If you would have told me that the Blackhawks would be icing a lineup that encompasses the likes of David Kampf, Andreas Martinsen, Matthew Highmore, J.F. Berube, Dylan Sikura and Victor Ejdsell in March 2018, I would say their season has gone completely sideways. Boy is that ever an understatement but we carry on and can celebrate the signing of the Hawks top prospect, Dylan Sikura.
Did Sikura think about waiting and signing with another team in August? Maybe. Who really knows? All we know is he's a Chicago Blackhawks and will be playing on Thursday vs. the Winnipeg Jets after his season at Northeastern finished up on the weekend.
The former 6th rounder (drafted 178th overall in 2014) really shot up the ranks in the Hawks system over the last couple of years. He looked great at the prospect camp in the summer and then went on to a Hobey Baker type season with 54 points in 35 games in the NCAA.
What can we expect out of him in the NHL? Some are saying he's not going to be a "game changer", but will be a solid depth player in the top 9 for Chicago.
Realistically, I would like to see him step into the lineup and continue to shape this Blackhawks team as a fast, skilled team that they once were. Also, that word "depth" is starting to sound like a drink with an old friend. It's been a while since the Hawks attacked (offensively and defensively) with depth.
With Sikura in the fold, the auditioning continues to play out; what do the Hawks have in these younger guys and who's the real deal for next year?
Victor Ejsdell also looks to make his 1st impression on the Hawks brass. I'm assuming he's playing tonight.
The Hawks take on the Sharks and with the number of young players, coupled with a core that can't have this year end any sooner, it may be another ugly one.
They did beat the Islanders 3-1 on Saturday, so maybe they get on a roll. Who knows anymore.
See ya out there!
Rockford Playoff Push: The Hogs currently sit in a playoff position, as they are 4th in the Central Division. They went 1-1 on the weekend and they have a very difficult next couple of games vs. Manitoba (both on the road) beginning tonight and then on Wednesday for the grudge match.