Blackhawks

Potential Blackhawks draft candidates excel in 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Championship

Potential Blackhawks draft candidates excel in 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Championship

Sunday, the 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Championship concluded with Sweden taking down Russia 4-3 to win the gold medal game at the Fjallraven Center in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden. The United States, meanwhile, secured the bronze medal with a 5-2 victory over Canada earlier in the day.

The tournament, which featured many 2019 NHL Draft Prospects, is relevant to the Blackhawks, who hold the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft. While it’s anyone’s guess as to whom the Blackhawks will draft on June 21, several candidates played for the United States, Canada and Russia.

United States: Jack Hughes, Cole Caufield, Matthew Boldy, Alex Turcotte, Trevor Zegras
Canada: Peyton Krebs, Dylan Cozens
Russia: Vasili Podkolzin

How did these players fare in the tournament, though? Let’s take a look:

United States

Jack Hughes is considered the best prospect in the entire draft and his play in Sweden reaffirmed this notion. In seven games, the 17-year-old from Orlando scored 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists). While he led the tournament in the latter category, he finished second in goals to Cole Caufield.

Caufield, 18, scored a whopping 14 goals in seven games. The 5-foot-6 forward, who is committed to University of Wisconsin, finished with the second-most points in the entire tournament (18), only trailing Hughes.

Matthew Boldy (three goals/nine assists in seven games), Alex Turcotte (four goals/five assists in seven games) and Trevor Zegras (nine assists in seven games) also were key contributors for the United States. The trio are committed to Boston College, Wisconsin and Boston University, respectively.

Canada

Peyton Krebs led Canada with 10 points (six goals, four assists) in seven games, with Dylan Cozens (four goals, five assists) not too far behind. Both players are 18 years old and capable of playing center and wing.

Russia

Vasili Podkolzin went goal-less until Sunday’s gold medal game, finishing the tournament with one goal and three assists in seven games. He is considered one of the top European prospects in the draft, though he has two years remaining on his KHL contract.

Read more on Turcotte, Krebs, Cozens and Podkolzin here

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Jonathan Toews releases powerful statement on George Floyd's death, mass protests

Jonathan Toews releases powerful statement on George Floyd's death, mass protests

Chicago athletes — both former and current, including Michael Jordan — have been speaking out following the death of George Floyd and the mass protests that ensued over the weekend. Jonathan Toews joined that group on Monday, sharing a powerful statement on Instagram.

Here's what the Blackhawks captain had to say:

View this post on Instagram

A lot of people may claim these riots and acts of destruction are a terrible response. I’ll be the first to admit that as a white male that was also my first reaction. But who am I to tell someone that their pain is not real? Especially when it is at a boiling point and impossible to hold in anymore. It’s obviously coming from a place of truth. This reaction isn’t coming out of thin air. I’m not condoning or approving the looting, but are we really going to sit here and say that peaceful protesting is the only answer? There has been plenty of time for that, and if it was the answer we would’ve given it our full attention long ago. Listen to these two men debate. They are lost, they are in pain. They strived for a better future but as they get older they realize their efforts may be futile. They don’t know the answer of how to solve this problem for the next generation of black women and men. This breaks my heart. I can’t pretend for a second that I know what it feels like to walk in a black man’s shoes. However, seeing the video of George Floyd’s death and the violent reaction across the country moved me to tears. It has pushed me to think, how much pain are black people and other minorities really feeling? What have Native American people dealt with in both Canada and US? What is it really like to grow up in their world? Where am I ignorant about the privileges that I may have that others don’t? Compassion to me is at least trying to FEEL and UNDERSTAND what someone else is going through. For just a moment maybe I can try to see the world through their eyes. Covid has been rough but it has given us the opportunity to be much less preoccupied with our busy lives. We can no longer distract ourselves from the truth of what is going on. My message isn’t for black people and what they should do going forward. My message is to white people to open our eyes and our hearts. That’s the only choice we have, otherwise this will continue. Let’s choose to fight hate and fear with love and awareness. Ask not what can you do for me, but what can I do for you? Be the one to make the first move. In the end, love conquers all. #blacklivesmatter

A post shared by Jonathan Toews (@jonathantoews) on

A lot of people may claim these riots and acts of destruction are a terrible response. I’ll be the first to admit that as a white male that was also my first reaction.

But who am I to tell someone that their pain is not real? Especially when it is at a boiling point and impossible to hold in anymore. It’s obviously coming from a place of truth. This reaction isn’t coming out of thin air.

I’m not condoning or approving the looting, but are we really going to sit here and say that peaceful protesting is the only answer? There has been plenty of time for that, and if it was the answer we would’ve given it our full attention long ago.

Listen to these two men debate. They are lost, they are in pain. They strived for a better future but as they get older they realize their efforts may be futile. They don’t know the answer of how to solve this problem for the next generation of black women and men. This breaks my heart.

I can’t pretend for a second that I know what it feels like to walk in a black man’s shoes. However, seeing the video of George Floyd’s death and the violent reaction across the country moved me to tears. It has pushed me to think, how much pain are black people and other minorities really feeling? What have Native American people dealt with in both Canada and US? What is it really like to grow up in their world? Where am I ignorant about the privileges that I may have that others don’t?

Compassion to me is at least trying to FEEL and UNDERSTAND what someone else is going through. For just a moment maybe I can try to see the world through their eyes. Covid has been rough but it has given us the opportunity to be much less preoccupied with our busy lives. We can no longer distract ourselves from the truth of what is going on.

My message isn’t for black people and what they should do going forward. My message is to white people to open our eyes and our hearts. That’s the only choice we have, otherwise this will continue.

Let’s choose to fight hate and fear with love and awareness. Ask not what can you do for me, but what can I do for you? 
Be the one to make the first move. In the end, love conquers all.

#blacklivesmatter

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Blackhawks' Zack Smith issues statement following death of George Floyd, protests

Blackhawks' Zack Smith issues statement following death of George Floyd, protests

On Monday, Blackhawks forward Zack Smith tweeted out a statement in the wake of George Floyd's death and the mass protests that ensued over the weekend.



Smith's full message read: 

"As a privileged white man playing in the NHL (a predominately white league) I feel it's as important now as ever to show support for the black community and encourage change. If you think the current way black people and other minorities are treated here today is ok.... you are a racist. If you don't have an opinion or are 'neutral' on this subject then you are ignorant and very misinformed. 

"I strongly disagree with rioting and looting of homes and small businesses but if you resent this movement because of the actions of a few vandals then you are missing the point entirely. As hockey players we sometimes come off as robots in our interviews and stay clear of opinions on most social issues and controversy. 

"Personally I don't like posting my opinions on social media these days for several reason(s). However with the amount of racist people (especially those in positions of power) being exposed during this movement I felt the need to show my support for the black community and the need for change. Please be safe and take care of each other out there."

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