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Blackhawks Notebook: Go (North)West, Young Man

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Slowly but surely, the Chicago Blackhawks roster is being trimmed to meet the requirements for opening night. The bulk of those headed out of the Windy City are headed to the Rockford IceHogs, while others are reporting to their respective junior clubs.

But a batch of the latest are the ones who could be with the big club sooner rather than later. Now down to 31, a look at the notable names headed to Rockford and elsewhere as the Blackhawks prep for the regular season.

Blackhawks Reassignments Are Rockford’s Gain

Last night Drew Commesso helped stop the bleeding against the Detroit Red Wings who buried five goals in a period and a half. Now he’ll be counted on doing the same with the IceHogs. Louis Crevier, who scored the Blackhawks’ only goal last night, joined him.

Ethan Del Mastro, Ryder Rolston and Filip Roos round out today’s trim to Rockford, while Nolan Allan and Marcel Marcel returned a few days back.

Though the excitement is clearly concentrated on Connor Bedard which of course makes perfect sense, the IceHogs are also going to be a fun show to watch due to the scores of young talent they’ll have skating. If the future of the Blackhawks defense is going to find itself ready for the next level, this season is an important one in developing towards it.

The 6-1 loss last night made it simpler for the Blackhawks to cut a little bit more–keeping the “sure bets” and potential bubble players while also affording three games to the kids still figuring things out.

For sure, Bedard and likely Kevin Korchinski will get more eyeballs on them. But there’s going to be an awful lot to keep an eye on just northwest of Chicago as the future of the team continues to work toward a permanent spot with the Blackhawks

Kevin Hayes, Paul Ludwinski Head Back to the “O”

They’re in the same league on separate teams with completely different objectives as the juniors slate starts to ramp up. For Hayes, it’s a chance to light the lamp for 40+ goals again while Ludwinski will be out there after a layoff last year due to an ankle injury.

Along with the aforementioned IceHogs, it’s an important year for those outside the state, too. Hayes could be an important piece of the puzzle, a right hand shot who can score on high clips. Now it’s a show-me season, a chance to build on those successes and really catch the eye of the front office.

Ludwinski showed his speed during the preseason slate and now looks to stay healthy along with posting the numbers projected until befallen with injury.

Yes, the rookies are back where many expected them. But the fun is really about to begin to see who makes the mark as a full season of hockey is right around the corner.

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