Analysis

Blackhawks Keep Adding Bodies To Crowded Forward Group

By Joseph Felicelli
Mike Hardman #86, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Mike Hardman #86, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Mike Hardman #86, Chicago Blackhawks
Mike Hardman #86, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Most teams dress 12 Forwards per game and carry 13 of them on their main roster. The Blackhawks keep on adding to their forward group, now at 14 on the main roster, with more moves coming.

The Blackhawks have made several moves since the season ended, and they appear to not be done yet. Today they reportedly signed Mike Hardman, a scrappy big forward who got his first taste of the NHL last season, to a 2-year extension starting in 2022-2023. Hardman, already under contract, is part of a very crowded group of Forwards lining up to compete to play for the ‘Hawks in 2021-2022.

Currently showing on the main roster in the F group are the following players (14):

  • Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat, Tyler Johnson, Dominik Kubalik, Brett Connolly, Dylan Strome, Brandon Hagel, Ryan Carpenter, Henrik Borgstrom, Adam Gaudette, Jujhar Khaira, Kirby Dach, and Philipp Kurashev. 

Adding to this is a group of Forwards that could compete for a roster spot in the NHL this year:

  • Not Signed To Contract Yet: Alexander Nylander (qualifying offer tendered)
  • Promising Prospects:
    • Played in the NHL last season: Mike Hardman, Reese Johnson, Mackenzie Entwistle
    • New to the ‘Hawks: Lukas Reichel

I’m no mathematician, but that’s a heck of a lot more than 13 F to consider for the NHL roster. So what is the Blackhawks front office doing?

To me, there are two possible scenarios right now for what they have in mind:

  • They are angling to make a big move, and there are going to be a lot of pieces involved, OR
  • They are wanting Rockford to be a heavy-hitter in the AHL this season.

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