TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — At the same time Blackhawks prospects were dropping like flies in the final game of the Traverse City tournament Tuesday, they were being officially named alongside Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and other top players on the Hawks’ 55-man 2019 training camp roster.
Fortunately, it sounds as if they’ll make it to camp, which begins with off-ice testing Thursday and the first on-ice sessions Friday.
Although many of the 55 won’t last long, with a significant number of prospects and AHL-bound depth pieces included as a formality only, they’ll likely survive at least through next Wednesday.
The Hawks will likely divide up their roster liberally over four exhibitions: the scrimmage Sunday at the Blackhawks Training Camp Festival, the preseason opener Monday against the Capitals in Washington and two games against the Red Wings — Tuesday in Detroit and Wednesday at home.
Only about 22 players will make the season-opening NHL roster, but significantly more will enter camp believing they have a shot. General manager Stan Bowman focused on increasing depth and competition with his summer moves, and as a result, as many as 19 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders conceivably have a chance.
Here’s a cursory glance at the roster battles that will ensue in the coming weeks:
Locks (6): Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome, Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw.
Likely (4): Zack Smith, Dominik Kubalik, Brendan Perlini, Drake Caggiula.
Possible (6): Ryan Carpenter, David Kampf, Anton Wedin, Alex Nylander, Dylan Sikura, John Quenneville.
Long shots (5): Kirby Dach, Aleksi Saarela, Alexandre Fortin, Jacob Nilsson, Matthew Highmore.
Locks (5): Duncan Keith, Erik Gustafsson, Connor Murphy, Calvin de Haan, Olli Maatta.
Likely (1): Brent Seabrook.
Possible (2): Slater Koekkoek, Carl Dahlstrom.
Long shots (3): Adam Boqvist, Philip Holm, Dennis Gilbert.
Locks (2): Corey Crawford, Robin Lehner.
Possible (1): Collin Delia.