The Chicago Blackhawks announced its latest roster trimming moves today, with no general surprises and two previously announced moves, so the team can meet with NHL roster regulations. As it stands, the roster now contains 23 forwards, 10 defensemen and the three goaltenders Corey Crawford, Nikolai Khabibulin and Antti Raanta, who will start in Rockford upon assignment.
The team announced that Finnish forward Tuevo Teravainen will return to Finland to play another year for Jokerit in the SM-Liiga, where he looks to take the next step and transform into a star by European standards. According to some reports, Teravainen looked NHL ready right away, and is likely to join the team when rosters expand in April.
Meanwhile, the Plymouth Whalers will be graced with Blackhawks first-round pick Ryan Hartman, who will likely spend the whole season there gaining valuable experience. Notable alumni from the Whalers include David Legwand, Tyler Seguin and James Wisniewski, the scorn of Blackhawks fans everywhere.
Dylan Olsen will once again have to wait his turn to prove he has developed into a full-time NHL defenseman, far removed from the 2011-12 season where he scored a single point in 28 contests. Once again relegated to AHL Rockford, Olsen needs to prove his worth in a pivotal third year with Rockford, hopefully turning around his -4.5 +/- rating. A 15-point season would once certainly raise Olsen’s value going forward.
Despite speculation, Hobey Baker award winner Drew LeBlanc could force his way onto the roster, LeBlanc will begin the 2013 campaign in Rockford, looking to gain more valuable experience, and possibly also reappearing in April joining the pool of talented young prospects the ‘Hawks have the fortune of developing.
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