Blackhawks Training Camp Preview: 10 Players to Watch - NBC Chicago
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Blackhawks Training Camp Preview: 10 Players to Watch



    Blackhawks Training Camp Preview: 10 Players to Watch
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    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 15: Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks makes a save against the Nashville Predators in Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 15, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

    The Chicago Blackhawks are set to begin their training camp on Friday, and there are plenty of questions surrounding the team after they failed to make the postseason for the first time in a decade.

    Those questions will begin to sort themselves out through camp, but as the process of cutting down the roster begins, here are 10 players fans should keep an eye on this month.

    Corey Crawford

    Obviously the biggest story of the offseason was the health of Crawford, and although he reportedly began skating last week, there’s still a good chance he won’t be ready by opening night, no matter what the team says.

    Victor Ejdsell

    The Blackhawks’ forward depth is a concern, but a young player like Ejdsell could potentially make some noise in camp and force his way into that conversation. He has had a really good offseason, and is looking like the centerpiece of a smart trade by Stan Bowman to send Ryan Hartman to Nashville.

    Mackenzie Entwistle

    Acquired in the Marian Hossa trade, Entwistle would give the Blackhawks’ forward group a decidedly more physical look if he were to make the roster. That seems unlikely at this point, but he should get a serious look in camp.

    Gustav Forsling

    The Blackhawks have been waiting for Forsling to take a step forward in his development for a while now, and the team could be approaching “put up or shut up” time with the youngster.

    Erik Gustafsson

    Speaking of “put up or shut up,” Gustafsson got a new contract last season, and he’ll have some serious work to do to live up to the team’s faith in him.  

    Henri Jokiharju

    The Blackhawks’ 2017 first round draft pick had a strong year and is coming into camp hopeful that he can make the team’s NHL roster. That may not be a given, but he is definitely an intriguing prospect, and he could be a pleasant surprise as camp gets underway.

    Brandon Manning

    One of Bowman’s first signings of the summer, Manning has a lot of work to do on a blue line that is rapidly aging and falling behind the rest of the division in terms of its skill and quality.

    Dylan Sikura

    Another potentially intriguing forward to watch, Sikura has the potential to slide into a middle-six role with the team, but he’s a player that head coach Joel Quenneville may choose to bring along slowly, much as he did with Alex DeBrincat last fall.

    Jonathan Toews

    The Blackhawks’ captain has had several subpar seasons in a row, but a new attitude and the fire of not making the postseason for just the second time in his career could motivate him to get back to his former glory.

    Cam Ward

    With all the uncertainty surrounding Crawford, it’s fairly clear that Ward is going to shoulder at least some of the starting load for this team, but his performance in preseason could show Blackhawks fans just how much of that burden he’s able to bear.

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