Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Six rookies crack Chicago Blackhawks roster
Well, it's official: Blackhawks' youth movement is underway.
The coach Joel Quenneville and his staff made the final cuts on Monday and the start of the regular season with as many as six rookies in the roster: forward Tyler Motte, Vinnie Hinostroza, Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Hartman and defender Michal Kempny and Gustav Forsling.
Mark McNeill and Brandon Mashinter placed on waivers and likely to be assigned to Rockford where they are emptied. The Hawks sent the 19-year-old Alexandre Fortin Jersey back to his junior team in Quebec.
Andrew Desjardins placed on injured reserve a lower-body injury he suffered on Saturday in St. Louis, and he will miss 4-6 weeks.
Since these six rookies, just Hartman and Hinostroza played in the NHL game. They talked like veterans after practice on Monday, however, most of the talk about how excited they are against the opening of the season in Wednesday's Blues, and how they want to make sure that they are here for the long haul.
"I worked really, really hard ... feel good to make the team out of camp, but there is a lot of hard work ahead, and this is the real work begins," said Hinostroza, who played in seven games for the Hawks last season and 66 with the IceHogs. "I want to create for yourself the NHL and here, so I'm just going to work every day."
If Quenneville sticks with rows of practice, he plays Hinostroza fourth accordance with Schmaltz and central Jordin Tootoo in the second wing. Hartman and Motte will skate with center Marcus Kruger.
"It's very exciting," said Hartman, who has eight games NHL experience. "This is just one step. You want to be the guy who is in the lineup every night. You want to be part of plays, you do not just want to be there around skating."
As Forsling, he plays the opener Niklas Hjalmarsson serves the last game of his suspension. After that, it will be interesting to see how Quenneville used his eight defenders and if Forsling sticks around throughout the season.
"We think he great instincts ... and get better every day work," Quenneville said. "He can help the power play, he has a huge shot (and looks) poise and patience. Let's see how he deals with it on Wednesday night."
Fortin, one of the camp standouts, have to play a full season in juniors.
"Good experience," Quenneville said. "Really good progress from where he was at the beginning of the summer."
There was a lot of movement between last season in Rockford and the Hawks, so it will be interesting to see how the patient Quenneville is her half a dozen rookies, and how they are playing in the NHL in the spotlight.
"We are looking to do some teaching," Quenneville said. "There may be some mistakes, but we want the quickness that we added to our team with these young guys. ... We think offensively is speed and creativity enough that we can produce enough, but the thing we are going to work, and want to set up early, it is how we play without the puck, especially down low on our end. "