The latest addition to the Blackhawks, Henrik Borgstrom is a large forward with great speed, handles, and an elite shot.
My early reactions to the Panthers trade that brought Brett Connolly, Riley Stillman, and Henrik Borgstrom was: “Oh, this is actually a nice trade”. Lucas Wallmark and Lucas Carlsson both fell out of favor of the Blackhawks and were mainstays on the taxi squad.
The Blackhawks receive a veteran in Brett Connolly, one of those guys who knows what it takes to win as he won the Stanley Cup with Washington in 2018. He can score goals as a depth forward and adds some size to the Blackhawks at (via HockeyReference) 6’3″ and 192 lbs.
Riley Stillman is an aggressive defenseman who can dish out hits, fight, but didn’t play very much for the Panthers. I’m not sure what kind of impact he can have with the team but you can bet that Stillman will make his debut soon. He is only 23, so he has a lot of room to grow with the Blackhawks’ young defense corps.
And last is Henrik Borgstrom.
I encourage you to take a look at Borgstom’s highlights and you will see why he is such a promising player for the Blackhawks.
He is tall at 6’3″ but skates very well, he can pass the puck and his handles are really good for a guy his size. His shot is accurate and fast, something that the Blackhawks will definitely take advantage of. He is expected to make the team next season as he is playing in Finland for the year, with a 19 point outing in 27 games for HIFK Helsinki of Liiga.
Though the current stats are not exactly eye-catching, the Hawks do look like the team who could help Borgstrom reach his full potential. He was considered to be one of the Panthers’ top prospects, but he was disappointed with his development within the Panthers’ system. The Hawks have shown a knack of developing young players, and if Borgstrom follows suit, he will be a force to reckon with.
My early reaction is that the Hawks won yet another trade. Vinnie Hinostroza looks to have found his place on the Blackhawks with Dominik Kubalik and Philipp Kurashev, and the Blackhawks now add great forward depth in Brett Connolly and a defense prospect in Riley Stillman who plays with that grit that the Blackhawks are missing. This could mean that Mattias Janmark is on his way out with Carl Soderberg, but that is my speculation.
They also add a top prospect in Henrik Borgstrom, a player with high upside and his development could produce another monster at center for an amazing one-two punch of Kirby Dach and Borgstrom.
Time will tell, but with the addition of Borgstrom, Lukas Reichel flourishing in Germany, Kirby Dach looking better and better, the prospects becoming quality NHL mainstays, Alex Debrincat being a top scorer in the league, and Kevin Lankinen solidifying his spot as the starter, the Blackhawks’ future looks very bright.