Several Blackhawks players will be taking part in a new summer hockey league coming to Chicago in July. The Chicago Pro Hockey League announced its inaugural eight-game exhibition season Wednesday with planned participants including Brandon Saad, Alex DeBrincat, Nick Schmaltz and many others.
Over 80 players from the NHL, AHL and ECHL are expected to be play in the games at MB Ice Arena, the new practice facility that the Hawks opened in January, as well as a large number of top amateurs from top college programs, junior teams and AAA programs.
Schmaltz and Team USA star Kendall Coyne are set to play on the same team, which should be a lot of fun. Saad, Tommy Wingels and Ryan Hartman will also be teammates again, along with former Hawks forward Brandon Bollig. Hawks prospects Henri Jokiharju, Luke Johnson and Anthony Louis are also set to be on hand.
“The CPHL is a great opportunity for our Chicago-based players to participate in high-level games to supplement their summer training programs,” said Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman as part of the announcement. “I’m thrilled to see so many Chicago Blackhawks’ players involved, and also thrilled that our local hockey fans will be able to visit our new practice facility and see some great summer hockey.”
The first game of the weekly CPHL season will be July 11 and tickets will be a delightfully cheap $5 each. There will also be games on July 18, July 25, Aug. 1, Aug. 8, Aug. 15, and Aug. 22. A championship game will be held Aug. 23. Doors will open at MB Ice Arena for each contest at 5:30 p.m.
Here’s a full list of expected NHL participants for the upcoming CPHL. The rosters are subject to change. For those of you who can’t wait until October to get your Chicago hockey fix, this may be a fun stopgap.
2018 CPHL NHL participants
D Henri Jokiharju, Blackhawks
D Jordan Oesterle, Blackhawks
F Alex DeBrincat, Blackhawks
F Brandon Saad, Blackhawks
F Vinnie Hinostroza, Blackhawks
F Nick Schmaltz, Blackhawks
F Alex Broadhurst, Blue Jackets
F Anders Bjork, Bruins
F Tommy Wingels, Bruins
F Christian Dvorak, Coyotes
F Christian Fischer, Coyotes
F Nick Lappin, Devils
D John Moore, Devils
F Connor Carrick, Maple Leafs
F Michael Mersch, Kings
F Ryan Hartman, Predators
D Jake McCabe, Sabres
F Ryan Dzingel, Senators
D Lou Belpedio, Wild
(Note: The CPHL website initially included Patrick Kane as a participant, but he’s no longer listed. This post has been updated to reflect that.)