The Chicago Blackhawks will look to end a brief two-game losing streak when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night, but their lineup will feature one new face as they hit the ice.
That new face is Vincent Hinostroza, who will make his NHL debut with his hometown team. Hinostroza, who was born in Bartlett, Illinois, was drafted by the Blackhawks in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and he’s made a rapid ascension into the upper echelon of Hawks prospects. He racked up 19 goals and 57 assists in his two-year collegiate career at the University of Notre Dame, and after a stellar preseason for the Hawks, he’s made it to the NHL as the team looks to inject more scoring punch into their lineup.
For his first career game, Hinostroza will skate as the third line center for the Blackhawks, with Teuvo Teravainen and Ryan Garbutt serving as his wingers. Teravainen has the capability to slide over to the center spot if needed, so it should be interesting to see which player will take the majority of the face-offs for the Blackhawks on that line.
There has been speculation that Hinostroza could also see some time on the top line with Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews, but Bryan Bickell will at least begin the game as the left winger on that grouping.
Here are the lines for the Blackhawks:
Bickell – Toews – Hossa
Panarin – Anisimov – Kane
Teravainen – Hinostroza – Garbutt
Desjardins – Kruger – Shaw
The game will also mark the return of Brandon Saad to Chicago, where he spent the first three seasons of his NHL career and won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks. Saad was traded in the offseason after his contract demands exceeded the Blackhawks’ salary cap room, and he ultimately signed a six-year deal with the Blue Jackets.
So far this season, Saad has scored three goals (all on the power play) and picked up one assist in five games for the Blue Jackets.