The Seattle Thunderbirds have three Blackhawks prospects on the roster, providing invaluable playoff experience for potential building blocks. Game 1 of the Western Hockey League Final starts tonight against the Winnipeg ICE. The victor of the series will punch their ticket to go on and play in the Memorial Cup.
Nolan Allan, Kevin Korchinski, and Colton Dach already won a big one back in January when they helped Team Canada to a Gold Medal in the World Junior Championships. Now they have a chance to build on that by winning the Western Hockey League and then earning a shot at beating the Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champions as well.
Ullmark Among Vezina Finalists
The finalists for the league’s best goalies have been announced.
Your 2023 Vezina Trophy Finalists, as voted by the GMs: Hellebuyck (WIN), Sorokin (NYI) and Ullmark (BOS).
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 11, 2023
Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty writes that Ullmark likely expected to be much busier when the news was released, but Boston’s stunning seven-game loss to Florida put that to an end. An interesting note about the other candidates–Ilya Sorokin and Connor Hellebuyck. In future pieces for Chicago Hockey Now, we’ll look at how the Blackhawks got to the spot that they’re in now, a historical post-mortem of sorts. All three netminders–Ullmark, Sorokin, and Hellebuyck were mid-to-late round picks in their respective drafts. The three were sixth, third, and fifth round choices respectively.
When it comes to roster construction, goalies certainly are the wild card. It will be interested to see how Blackhawks prospect Drew Commesso shakes out. The second-round pick is currently on the US World Championships roster.
Blackhawks In Case You Missed It
- MacKenzie Entwistle has a chance to solidify his spot in the roster next season
- #1 Draft Picks are Considered Prized Pieces. From a historical perspective, how has this looked in the Cap Era. A look at 2008-2010.
- EA Sports simmed Connor Bedard’s entire Blackhawks career. It certainly includes video game numbers
Hockey Now Network
Buffalo: AHL affiliate Rochester Americans are certainly underdogs heading into their playoff tilt with the Toronto Marlies. Buffalo Sabres
Detroit: Forget any reunions Red Wings fans–great Sergei Fedorov has no desire to coach in the NHL: Detroit Red Wings
Florida: Gus Forsling, remember him Blackhawks fans? Yeah, he’s a big reason the Panthers are rolling: Florida Panthers
Philadelphia: Danny Briere is officially the Flyers’ new general manager, ditching the interim tag: Philly Hockey Now
Pittsburgh: Where should the Penguins focus be on drafting in the first round? Pittsburgh Penguins
San Jose: Who to take at #4 for the Sharks? My bias here is Leo Carlsson, but SJ Now’s Sheng Peng lays out a great argument: San Jose Sharks
Vegas: Alex Pietrangelo gets a game for his vicious slash. Not enough? Dan takes a look: Vegas Hockey Now