The Chicago Blackhawks will play their first preseason game of the year on Monday night against the Washington Capitals, and while many stars will be sitting out for the contest, there is still plenty of intrigue among the group of players heading to the nation’s capital.
The Blackhawks, looking to get back to the postseason after missing the playoffs in back-to-back years, will bring several youngsters to Washington for the game, including 2018 first round picks Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin.
New acquistions Aleksi Saarela and Alex Nylander will also be on the ice for the Blackhawks against the Capitals, and could potentially skate on the same line in Monday’s game.
Here are the line combinations the Blackhawks used in practice, according to The Athletic’s Scott Powers:
Sikura – Highmore – Wedin
Saarela – Kampf – Nylander
Perlini – Carpenter – Quenneville
Mclaughlin – Nilsson – Versteeg
Koekkoek – Gustafsson
Gilbert – Boqvist
Beaudin – Dahlstrom – Tuulola
In terms of NHL impact, the team’s third forward line could be one to watch, as Brendan Perlini and John Quenneville skate alongside new acquisition Ryan Carpenter. That line has all the makings of a fourth-line at the NHL level, and all three players have a solid shot at making the team’s roster out of camp.
Defensively the pairings aren’t necessarily reflective of the NHL roster, but getting to see Boqvist in action will be big for Blackhawks fans and observers, as he will need to make a big impression to displace the eight or so NHL-ready defensemen the Blackhawks already have on their roster.
One other thing to keep an eye on is the second line, as Kampf could end up fighting for a roster spot with the wealth of options the team has up the middle. Pairing him up with Saarela and Nylander could help showcase his offensive talents, and Jeremy Colliton will likely have a very close eye on him during the game.
Kampf will also potentially get some penalty killing time, as he was paired up with Carpenter during the team’s morning skate on Monday. Slater Koekkoek and Carl Dahlstrom, both of whom are likely to make the roster but not necessarily guaranteed spots, will also get some penalty killing time.
Collin Delia is expected to play Monday night, with Matt Tomkins also making the trip to Washington.