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Chicago Blackhawks Roundtable: Old Defensemen And Exciting Prospects

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Mar 14, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya (27) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya (27) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /
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Greg Bradshaw

Question 1: I’m going to go with Johnny Oduya here simply because of the age factor. Oduya made it seem like he never left Chicago during his first couple games back with the ‘Hawks.

Although Oduya has history of injuries, this seems to make the most sense as Brian Campbell and Michal Rozsival seem a bit slow and aged on the ice. However, Campbell staying wouldn’t upset me as he remained reliable on such a bargain contract.

Question 2: Please pardon me here for going with the easiest choice in Alex DeBrincat. It’s just, what’s not there to get ’Hawks Nation excited? His size has definitely been the debatable area of his game, but his ability to score and work the dirty areas seems to put the lack of size discussion to rest.

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The guy is a stud and, if ready, could bring a huge, immediate spark to the Blackhawks.

George Clifford

Question 1: I’ve never excelled at mind reading, but think the ‘Hawks are most likely to keep Michal Rozsival over both Johnny Oduya and Brian Campbell, each of whom is now an unrestricted free agent who can either finagle a better contract from another team (Oduya) or simply retire rich (Campbell).

All three are broken-down, underperforming players, but Rozsival signed a low-cost $650,000, one-year contract extension in late February that makes him eligible for the upcoming expansion draft and thereby allows the ‘Hawks to protect much better players from the draft.

Posting a paltry five goals and 17 points, Campbell was a major disappointment this season — even considering his deeply discounted “hometown” contract — who looked slow and disinterested on the ice. Despite the success of his silly podcast with Artemi Panarin, “Soup and a Sandwich,” Campbell would do well to retire from both acting and hockey.

Oduya can still play a decent shutdown role, but will likely continue to be hobbled with recurring injuries for the remainder of his playing career.

Question 2: Twenty-year-old forward Alexandre Fortin turned heads at last summer’s Blackhawks prospects and training camps before signing a three-year, entry-level contract in September.

At 6-feet and 187 pounds, the fleet winger has decent size and tends to play north-south with a deceptive shot that frequently dents the twine. Fortin had another good year with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL, scoring 22 goals and 52 points in 52 regular-season games, along with six goals and 16 points in 13 playoff games.

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