Preps Talk

Fraser reflects on winning with Blackhawks, trade to Kings

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Fraser reflects on winning with Blackhawks, trade to Kings

Former Blackhawks center Colin Fraser underwent a trade he never saw coming when he was dealt to the Kings. He's since blogged about the experience, what it's like playing in Los Angeles, and the excitement of being only one game away from winning the Stanley Cup--again.

Fraser was traded to Edmonton by the Blackhawks after the 2010 season. He played 67 games with his new team, recording three goals and two assists.

At the end of the 2011 season, the Oilers were prepared to complete a trade between Ryan Smyth and Gilbert Brule, but the deal never worked out. So instead, Fraser was thrown into the mix.

"The day I was traded I called my dad and I said, 'I was traded to the Kings.' He asked me how I felt and I said, 'Good, because we have a chance to win.'They had just traded for Mike Richards. They had a good roster. Playing against them in previous years, I knew they were a good team."

But a foot injury ailed him from the start. Fraser was deemed 'unable to play' by Los Angeles' medical staff and he was recommended surgery. After undergoing an operation and getting back on the ice Day 1 of training camp, Fraser made a full recovery and earned a spot on the Kings' roster.

Now the Kings are one game away from winning the Cup for the first time in their 45-year history. Fraser remembers going through these same feelings in Chicago.

"I was with the Chicago Blackhawks when we won the Stanley Cup in 2010, but I wasn't playing during the Cup Final. I was watching Game 6 with Adam Burish, Bryan Bickell, and a few of the other extra guys," Fraser said. "When we were leading in the third period, we went down to the dressing room to put our gear on and Philly ended up tying the game late in the third.

"Then we were watching the overtime in the dressing room, and when we won we just ran straight out onto the ice to celebrate. We all had our moment and got to hoist the Cup and skate around with it. It was crazy. It was one of those moments that you grow up dreaming about."

Los Angeles is still dreaming about that moment. Fraser and the rest of his teammates will be battling for that experience on Saturday night in Game 5.

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

High School Lites had a busy show as it was the final week of the regular season for IHSA boys basketball Class 3A and 4A. The Class 1A and 2A playoffs also tipped in boys basketball as the show has some thrilling regional titles that were decided in the final minute. And finally, the girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals were played on Friday as the state's top teams played in Bloomington.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for the latest news and scores for IHSA basketball.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Richards wrestler Mia Palumbo

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Simeon boys basketball

Highlights

Marshall shocks Leo in Class 2A regional final

Aurora Christian runs past Harvert Christian for 1A regional title

Buzzer-beater lifts Monticello over Gibson City for regional title

Jacobs goes unbeaten in Fox Valley with win over Dundee-Crown

West Aurora gets by rival East Aurora

Yorkville completes season sweep of DeKalb

Lemont escapes past T.F. North

Marshall needs OT to get past Teutopolis in girls 2A semifinals

Harlan takes down Eureka in 2A semifinals

Stockton runs by Okaw Valley in 1A

Schlarman races by Lebanon

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks hit road to face Blue Jackets

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. One big reunion.

The Blackhawks will square off with the Blue Jackets for the first time since Oct. 7, which was the second game of the season. In that game, they won 5-1 led by Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad, each of whom scored a goal and added an assist.

Of course, that was the first game since the offseason trade that sent Artemi Panarin to Columbus and Saad back to Chicago, along with Anton Forsberg. Artem Anisimov, of course, was part of the original deal that sent Saad to Columbus in 2015, so there are a lot of emotional ties between the two teams.

Forsberg didn't get a chance to face the Blue Jackets in the first meeting, but there's a chance he will this time with it being the second of a back-to-back and Jean-Francois Berube getting the start in Friday's 3-1 win over San Jose.

2. Panarin and Kane bromance.

The emotions of a difficult break-up have probably died down by now, but Panarin and Kane gave us this moment at center ice during pregame warmups in their first game against each other and it hit Chicago right in the feels:

Panarin has spent enough time apart from Kane for people to realize how big of a star he is in his own right, leading the Blue Jackets in all three scoring categories: goals (17), assists (32) and points (49).

He hasn't gone more than three games this season without recording a point, and is looking to extend his point streak to four games, which would tie a season high.

3. Struggling Blue Jackets special teams.

The Blue Jackets got off to a great start but are barely clinging onto a wild card spot going into Saturday's game, and a big reason for that slide is their lack of success on special teams. Usually one can pick up the slack for the other, but they've been brutal in both departments.

The Blue Jackets are 0-for-9 on the power play in their past five games and are ranked 31st overall, converting on only 14.1 percent of their opportunities. They also have own the 27th-ranked penalty kill with a 76.3 percent success rate.

So if there's an area the Blackhawks can exploit, it's that. But, you know, still be mindful of that Russian winger's one-timer from the faceoff circle.