The Wirtz Corporation’s hockey portfolio just expanded a bit more. The Athletic’s Scott Powers reports that the USHL’s Chicago Steel were in the midst of being bought out, which would add a hockey powerhouse to the family’s business holdings.
BREAKING: USHL’s Chicago Steel being purchased by Wirtz Corporation https://t.co/QYtkPSvYKQ
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) July 30, 2023
The Steel have been one of the premier programs in the USHL who recently boasted top 2024 NHL prospect Mack Celebrini on the roster. He is headed to Boston University where Blackhawks prospect Ryan Greene already plays.
The Geneva based club is also a mainstay for youth hockey so it ponders what changes–if any–will occur with the local scene. It should only bolster the appeal and continue to enhance youth hockey in the area. Regardless, the Chicago Steel are a big get for the Wirtz portfolio.
From Chicago Steel to Connor Bedard Roller Hockey Highlights
Apparently, those offseason skill moves on the roller hockey rink to make his ice hockey skills are paying off.
Bedard is the greatest roller hockey player whoever lived pic.twitter.com/nizR8ZxKrM
— Chief (@BarstoolChief) July 25, 2023
I asked Bedard about it following development camp and he specifically pointed out his creativity–which you see plainly in the clip.
“Creativity and maybe you try plays you probably shouldn’t try in a game, but it gives you more confidence to do things,” Bedard said. “Just gives you ideas or you’re watching your buddies try something, ‘that’s pretty cool, I want to try that.’ Just the plays you can make and the creativity you can have, I think you can kind of use on the ice.”
Colorado Hockey Now On Early Central Division Power Rankings
Colorado Hockey Now’s Evan Rawal put out a July version of power rankings for the Central Division and the Blackhawks ended up where you’d expect. Writes Rawal on his ranking of dead last for Chicago:
Connor Bedard will be fun to watch, and acquiring Taylor Hall to play with him was a smart move, but this team is unlikely to be any good, and they know it. The defense and goaltending isn’t any good, but they got the ultimate prize to kickstart a rebuild in Bedard, so this is a new beginning for them.
Taylor Hall could certainly help things and perhaps Lukas Reichel gets a shot up there with him on the top line. But Bedard is already a betting favorite so Rawal’s right in him being the fun to watch.