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Chicago Blackhawks Morning Links: Kane, DeBrincat Rolling For USA

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7th May 2018, Jyske Bank Boxen, Herning, Denmark; IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships, Group B, USA versus Germany; Patrick KANE (USA), Alex DEBRINCAT (USA), celebrate after their second goal (Photo by Wolfgang Fehrmann/Action Plus via Getty Images)
7th May 2018, Jyske Bank Boxen, Herning, Denmark; IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships, Group B, USA versus Germany; Patrick KANE (USA), Alex DEBRINCAT (USA), celebrate after their second goal (Photo by Wolfgang Fehrmann/Action Plus via Getty Images) /
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Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat both scored goals in Team USA’s game against Germany on Monday

After training camp and the preseason last year, one line combination Chicago Blackhawks fans were excited to see was Patrick Kane, Nick Schmaltz and Alex DeBrincat.  They were three players who were fast, had tons of speed and had great chemistry together.

But head coach Joel Quenneville never rolled out that exact line, and it got people wondering why not.  Some say Q was protecting DeBrinact as a rookie, but that wouldn’t be a valid excuse next year.  Plus, Kane and DeBrincat already seem to play very well together.

On Monday, that chemistry was on full display.  Kane had a nice steal behind the net and set up DeBrincat right in front for the score.

Kane also had a brilliant powerplay goal, lifting a one-time shot over the glove of Germany’s goaltender from a near-impossible angle.  Team USA is now a perfect 3-0 and is getting plenty of contributions from Blackhawks players.

In other Blackhawks news, FanSided released an article featuring a post-draft lottery mock draft.  In the article, Derek Grochowski predicts that the Blackhawks will select defenseman Jared McIssac with the 31st pick and defenseman Evan Bouchard with the eighth pick.

Here’s what he had to say about about McIssac:

"Jared McIssac played on a talented Halifax Mooseheads team this season. He was one of their best defensemen night in and night out. The first thing people watching McIssac notice is his skating ability. Due to his skating talent, he is able to carry the puck out of his zone and start the offense. He is also able to quickly recover when necessary and does well to get back into position.What hurt McIssac’s draft stock is the talent at defense this year. Any team looking for help on its blue line will be happy with depth in this year’s first round. To live up to his full potential, he will need to bulk up and add strength. Luckily, that is an easy problem to fix with an offseason on a professional workout plan. If McIssac can put together a good combine performance and show more strength, he will climb up the draft board.This is a perfect fit for the Chicago Blackhawks at the end of the first round. There are not a lot of sure thing defensemen in the Blackhawks’ pipeline. Henri Jokiharju was their first-round pick last season and will turn out to be a good player. Outside of him, there are a lot of question marks. As Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith continue to age the next wave of players will need to step up. Jared McIssac is most comparable to Duncan Keith. He is a smooth skater that can carry the puck without being a major defensive liability."

And here’s what Grochowski had to say about Bouchard:

"As crazy as it sounds for a defenseman with more than 80 points, Bouchard needs to perfect his shot. If he could add some speed and accuracy, he would be lethal in the offensive zone. There is not a lot of development needed when it comes to his defense. All defensemen need to adjust to the pace of the NHL game but Bouchard’s skating talent will help alleviate any issues in that department. If Bouchard had a strong start to the beginning of his season we would be talking about Bouchard being a top-five prospect making him a steal for Chicago at No. 8.As stated earlier, the Blackhawks need to revamp their entire system forwards and defense. The first round is deep with defensive talent so they could grab a forward at No. 8. It will be hard to justify passing up on Bouchard if he is on the board at this point of the draft."

IceHogs update

While the IceHogs wait for Game 3 of their AHL playoff series with the Manitoba Moose on Wednesday night in Rockford, there was some AHL news regarding their division.

With the addition of the Colorado Eagles to the AHL, there was some realignment.  The Cleveland Monsters have moved to the North Division, while the Texas Stars and San Antonio Rampage are now in the Central Division with the IceHogs.

Next: History Proves Hawks Will Benefit From 8th Overall Pick

Morning Links

  • Dustin Byfuglien on the verge of NHL West final – Chicago Tribune
  • Recalling the day we drafted Dustin Byfuglien – The Athletic
  • Kane leads unbeaten U.S. past Germany in Worlds – Chicago Tribune
  • Hockey program taking over roller rink in Paletine – Daily Herald
  • In Europe, teams don’t see a problem with Indian mascots – New York Times
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