We’re a little more than one week away from the annual NHL prospect tournament, held in Traverse City, Mich., so it’s fitting the Chicago Blackhawks released their event roster today
August is nearly in the rearview mirror, which means Chicago Blackhawks hockey is close to getting back in full swing. Before we can prep for the bona fide NHL-ready guys, though, we need to remember the younger guns.
The annual Traverse City Prospect Tournament begins on Sept. 7 and runs through the 11th. The Blackhawks on Wednesday released their roster for this event, which includes seven other NHL franchises.
The Blackhawks will face off against the Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets and St. Louis Blues in the Gordie Howe Division, while the Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers make up the Ted Lindsay Division. Three days of intradivsional play will be followed by placement games on Monday, Sept. 11.
But you came here for the roster, so let’s get to some names.
Da Windy City
Thoughts on the roster
Let’s get this out of the way off the bat: Shaw Boomhower. Fantastic name. The 19-year-old played for the OHL’s Mississiauga and Ottawa clubs most recently. I hope he does well in the tournament simply because of his name.
On a more serious note, there are some athletes worth watching closely here. Sikura is an obvious one, as the Blackhawks could very well have him on their opening night roster in October.
Other forwards of more immediate import are Ejdsell, Fortin, Knott and Noel — those first two more so than the last two.
Among the defensemen, Jokiharju is like Sikura in that some expect him to be an opening-night inclusion. Recent first-round draft pick Boqvist also will have eyes on him, as well the talented Hillman.
The goaltenders don’t do a whole lot for me. None of the three come from a North American hockey club, and two of them are over the age of 20. Chicago’s netminding depth continues to be dodgy at the very best.
But we’ll learn a lot more about some of the Blackhawks’ up-and-coming prospects beginning next week. Unless you can physically attend the event, be sure to follow along on Twitter for updates.