Thanks to Lady Luck, a lot of Blackhawks chatter has been surrounding the draft lately. With good reason too, the Hawks now hold the keys of fate for team selecting #4 onward.
I wanted to pop in with a quick 5 thoughts blog which is more rooted in European players, the World Championships and the Playoffs. Here we go:
Anton Wedin has opted to sign with the Chicago Blackhawks. He had many suitors looking to sign him after he had a breakthrough season in his first in the SHL.
Here is who Wedin is in a snapshot (courtesy: Elite Prospects):
His 27 points in 32 games gave him a point-per-game of 0.87 which was 12th in the SHL. More intriguing to me is that he played in all situations – his 19:10 average TOI was 3rd in the league.
He claimed he chose Chicago because of their head coach, one that knows him well from Colliton's time in Sweden. He coached against Wedin.
Wedin is going to have a tough time breaking through the clutter of lower line wingers that are slated to be competing for a spot on the Hawks roster this September.
Speaking of Sweden, Victor Ejdsell has decided to head home. He's leaving behind some disappointed fans, but more importantly a disappointed Stan Bowman.
Bowman acquired him in the Ryan Hartman deal and the Hawks had high hopes for the big Swede. They even tried to sign him as a free agent before he signed with Nashville.
I thought he would have wanted to stick around now that Colliton was promoted to the big club. Ejdsell made Colliton look really good in the Calder Cup playoffs in 2017-18 with some key goals to keep the IceHogs Cinderella run alive. In 13 games, he registered 7 goals and 5 assists.
At 23 years old, he will be 25-26 when his contract in Sweden expires and there is a chance that he may want to come back to the NHL at that point.
I have been fairly adamant that the Hawks look to resign Anton Forsberg if Colin Delia is truly going to be Corey Crawford's backup next year.
I was leaning this way for a couple of reasons – a) Forsberg was one of the best AHL goalies in the league last year and b) you can never have too much depth in net nowadays.
Now, I'm not so sure I want Forsberg stealing ice time away from Kevin Lankinen. If you looked at Lankinen's ECHL stats you would think I'm crazy with a 3.18 GAA and .893 SV% over 6 games last year, however, he showed well in the AHL with a 2.50 and .910 SV% over 19 games for Rockford.
Now, he's manning the net for Finland in the World Championships with solid wins vs. Canada and Slovakia. He's only given up 3 goals in the first 2 games. The real test is coming up today vs. the USA.
Can Lankinen take over the net in Rockford this year? If he's capable of leading an entire country in Finland in International play, there's a good chance he's ready for more games next year in the AHL.
My playoff update in 2 paragraphs:
Boston looks too good for Carolina. They are up 2-0 and it appears that the ‘Canes magic is running out.
Same might be said about the Blues who were handled easily by San Jose in game #1. Game #2 goes tonight and St. Louis will need to adjust on the fly. San Jose is so strong at controlling the puck and they are very deep this year. If Jones can keep it up, it may be a short series.
Sticking with the playoffs theme, I will shift over to the CHL.
Congrats to Mackenzie Entwistle and his incredible Guelph Storm. The Storm are moving on to the Memorial Cup as 1 of 4 teams. His Storm have been so resilient coming back to win every series from behind this playoffs.
This is Entwistle's 2nd OHL Championship in as many years. What amazing experience for this kid. He is one of my dark horses that are slated for Rockford to make an impact in Chicago next year.
What are your thoughts on my thoughts? Go!
See ya out there,