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Chicago Blackhawks’ youth movement kicking into high gear

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BOSTON, MA - MARCH 16: Northeastern Huskies forward Dylan Sikura (9) with the puck during a college hockey game between Providence Friars and Northeastern Huskies on March 16, 2018, at TD Garden in Boston, MA. Providence won 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 16: Northeastern Huskies forward Dylan Sikura (9) with the puck during a college hockey game between Providence Friars and Northeastern Huskies on March 16, 2018, at TD Garden in Boston, MA. Providence won 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Dylan Sikura and Victor Ejdsell will now join the Blackhawks.  The youth movement is in full swing.

Blackhawks prospect Dylan Sikura signed an entry level contract on Saturday, March 25.

Signed on!

Forward Dylan Sikura has inked a 2-year contract with the #Blackhawks! Sikura will wear No. 95 and will report to Chicago. pic.twitter.com/eYbdGUdDGC

The highly prized prospect rose from being a smallish 2014 sixth round draft pick to become a finalist for the Hobey Baker award this year.  Even though he blossomed last year at Northeastern University, he resisted the temptation to sign an entry level contract with the ‘Hawks.  In addition to his desire to further his development, Sikura wanted to win a championship with Northeastern.  This season, the NU Huskies won the Beanpot tournament in Boston.

Some uncertainty had surrounded Sikura, as rumors began swirling that he would shun the Blackhawks and become a free agent this August.  But the Blackhawks did their due diligence by maintaining contact with him and his family.  In September 2017, the Blackhawks’ AHL affilate Rockford Icehogs signed his older brother, Tyler Sikura, to an AHL contract.  BlackhawkUp contributor Sean Fitzgerald wrote earlier that this was a smart move by the organization to entice Dylan to sign with the Blackhawks.

Hard work seems to be a trademark of the Sikura family, as Tyler has become the Icehogs leading goal scorer.  He has even earned himself a 1 year entry level contract with the Blackhawks.

What does Dylan Sikura bring to the Blackhawks?

We saw a sample of Sikura’s talent last year in the prospect camp.  He was caught doing this kind of thing.

He continued on his track of high level playmaking at Northeastern.  Take a look here.

At Northeastern, he has developed into a top scoring threat.  Here he reaches a milestone with this wicked snipe.

The word is that Sikura could find himself in the line up starting Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets.  This should be fun to watch.

Victor Ejdsell called up on March 25

Victor Ejdsell is known so far as the guy for whom the ‘Hawks gave up Ryan Hartman.  Hopefully, that’s not what he’ll be known for once he gets to the big show.  He’s a big center at 6 foot 5 and 214 pounds whom the ‘Hawks had pursued last year as a free agent, so there is some familiarity for him with the organization.  Ejdsell has played only 2 games with the Rockford Icehogs where he registered 1 point in an assist.

Ejdsell might not have the top pedigree of other European players, but he does demonstrate some skill to go along with his size.  We’ve looked at him in previous articles, but here’s another look at what he can do.

Meet new Blackhawks forward Victor Ejdsell http://www.nbcsports.com/chicago/video/meet-new-blackhawks-forward-victor-ejdsell?ls=social-vid

The Kids are here

The Blackhawks had reached the league average age of 27.8, but the addition of these two youngsters will lower that figure even more.  This is indeed one part of the promise that Stan Bowman made when his team got eliminated from the playoffs last year.  The youth movement brings speed to a team that has always relied upon speed and skill to outclass the rest of the league.

The ‘Hawks are re-establishing their reputation around the league as a team that comes at its opponents fast and hard.  It will be interesting, and hopefully fun, to watch Sikura and Ejdsell add to that reputation.

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