First off, Happy Traverse City Prospects Tournament kick-off day!
The babiest of Hawks take the ice, first with a morning skate at 930am. This is followed by their first game action vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets at 4 pm.
If you're looking for a live stream, it looks like the Blackhawks are going to have the feed for all teams. Check it out HERE.
For all details of the schedule, roster and happenings in this tournament, everything is listed on ChicagoBlackhawks.com.
Now, let's get into the last edition of the "Will He Make the Team?" series with quickly checking out "the rest" of the bubble players fighting for a roster spot on the Blackhawks this year.
Let's recap just what I mean by "make the team"
Over this series, I looked at players on the cusp like Jokiharju, Ejdsell, etc. and if they will A) be on the Chicago Blackhawks opening night roster and/or B) be called up in the 1st half of the season and make an impact as an everyday player (whether it be in a top or depth role).
I was not considering players who may end up coming up in the later part of the year or guys who will have short stints because if the Hawks are out of it around February.
So, in case you missed the previous breakdown of players, see below for those who may or may not make an impactful appearance for the 2018-19 Chicago Blackhawks.
Will He Make the Team: Henri Jokiharju
Will He Make the Team: Dylan Sikura
Will He Make the Team: Blake Hillman
Will He Make the Team: Victor Ejdsell
Will He Make the Team: Matthew Highmore
Will He Make the Team: Luke Johnson
Will He Make the Team: David Kampf
Now, let's look at "the rest" of those who are on the hit list:
John Hayden – Yes. I believe not only will Hayden make the team, but he will play a bigger role than many think.
– No. He will act as a leader on IceHogs team (who lost a lot of veteran presence in the offseason) and continue to grow as a professional.
– No. He may have a few games here and there as he does have 170 NHL games experience.
– Yes. I have Kahun making the team out of camp and playing an integral role during the season. He and Kampf would be the next in line to play Centre if any injuries happen.
– No. The one thing he does have going for him is he can play both LD and RD. However, I think there is just too much of a logjam on D and see him simply as a leader on Rockford blueline this year.
n – No. Alex needs to put up a solid (and healthy) AHL season before he gets his full-time shot in the NHL.
– No. I think there is a place for Gilbert as a tough, stay-at-home defenceman in the future but I don't see him playing a significant role for a couple years still.
– No… or can I say maaayybbe? Is that allowed? I think Nilsson's comfort level will be with his old coach Jeremy Colliton to start the year. From there, he could propel himself into a position to be called up later in the year as a role player.
– No. Delia will look to build off last year's campaign and will only play in an emergency situation.
– Yes. I have Martinsen playing in the 12th-14th forward role this year and staying up all year. He's 28-years old and has 128 NHL games under his belt. He's a perfect guy that you don't mind sitting in the press box most nights and inserting him in when you need a little toughness/spark.
With all this being said, where does my lineup look as we sit here on September 7th?
Well here's what I got but have the right to revoke any of these selections as we get closer to puck drop:
Crawford (assuming he starts the season on the IR)
As we know, with Coach Q, these lines can change on the fly. So, I will have a breakdown of why I chose the combinations above, as well as other "mix n matching" that would make sense.
See ya out there!