Blackhawks

Blackhawks announce plans for new community training center

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Blackhawks announce plans for new community training center

The Blackhawks officially announced their plans Thursday to build a new practice facility and community training center two blocks south of the United Center.

It will serve as a practice facility for the Blackhawks and also visiting NHL teams, but approximately 94 percent of it will be used by the community, particularly for young adult, youth and community programs.

And that was a major driving force in striking a deal with this project as soon as possible.

[MORE: Blackhawks, city reach deal to build new practice facility]

"Hockey's future is dictated by the ability of kids to get on the ice," Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said in a statement. "For those in urban areas like Chicago, that’s an incredible challenge. We want to provide our community the opportunity to learn how to skate and help them develop a love and passion for the sport that has brought so much joy to Chicago and the region these past few years.”

Said Blackhawks president & CEO John McDonough, “The addition of a Blackhawks training and community facility is another step in the progress and advancement of our franchise as we continue to strive for consistent excellence both on and off the ice."

The 125,000-square-foot facility is designed to have two NHL regulation-size rinks and is expected to cost roughly $50 million, which will be privately funded. It will be located on a four-acre site currently occupied by Malcolm X College, which is expected to move to its new campus in January 2016. 

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The Blackhawks have called Johnny's IceHouse West their practice home since 2010, and their contract is set to expire in June 2017. The new practice facility gives them a permanent home, but perhaps more importantly, gives aspiring young hockey players in the Chicago area one as well.

“Any kid that wants to ‘Be Like Mike’ can go down the street and shoot hoops,” Wirtz said. “It’s a little tougher if a kid wants to be the next Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews. We’re thrilled to make this investment in our community and give more kids the opportunity to learn to skate and play this great game.” 

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Round 1 of the 2018 NHL Draft.

They discuss the pair of puck-carrying defensemen that the Blackhawks selected on Friday, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin. When can we expect to see these first-round picks play in the NHL?

Boyle also goes 1-on-1 with Boqvist and Beaudin. The guys spoke with Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville on Friday.

The guys also share their biggest takeaways from those interviews, which includes your daily Corey Crawford update and Quenneville appeared excited that the team has plenty of cap space to spend in free agency.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Blackhawks add another defenseman to pipeline, draft Nicolas Beaudin at No. 27

Blackhawks add another defenseman to pipeline, draft Nicolas Beaudin at No. 27

DALLAS — Despite taking Adam Boqvist with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks took a second defenseman at No. 27 with the selection of Nicolas Beaudin.

Beaudin is a 5-foot-11, 172-pound defenseman who prides himself on playing strong at both ends of the ice and tries modeling his game after Torey Krug of the Boston Bruins.

"I’m a two-way defenseman," Beaudin said. "I can provide offense, too. I’ve got a great IQ. I think in my zone I’m just getting better and better."

Beaudin is also a left-handed shot, which is something the Blackhawks could use more of in the organization along the blue line when it comes to impact-type players.

"Nicolas is a very efficient defender," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "He’s got a really nice skill set. He makes the game look pretty easy. He’s a smooth player, not a lot of panic to his game. He’s a good skater so when he has to turn back and get to the puck he can get there first. Usually he just gets his setup and makes the simple play.

"You watch him play and he makes it look really easy. He’s not a guy that’s getting run over a lot. He’s not a real big player, but he uses his brain really well and he had over a point a game, too. He’s got a good feel for making plays and scoring points."

The 18-year-old registered 69 points (12 goals, 57 assists) in 68 games with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL, and added three goals and eight assists in 10 postseason contests.

Beaudin is the third defenseman the Blackhawks have taken in the first round the last two years, with Henri Jokiharju and Boqvist being the other two.

"It’s a winning culture in Chicago," Beaudin said. "They won a lot. I know they’ve got some young guys coming in. For sure in the next few years I want to earn my place and I want to try to learn a lot from a guy like Duncan Keith."