Blackhawks

Artemi Panarin should practice with Blackhawks again soon

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Artemi Panarin should practice with Blackhawks again soon

Artemi Panarin is still a day or two away from getting back on the ice but coach Joel Quenneville said the young forward should be ready for the regular-season opener.

The Blackhawks had hoped Panarin would practice on Monday but he did not. Panarin has been sidelined by an upper-body injury since the Blackhawks departed the University of Notre Dame. Quenneville reiterated that the injury is not considered serious.

Bryan Bickell also missed Monday’s practice for what Quenneville said was “a personal matter.”

[RELATED - Ryan Garbutt impressing with speed during Blackhawks preseason]

Michal Rozsival (ankle) and Kyle Cumiskey (lower body) skated on their own following Monday’s practice. Both players are still some time away from getting up to game speed.

“Those two guys are on the same timeline. It’s probably looking at a couple of weeks before they’re likely good to go and get some contact in practice, and that might be the long end of it,” said Quenneville, who added that, as of now, he wasn’t sure if long-term injured reserve was an option for either or both.

The Blackhawks also said goodbye to two more players, releasing Lubomir Visnovsky and former Blackhawks forward Tomas Kopecky from camp on Monday. The roster is now down to 34 players.

“I think that they both played OK. It comes down to sometimes a little bit of economics on the business side of it with the hockey side as well. We’ve got some young guys here who have helped us make that decision as well,” Quenneville said. “A lot of different parts played into the decision. We wish them well. Both guys were professional and I hope they find a place.”

NHL Draft Profile: F Brady Tkachuk

NHL Draft Profile: F Brady Tkachuk

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Brady Tkachuk

Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 196 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"I know Tkachuk isn't a center, but Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) is another player who comes to mind with his combination of size, strength, skill and nastiness. Tkachuk has impressive hand skills and his upside has only begun because I think there's lots of maturity and growth to come. I've seen his speed and skating improve each of the past three years and I think he'll still get stronger and his balance will get better. His man strength will come and it'll be like, 'Oh boy, look out.'"

NHL player comparable: Matthew Tkachuk/Wayne Simmonds

Fit for Blackhawks:

If you're looking for a player that checks all the boxes in this year's draft, it's Tkachuk. And man could the Blackhawks use a player like him.

He's got offensive skill, willingly goes to the greasy areas, can provide net-front presence while playing a top-six role, and perhaps the most important part for the Blackhawks: he's very close to NHL ready. The Blackhawks will be patient with whoever they draft, but there's also some urgency to turn things around in 2018-19.

If they can draft a player like Tkachuk who can potentially jump into the lineup as early as this upcoming season, that would be ideal. Because he's the type of player that can make an impact, not just get by.

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Quinn Hughes

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 170 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"He's got the puck skills, is a good skater, and is a guy with some high-end offensive talent. He wants to get right in there and play where it's hard and where you get rewarded. When he gets that puck on his stick, he wants to bury it."

NHL player comparable: Torey Krug/Kris Letang

Fit for Blackhawks:

It's no secret the Blackhawks are looking to restock their pipeline with some high-end defensemen. Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell are on the way. But the former isn't a lock to be a full-time NHLer this season and the latter will continue playing in college for the 2018-19 season.

Hughes, who shined at Michigan and the IIHF World Championship with Team USA, would have the best chance of the three to crack the Blackhawks lineup first. The problem is, he likely won't be available at No. 8, so if Hughes is the guy they're locked in on, they'd need to trade up to grab him. 

If they did that, Hughes would give the Blackhawks a third blue line prospect they can get excited about. He's a left-handed shot, which evens out the balance in the system, and he would become a prime candidate to eventually replace Duncan Keith as the team's No. 1 defenseman.