  • I will admit it. I was “that guy” after practice on Thursday and asked Bedard if there was ever any consideration given to not playing in the showcase this weekend and instead focusing on the start of NHL training camp next week. I wrote my concerns that this is a showcase for players who are mostly headed to either junior or the AHL; if he wants to be “one of the guys,” said “guys” should be the NHL roster. But Bedard remains consistent in his response: he’s a rookie. He wants to be with the prospects and rookies. He loves the game and just wants to play.
  • Now, some video of Bedard’s filthy mitts doing work at the expense of the Blackhawks’ top goaltending prospect.
  • As I mentioned yesterday in my post-practice notes, it looked like Bedard might be skating on a line between Colton Dach and Nick Lardis. I talked to Lardis on Wednesday about his summer and hopes for the coming season. He’s been impressive this week and could be a steal for the Hawks from this summer’s draft.
  • “Lardis is quick, he’s light on his feet, thinks the game well,” Rockford head coach Anders Sorensen said when asked about the Dach-Bedard-Lardis combo on Thursday. “Colton is a big body who creates some room. But we’ll see how it looks. I thought they looked good today, but I’ll talk to the guys up top and see what they think.”

    Nick Lardis Learning With — and From — the Blackhawks’ Next Generation

  • I chatted with Nolan Allan yesterday about the bond the five (5) members of Canada’s World Junior team have in camp and how the talent level in the Blackhawks’ pipeline has risen since he was drafted two summers ago. He’s been really impressive in camp so far, making those who said the Blackhawks reached on him at the draft look like they knew less about the player than Chicago’s scouts.
  • Wyatt Kaiser continues to be really impressive on the back end for the Blackhawks as well. The Blackhawks have so many defensemen coming it’s kinda ridiculous. Kaiser’s been sharp on the puck and his skating has really shown well against a lot of fast, skilled forwards. It’s pretty clear he wants nothing to to with beautiful Rockford this season. If he plays as well as he’s practiced thus far, it’s going to be nearly impossible to keep him off the NHL roster.
  • In the “Things Not Developing As Quickly As Blackhawks Defensemen” category, the Bears’ new stadium plan is taking its sweet time apparently.
  • Finally, I can’t wait for us to get to the point in a year or two where we’re breaking down a roster and joking like “haha remember when we traded Riley Stillman and got this dude?” or “LOL we got these guys for DeBrincat?” and “I cannot believe he slid all the way to us in the draft!” The Cubs are starting to see dividends from their reformed development program on the pitching side of things, and it’s exciting.
  • written by

    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

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