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Chicago Blackhawks: Three Things To Watch For This Preseason

By Keith Schultz

Well the lightning quick training camp is over with, and the Chicago Blackhawks take to the ice tonight at the United Center when they face the Detroit Red Wings in their first preseason game of 2015.  You probably could come up with 10 things  in a list for things to watch for this preseason, but I came up with 3, so here we go.

3. All the New Young Forwards

Of course we have no idea even at this moment who Joel Quenneville will play tonight in the first preseason game, even though Detroit has had their roster out for almost 24 hours already. That being said I’m looking forward to seeing all the new young forwards on the ice, although one of them will be missing probably for the first three games in Artem Panarin, because he is nursing a minor injury.

So I’m ready to see Viktor Tikhonov and Marko Dano as soon as possible.  Dano of course was the star of the Chicago Blackhawks training camp at Notre Dame this past week.  He got to play with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa and didn’t shrink but thrived in that role which had to put at least a little smile on coach Q’s face.

Tikhonov has been in the KHL so he will have a transition period along with Panarin to the NHL size rink, but I want to see what Stan Bowman saw when he decided to ink this Russian to a contract this past offseason.

Both young player should be exciting in their own right, and now we will get to see what they do when playing players with jerseys not with the Chicago Blackhawks logo on them.

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2. McNeill and Hartman

The two best players on the Rockford Ice Hogs last season not named Stephen Johns will get a long look one would assume during the preseason, and it’s time for McNeill and Hartman to show they belong even if the roster doesn’t look really possible for them to join it.

McNeill was the leading scorer in Rockford last season, and looked to be ready for a call up when an ill timed injury occurred for him. McNeill is a first round pick that isn’t flashy but solid so he needs to show the organization if injuries do happen this year that he’s the man for the call up.

Ryan Hartman

made a huge first impression on his call up to the Blackhawks.

The problem for Hartman was that was it for his stay… One hit.  He has to show that he can do it all with the big club instead of being just one big hit wonder and then a disappearing act.

Either way both guys probably are heading to Rockford to start the season, but this is a great time to show they are worth a long look later in the season.

1. Trevor Daley

The last thing in our list is how the Johnny Oduya replacement will fit in.  Daley will be a big improvement on offense, but the problem is Coach Q wants his Defenseman playing defense.

One will argue that Oduya wasn’t the shut down defenseman when Stan Bowman traded for him so some believe that Daley can transform into a better Dman coming to Chicago.  That argument is a tough one to believe if you watched Daley play defense, but stranger things have happened.

So even though I’m excited to see what all the young guns can do putting the puck in the net, my eye will really be on Daley and his adjustment to the Chicago Blackhawks defensive ways and if he can fit in quickly.

Like I said there are plenty of things to watch for, what will you be looking for this week in the first set of preseason games?

Next: Quenneville's Toughest Test

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