The Chicago Blackhawks have had a number of rookies score goals this season. The latest was Mike Hardman last night against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Mike Hardman has 20 hits in five games with the Blackhawks. The 22-year-old rookie is with the team to play physical, and he has been great at that through the first five games with the team. Hardman signed with the Blackhawks after finishing up his season with Boston College. Similar rookies have made the jump like Hardman as John Hayden did the same a few years ago.
It took Hardman five games to finally score that first goal and considering where the team is at in the standings he should get more opportunities to score in the next three games. The Hawks have nothing to lose in their last three matchups. They should really play all their rookies.
Hardman having a nice end of the season would be great for the Hawks. They already burned the first year of his contract when they decided to play him this year, so they might as well make the most of it.
If Hardman can continue to generate some momentum in games and maybe even score another goal or two, he will enter next year’s training camp flying. The Hawks need to play their young guys to see where they are at heading into the summer. Especially with fans in the United Center for the last two games, having the young guys fill out the entire lineup would be cool. Hardman’s goal last night was also the first NHL point for MacKenzie Entwistle.
The Hawks played a really good first-period last night, but then the Canes caught up to them and turned the game on the Hawks. Carolina ended up winning pretty big by a score of six to three, but that first period should show that they can hang with this team.
The way Carolina came back to win in the second and third reminded me of the old Hawks team. When Chicago could take half of the night off and still win it pretty easily. Carolina could be poised to go on a long playoff run this summer, but honestly, that is true about most of the teams going to the playoffs this year.
Congratulations to Mike Hardman on your first NHL goal! Hopefully, that will be the first of many for him with the Blackhawks! Even though it has just been five games, Hardman looks to be a steal for the Blackhawks. I cannot believe he went undrafted and eventually signed as a free agent with the Hawks.