The Chicago Blackhawks play the Colorado Avalanche in the first game of their season on October 13th, that game is just 48 days away, also known as Wyatt Kalynuk days. Wyatt Kalynuk is an interesting player on the Blackhawks, last season was his first with the team and his road to the team was interesting.
Kalynuk was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers, but he did not sign with the team so the Blackhawks took a chance on him once he was available. Kalynuk fit with the Blackhawks defense and after he got in the lineup it was hard to take him out.
In 48 days fans get to finally see what the Chicago Blackhawks’ new defense will look like.
Kalynuk played in 21 games last season and put up nine points. But this is not last season. This team added players like Caleb Jones, Seth Jones, and Jake McCabe this offseason, with Duncan Keith, Adam Boqvist, and Nikita Zadorov being the three blueliners walking out the door.
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This defense is not as wide open as it once was with opportunity. Now there are some star players here that everyone should expect to see in the lineup every night. Kalynuk’s spot in the top six amongst defensemen might not be as easy to find this season.
Even if Kalynuk spends some time in Rockford this coming year that is alright as well. He could use a little more time to develop his game, and in Rockford, his ice time will definitely be higher than if he was playing bottom-pairing minutes or being the seventh defenseman.
There is something that needs to be said about Kalynuk though. During his short stay last season he constantly impressed with every opportunity he got, and I think it is the play of guys like him that made Stan Bowman more comfortable to make a move like letting go of Adam Boqvist.
It will be interesting to see which defenseman gets the nod to be the seventh defenseman on the roster. Last year the team constantly played seven defensemen but this coming season that probably won’t be happening as much, so whoever is in that position will be spending a lot of time out of the lineup.
There is a lot of pressure on how the team decides to utilize their young blueliners like Ian Mitchell Nicolas Beaudin and Wyatt Kalynuk not all three of them will be in the league, and the couple that are in Rockford might be better off getting experience and developing their game amongst the AHL teams where they can play in bigger roles.
48 days till puck drop if you were wondering about the Avalanche’s offseason moves give our friends over at Mile High Sticking a read to find out about the roster!