Chicago Blackhawks Player News: All Positions

News: The Blackhawks acquired Nylander from the Sabres on Tuesday in exchange for defenseman Henri Jokiharju.
Impact: The two clubs will exchange recent first-round picks, as Nylander (No. 8 overall in 2016) and Jokiharju (No. 29 overall in 2017) swap sides. Nylander, 21, appeared in 19 NHL contests over parts of the past three seasons, tallying three goals and three assists. The winger will be in the fold through the 2021-22 season and could have a greater opportunity to see ice time at hockey's top level in Chicago than would have been possible in Buffalo.
News: Dach signed his three-year, entry-level contract with the Blackhawks on Monday, Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago reports.
Impact: Dach, 18, was selected with the third overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Appearing in 62 WHL games last season, the dynamic center scored 25 goals and posted 73 points in junior and will enter his first NHL training camp with a real shot of making Chicago's opening night lineup. From a fantasy perspective, while it may be a bit early to expect the youngster to make an impact, Dach will be in high demand in dynasty formats.
News: Kruger signed a two-year contract with the ZSC Lions in Switzerland on Friday.
Impact: Kruger is coming off a 2018-19 campaign with the Blackhawks where he posted 12 points in 74 appearances. Now, after nine seasons in the NHL, the 29-year-old Swede will be spending the next two seasons back closer to home.
News: Lehner signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Blackhawks on Monday, Bob McKenzie of TSN reports.
Impact: This is a bit of a shocker, as Collin Delia appeared poised to take over as Corey Crawford's backup in 2019-20, but the Blackhawks are clearly hoping to replicate the success the Islanders had last season while deploying Lehner and Thomas Greiss as a highly effective one-two punch. Crawford and Lehner will likely be splitting starts pretty evenly, but if Crawford suffers another head injury, Lehner will be ready to take over as Chicago's unquestioned No. 1 netminder. The 2018-19 Vezina Trophy finalist shouldn't be considered a premier option at his position heading into this year's fantasy drafts, but he's definitely worth a look as a high-end secondary choice.
News: Davidson signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Flames on Monday.
Impact: Davidson only appeared in 10 NHL contests last season, tallying one assist while posting a minus-4 rating in 10 games with the Blackhawks. The 27-year-old simply isn't an NHL-caliber defender, and will likely spend most of the upcoming campaign in the minors.
News: Kampf signed a two-year, $2 million contract with the Blackhawks on Monday.
Impact: Kampf has developed into a solid bottom-six option for Chicago over the past two campaigns, tallying eight goals and 30 points in 109 appearances while averaging 13:26 of ice time per contest. The 24-year-old will continue to fill a similar role for the Blackhawks over the next two seasons, but he'll probably never produce enough offense to warrant consideration in the vast majority of fantasy formats.
News: Carpenter signed a three-year, $3 million contract with the Blackhawks on Monday, Chris Kuc of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Carpenter appeared in 68 games with the Golden Knights in 2018-19, tallying five goals and 18 points over that span. The 28-year-old will likely center the Blackhawks' fourth line while also contributing as a penalty killer in 2019-20, but he won't produce enough offense to be worth consideration in most fantasy formats.
News: Shaw was traded to Chicago from Montreal with a seventh-round pick in exchange for a second- and seventh-round pick in 2020 and a third-round pick in 2021 on Sunday, Mark Lazerus of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Shaw will head back to Chicago, where he spent the first five seasons of his NHL career. Last season, he scored 19 goals and a career-high 47 points. Expect the veteran winger to play a similar top-six role with some time on the power play with the Blackhawks.
News: Quenneville signed a two-year contract extension with Chicago on Friday.
Impact: Quenneville was never able to carve out a role with New Jersey after being selected by the Devils in the first round of the 2014 draft, tallying five points in 33 NHL appearances spread over three seasons, but he displayed tremendous upside during his time in the minors, racking up 119 points in 138 contests. The first year of his extension with the Blackhawks is two-way, but the second year is one-way, which suggests Chicago believes he'll be ready for a permanent spot in its lineup in 2020-21. Quenneville may never live up to his first-round billing, but he should develop into a solid bottom-six forward for the Blackhawks over the next two seasons.
News: Sikura signed a two-year contract extension with the Blackhawks on Friday.
Impact: The first year of Sikura's extension is a two-way deal, but it transitions into a one-way deal in its second year, which suggests the Blackhawks are confident he'll be ready for a full-time NHL role in 2020-21. The 2014 sixth-round pick showed promise as a point producer during his time with AHL Rockford last season, notching 17 goals and 18 assists in 46 contests, but he'll likely never achieve that level of success with the big club.
News: Kampf is currently in negotiations with the Blackhawks on a new contract, Scott Powers of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Chicago didn't extend a qualifying offer to Kampf on Tuesday, so if they're unable to get a deal done before July 1, he'll become an unrestricted free agent. However, it sounds like both sides are interested in having him return in 2019-20, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him re-signed prior to that date. The 24-year-old winger was a solid bottom-six contributor for the Blackhawks this season, notching four goals and 19 points in 63 contests while also serving as one of the team's primary penalty killers.
News: The Kings didn't extend Iacopelli a qualifying offer Tuesday, so he'll become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Impact: Iacopelli was demoted to the ECHL after a slow start in the AHL last season, so it's safe to say he likely won't draw much interest as a free agent.
News: Johnson didn't receive a qualifying offer from the Blackhawks on Tuesday, Scott Powers of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Johnson wasn't going to be anything more than an organizational depth option for Chicago in 2019-20, so it makes sense for both parties to go their separate ways. He'll be seeking a two-way deal with a new organization once he hits free agency on July 1.
News: The Blackhawks have extended Kampf a qualifying offer, Scott Powers of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The Blackhawks and Kampf are reportedly already negotiating a new deal, so it's clear that both sides are interested in him reprising his bottom-six role in 2019-20. The 24-year-old winger notched four goals and 19 points in 63 games this campaign.
News: The Blackhawks have extended Ejdsell a qualifying offer, Scott Powers of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Ejdsell has already decided to play for Farjestad BK of the SHL in 2019-20, but the Blackhawks will own his NHL rights should he decide to return to North America in the future. The 6-foot-5 forward spent the entirety of the 2018-19 campaign with AHL Rockford, notching 12 goals and 29 points in 61 contests.
News: The Blackhawks won't extend Louis a qualifying offer prior to Tuesday's deadline, so he'll become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, Scott Powers of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Louis has been pretty productive in the minors during the past two seasons, totaling 78 points in 144 appearances, but the Blackhawks clearly don't see him as a player capable of making the jump to the NHL in the future. The 2013 sixth-round pick will probably be looking to land a two-way contract with a different organization this offseason.
News: Hillman won't receive a qualifying offer from the Blackhawks, which means he'll become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, Scott Powers of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The Blackhawks currently have a logjam at defense, and Hillman hasn't appeared in an NHL contest since 2017-18, so this move doesn't come as a surprise. The 23-year-old will likely be looking to sign an AHL-only deal with a new club this offseason.
News: The Blackhawks have extended Sikura a qualifying offer, Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Impact: Sikura hasn't done much at the NHL level since turning pro in 2017-18, picking up 11 points in 38 games, but he was pretty productive in the minors last season, racking up 17 goals and 35 points in 46 appearances, so it's not surprising that the Blackhawks aren't willing to give up on him yet. The 2014 sixth-round pick will likely sign a short-term deal to remain with Chicago in the coming weeks.
News: Perlini has received a qualifying offer from the Blackhawks, Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun Times reports.
Impact: Perlini showed some promise during his first season with Chicago, notching 12 goals and 15 points in 46 appearances after being traded to the team in late November. The Blackhawks clearly think he may still have some untapped potential, so look for them to sign him to a short-term deal in the coming weeks.
News: Saarela and Calvin de Haan were dealt to Chicago from Carolina in exchange for Anton Forsberg and Gustav Forsling on Monday.
Impact: Saarela racked up 30 goals and 54 points in 69 games for AHL Charlotte last season but has yet to make his NHL debut. The 22-year-old likely could've fought for a bottom-six spot during the preseason with the Hurricanes. Chicago drafted Saarela's brother, Antti, this weekend at the 2019 NHL Draft.
News: De Haan (shoulder) was traded to Chicago from Carolina along with Aleksi Saarela in exchange for Anton Forsberg and Gustav Forsling on Monday.
Impact: Chicago has been making moves all offseason but this might be the biggest one. De Haan scored a goal and 14 points last season while averaging over 18:30 of ice time per game. He should slot into Chicago's top four on the blue line and could see some time on the power play. The 28-year-old is recovering from shoulder surgery and there's uncertainty about whether he'll suit up to start the regular season.
News: Saarela was drafted 123rd overall by the Blackhawks at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday.
Impact: The younger brother of Hurricanes prospect Aleksi Saarela, Antti has come through the same Lukko (Finland) program as his sibling. The younger Saarela's upside is that of a bottom-six role player. Almost all Saarela's offense comes as the result of his skating ability and that's a tough profile to bet on when a player has nothing more than average (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) size. Saarela can line up on both wing positions and plays hard, so he does offer versatility, but the ceiling here is limited. Chicago will allow Saarela to marinate in Finland for the time being.
News: Teply was drafted 105th overall by the Blackhawks at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday.
Impact: There are reasons to be excited about Teply moving forward. For one, he has elite size at 6-foot-3, 190 pounds. He also has a cannon of a shot. Teply is an asset on the power play, but he really labors getting around the ice and he didn't produce much this past season (10 points in 23 games) in the Czech second league. While the big man is worthy of the dice roll at this point in the draft, there is a decent chance his lack of foot speed will limit Teply's ability to make a legitimate offensive impact when he finally crosses the pond.
News: Quenneville is now a member of the Blackhawks following a trade Saturday that saw John Hayden head to the Devils, reports Frank Seravalli of TSN.ca.
Impact: Quenneville has proven he can score in the minors, but has struggled to translate that into offense in the NHL. But his reliability should mean he gets a shot at a lower line in Chicago, where stalled careers go to be reignited.
News: Vlasic was drafted 43rd overall by the Blackhawks at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday.
Impact: The cousin of Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Alex, a native of Illinois, has far more size than his famous relative. Vlasic is in the 6-foot-5 range and he skates well for such a big kid. Vlasic was often overshadowed this season by other members of the loaded USNTDP, but his future is bright. His numbers this year (two goals, 15 points in 26 USHL games) were more than respectable and there should be some more offense on the way. Vlasic has the potential to take a significant step forward in the next year or two. He is committed to Boston University.
News: Dach was drafted third overall by the Blackhawks at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft on Friday.
Impact: Dach is a big (6-foot-4), pass-first pivot with skill, good skating and smarts. Like a lot of big guys, he gets saddled with questions of work ethic and consistency. But that's only because he only needs to take half the strides of a smaller player to accomplish the same feat. Now, that doesn't mean Dach's a speedster -- his skills are faster than his feet. But a good skating coach can help him grow that part of his game. He protects the puck well, is patient with the puck and can find teammates' sticks through a sea of legs. Dach can be a first-line center in the NHL at his peak, a little in the mold of Ryan Getzlaf.
News: Maatta was acquired by the Blackhawks from the Penguins on Saturday in exchange for forward Dominik Kahun and a 2019 fifth-round pick.
Impact: Maatta missed some time due to a shoulder injury this season and had one goal and 13 assists in 60 games with the Penguins. The 24-year-old averaged 18:35 of ice time and was third on the team with 116 blocked shots.
News: Lepisto agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension with Helsinki Jokerit (KHL) on Wednesday.
Impact: In two seasons with the Jokerit, Lepisto notched 15 goals and 50 assists in 115 regular-season contests, adding another 10 helpers in the postseason. Originally playing for Helsinki when it was still in the Finnish league, the blueliner's numbers convinced the Capitals to take him in the third round of the 2004 NHL Draft. The 34-year-old would go on to play with the Coyotes, Blue Jackets and Blackhawks on his way to 176 NHL games, the last of which came during the 2011-12 campaign.
News: Kubalik signed a one-year, $925,000 contract with the Blackhawks on Wednesday.
Impact: Kubalik, who was originally selected by the Kings in the seventh round of the 2013 draft, spent the 2018-19 campaign with HC Ambri-Piotta of the NLA, racking up 25 goals and 57 points in 50 games. The 23-year-old winger most recently suited up for Team Czech Republic at the IIHF World Championship tournament, notching an impressive six goals and 12 points in 10 appearances. Kubalik's NHL potential is still an unknown, but if he's able to adapt to the smaller North American ice quickly, he could fit nicely on Jonathan Toews' wing in the Blackhawks' top six this season.
News: Wedin signed a one-year, $925,000 contract with the Blackhawks on Thursday.
Impact: Wedin spent the 2018-19 campaign playing in Sweden's top professional league, racking up an impressive 14 goals and 27 points in 32 games with Timra IK. The 5-foot-11 winger will hope to lock down a spot in the Blackhawks' bottom six during training camp.
News: Gravel stopped 33 of 35 shots in Halifax's 4-2 victory over Guelph in CHL Memorial Cup action Sunday.
Impact: Gravel and the host Mooseheads are now sporting an unbeaten 2-0 record in the early stages of the tournament. A sixth-round selection (162nd overall) of Chicago in 2018, Gravel is coming off an exceptional season for Halifax in which he posted a 33-13-2 record to go along with a 2.49 GAA and .913 save percentage. While the 19-year-old remains a project, he has a boatload of potential and has undoubtedly taken a significant step forward this year. Don't be surprised if the Blackhawks sign Gravel to an entry-level contract in short order.
News: Schroeder will try his luck in the KHL with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod after signing a one-year deal with the club Friday.
Impact: It will be the first taste of European hockey for Schroeder, who came up through the US Development team before playing for the University of Minnesota. Since his collegiate day, the center split time in the AHL and NHL, making a total of 165 appearances for Vancouver, Minnesota and Columbus, in which he registered 18 goals and 24 helpers. With his move overseas, the 28-year-old has likely played in his last NHL contests.
News: Koekkoek penned a one-year, $925,000 contract extension with Chicago on Monday, Eric Lear of the Blackhawks' official site reports.
Impact: Koekkoek was acquired by the Hawks from the Lightning in January and has reupped with his new club for another season. By agreeing to an extension, the blueliner avoids potential arbitration as a restricted free agent this summer. The Ontario native struggled to break into the lineup with Tampa Bay, but found minutes much easier to come by in the Windy City, where he saw action in 22 games and averaged 16:27 of ice time. Fantasy owners probably shouldn't be banking on Koekkoek logging over 20 minutes per game, yet he could still provide decent mid-range fantasy value in deeper formats.
News: Wedin has signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks, Scott Powers of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Chicago is hoping for the 26-year-old Wedin to make an immediate impact next season. The 5-foot-11 winger recorded 14 goals and 27 points in 32 games with Timra IK of the SHL in Sweden this past season.
News: Ejdsell signed a two-year contract with Farjestad BK of the SHL on Thursday, Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago reports.
Impact: The Blackhawks still own Ejdsell's NHL rights as an upcoming restricted free agent, but at this point it seems highly unlikely that they'll extend him a qualifying offer by the June 25 deadline. If the team lets him go, the 23-year-old forward will almost certainly remain overseas for the remainder of his professional playing career.
News: Soderlund put pen to paper on a three-year, entry-level deal with Chicago on Monday.
Impact: Soderlund -- who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Draft -- managed just 14 points in 48 games in the SHL this season, but apparently showed the club enough to warrant a three-year contract. The 21-year-old is a long shot to see ice time with the Blackhawks in 2019-20, but could make the move to North America and link up with AHL Rockford, though he could also continue developing in his native Sweden.
News: Hakkarainen inked a three-year, entry-level contract with the Blackhawks on Monday.
Impact: Hakkarainen notched 47 points in 42 games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the USHL last season. The center was set to join Providence College this year, but opted to instead continue playing in the USHL and will now make the jump to the professional ranks. The 21-year-old figures to spend some time in the minors with AHL Rockford before getting a look at the 23-man roster with the Hawks.
News: Moutrey signed a one-year deal with AHL Rockford on Monday.
Impact: The deal will keep Moutrey in Rockford through 2019-20. Last season, the 23-year-old managed a goal and four assists in 49 games with the IceHogs but has yet to appear in an NHL game to this point in his career.
News: Kane has earned a Ted Lindsay Award nomination for most outstanding player as voted by his peers, reports TSN.ca.
Impact: He's up against Nikita Kucherov and Connor McDavid, who finished one-two in league scoring. Kane finished third with 110 points and actually was the best goal scorer of the three with 44 snipes. The award is presented by the NHL Players Association.
News: Versteeg signed a one-year contract with AHL Rockford on Monday.
Impact: Versteeg appeared in 643 games over an 11-year NHL career, spending time with the Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Flyers, Hurricanes, Panthers, Kings and finally, the Flames. Most recently, the 32-year-old vet split time between Avangard Omsk of the KHL and the Vaxjo Lakers of the SHL, playing for both clubs during the 2018-19 season.
News: Nilsson agreed to terms on a one-year, $700,000 contract extension with the Blackhawks on Friday.
Impact: Nilsson's extension will keep him with the Blackhawks organization through the 2019-20 season. The 25-year-old forward posted solid numbers in 2018-19, notching 32 points in 61 AHL appearances, but there's no reason to believe he'll be able to secure a regular role with the big club anytime soon.
News: Lankinen was named to Team Finland's preliminary roster for the IIHF World Championship on Wednesday.
Impact: Lankinen likely won't start any games for Finland and may not even make the final roster, but the fact that he was named to the team at all is an encouraging development for his future. Collin Delia will likely join the Blackhawks full time in 2019-20 as Corey Crawford's backup, giving Lankinen a clear path to take over as AHL Rockford's starter.
News: Jokiharju was named to Team Finland's preliminary roster for the World Championship on Wednesday.
Impact: Jokiharju had a solid start to his rookie campaign in 2018-19, notching 12 assists in 38 appearances with the big club, but the Blackhawks ultimately decided to ship him to the minors midway through the season in order to aid his development. The 2017 first-round pick will almost certainly have a full-time role with Chicago in 2019-20, and he could be tasked with quarterbacking the team's top power-play unit, making him a player to keep an eye on heading into fantasy drafts.